The 2014 Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Drive Series kicked off its first leg in Pampanga with the participation of off-road driving enthusiasts and pickup lovers.

The off-road driving activity, held on April 25 to 27 at the Eastgate Center, Brgy. San Jose, San Fernando, Pampanga, is now set to move to four other venues across the Philippines.

Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s (IPC) staging of the series, which has editions held in 2008 and 2010, is meant to cater to the continuous growth of the four-wheel drive pickup sector in the country and the rapidly increasing popularity of outdoor recreational activities among Filipinos.

The Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Drive Series also aims to educate the market on the techniques required in order to maximize the advantages afforded by four-wheel drive vehicles.

The Isuzu D-Max venturing tough terrain

During the Pampanga leg, some of the tips offered by the off-road driving experts to drivers participating in the activities included:

  • Depress the vehicle’s accelerator gently to avoid wheel spin and maintain traction
  • Move the seat forward and seatback to a near-upright position for better back, shoulder and neck support, as well as to allow for maximum visibility
  • Drive as slowly as possible but as fast as necessary depending on the terrain to overcome obstacles
  • Avoid depressing the clutch pedal as doing so disengages the engine from the wheels, eliminating engine braking
  • Never “free-wheel” by shifting an automatic transmission to Neutral
  • Reduce tire pressure to improve traction over loose surfaces but, remember to re-inflate again when going back on pavement

The Isuzu D-Max venturing tough terrain

The exercises lined up for participants were 40-degree hill climb done in first gear and in second gear; 40-degree hill climb with a stall midway up; 40-degree descent without braking; lateral climb mount; driving over “elephant holes”; tackling trail ruts; camber right and camber left sides up in 45-degree angles; traversing a roundabout cone; lateral descent ditch crossing; driving over cross axle articulation rails; and going on a steel-inclined plane with rollers.

The Isuzu D-Max on a steep descent

The off-road activities in the Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Drive Series underscored the advantages offered by four-wheel drive vehicles.

“Since the introduction of the Isuzu D-MAX to the local market more than a decade ago, the pickup has steadily built a reputation for being a durable workhorse that one can depend on in both livelihood and leisure—the more than 23,000 proud owners of the model vouch for this,” said IPC President Nobuo Izumina.

“Of this number, a good 20% of them chose the D-MAX’s 4x4 variants, indicating that a lot of them appreciate the added benefits of genuine all-terrain capability. This trend continues in the All-New D-MAX, whose popularity is rising along with that of the 4x4 pickup sector in general.”

After the Pampanga leg, the 2014 Isuzu D-MAX 4x4 Drive Series moves to Mandaue, Cebu on May 9 to 11; then to Bacolod City on May 23 to 25; travels to Cagayan de Oro City on June 6 to 8; and culminates in Davao City on June 20 to 22.