A visit to the AM General Offroad Training Center

     In our quest to develop an off road course for the Illiana Hummer Club Members, Mark Price secured the opportunity to get us in the doors of the AM General Off road Training Center in South Bend, Indiana. AM General was gracious enough to allow us and a guest to run the course, photograph and video tape obstacles so we can recreate some of them on the property we are currently using for our off road course.

Our day at AM General started out by meeting the new Test Track Administrator, John Camblin and sharing our thoughts and ideas with him.  After a few minutes of exchanging ideas, he gave us some pointers on how to excavate and build obstacles, we headed out to the test track in a new 2006 H1 Alpha wagon and Soft top.  As you'll see from the pictures, they have added a lot of new trails including new obstacles that really show how capable the H1, 2, and 3 really are.  Pete, one of the instructor at the AMG test track piloted the red soft top, and John piloted the wagon. We spent about 2 1/2 hours on the course exploring the many obstacles and photographing them.  The following are some of the pictures I took during the course of the day. 

Here are the pictures of the AM General Off Road Training Center

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The NEW IHC Hummer Off Road Course!


 We have been diligently working at developing a course where IHC Hummer owners can enjoy an off roading challenge without driving hours or days to get there. The owner of the property Mark, Tara, and myself, have put in weeks worth of work already in clearing trails, extending loops and excavation obstacles. 

To use this course, you MUST be a current IHC member, sign a liability release, and have a working knowledge of the safe and proper extraction methods. Respect the property, be safe and we will graciously be allowed to use the property for years to come. Anyone caught violating the rules will be thrown out. We will be scheduling events at the IHC off road course in the near future.  This property is NOT open to the public and you can not just show up and use it at any time.  If you want to use it on a spur of the moment, call Jerry to be sure there are no conflicts.  We would prefer you go out in pairs in the event you get stuck, then you've got an extraction partner. Your first time out, Jerry or the owner will show you the course.   

1. Safety FIRST!!!  

2.  Do NOT cut down trees or leave the trails.

3.  DO NOT WINCH ON TREES.  This is sandy soil and could very well pull the tree down. 

4.  Carry at least one large  fire extinguisher (absolutely REQUIRED by owner of property), and the knowledge of how to use it.  This is an off road course and a fire truck can NOT get back in there.  In the event of a fire, dial 911 immediately.

5.  Always follow safe off road procedures.

6.  Don' t recklessly tear up the course or you will find yourself becoming close friends with a number 2 shovel rebuilding it.

7.  Since some turns in the course are tight, use care not to damage trees with cables. We have laid it out so traps are not in winding paths, but in the event you do need to winch, protect the trees from cables and do not winch to trees.

If you are interested in helping with the development of the IHC off road course, you can email me or let Mark Price know. To use this course, you MUST be a current IHC member.  The owner has made this very clear.....no trespassers!

Here are some pictures of the construction of the course

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If you'd like to help, here's what you can look for!

-we need broken concrete from building and side walk demolitions so we can build more climbing obstacles.

-we need clay from basement excavations.

-we need pre-formed concrete blocks for climbing obstacles to simulate multi-ledges and shelf climbs (and a crane to set them in place).

-we could also use a hand from time to time so we can keep the trails groomed and ready for fun.

Currently, it is H1, H2, and H3 friendly.  As development goes on, we will split trails for "model specific" obstacles.  It has log crawls, moguls, whoop-dees, ledges, a golden crack, a few small steps, off cambers, and a mud pit. If you use a little common sense, there is nothing that will damage your vehicle.  H1's should push there mirrors in before entering the trails as a precaution.  On the trails, you may get a little dirty, but nothing that $3. at the car wash can't take care of.  P.S.  Did you notice that IHC does NOT have a car wash as a sponsor?  I wonder why?  The mud bog has two lanes, the north side being the easy to moderate side, and the south being extreme.  The south side requires a modified H1 to get through.  Even that may be a challenge.  The soil throughout the area is primarily sand and light silt.  It washes off easy so it is a quick clean up afterwards.  I do hope you will take the time to experience the capabilities of your Hummer so if you ever find yourself in need of its abilities, you can safely use it to get through the obstacles presented to you.  Know your limitations and your vehicles limitations.  ALWAYS drive within you abilities.  I look forward to seeing you on the trails.

If you'd like to join the Illiana Hummer Club, and you currently have an H1, H2, or H3 contact the Illiana Hummer Club

If you want to buy a new Hummer H1, H2, or H3, contact Calvin, Jason, or Jennifer