Trail Grading Criteria


Grade 1.

Suitable for, “soft roaders” and “bakkies”. All wheel drive, or 4x2 with diff lock. Good ground clearance. Terrain would include corrugated or eroded gravel roads, farm roads, low maintenance scenic routes and forest roads when dry. A tow rope should be carried.


Grade 2.

Suitable for 4x4’s and all wheel drive vehicles with traction control. Good ground clearance. Obstacles where traction would be required like soft sand or loose strata. 4x4 experience not necessary. (4x2’s with diff lock should avoid these obstacles as they will require speed and the lack of traction up front will create wheel spin, damaging the trail or environment and even the vehicle). This is how cross axle obstacles are created. Carry a tow rope, and deflate tyres.


Grade 3.

Only suitable for vehicles with low range gearing. In experienced drivers should be able to handle these obstacles. Some recovery equipment should be carried, and tyres should be deflated. Most of the weekend trails consist of grade 3 obstacles and often have by pass routes.


Grade 4.

Suitable for vehicles with low range, high ground clearance, traction control or diff locks. Some experience would be required. The obstacle must be walked first. Road building or guiding may be required. Possible damage may occur to side steps, mud flaps, front and rear bumpers and tyres. Complete recovery kit may be required. Deflate tyres.


Grade 5.

Suitable for vehicles with low range, high ground clearance, traction control or diff locks. Vehicles should have under carriage protection, increased approach and departure angles. All terrain or mud terrain tyres are necessary as is a complete recovery kit. A winch would be recommended. Road building and guiding will be required. Vehicle damage may occur. Never attempt a grade 5 obstacle alone. Be prepared for camping on the trail. Only for the trained experienced 4x4 driver.



Driver and recovery training from an accredited 4x4 training facility is highly recommended. You would then, after some experience, be able to get assessed for the Driver Competency Certificate that will allow you to drive “un-guided” in eco sensitive areas.



We recommend that any vehicles with run flat tyres, or ultra low profile tyres, should not attempt any graded route. They may be able to cope with secondary provincial roads or well maintained farm or game reserve roads.


Some vehicles and good driver ability may make an obstacle look easier than it really is. Walk the obstacle first if unsure, and choose the correct line or place rocks to fill holes or build bridges.


Tread lightly and respect nature. Stay on the tracks.