4 x 4 Offroad
Four legs become four wheels
A former dairy farmer who turned from four legs to four wheels is expecting a busy end to the year as he expands his successful off road driving business.
The launch of Deepdale Off Road’s brand new website - created with the help of the Enterprise Agency – comes just five years after Graeme Gill sold his 50 cows and asked for planning permission to use part of his farmland for the new venture.
Deepdale, based at Smartgill Farm, Barnard Castle, is now in its sixth year of operation and Graeme has hundreds of men and women from across the country driving his Land Rovers on the 20 acre site each year.
“I love every minute of instructing but I have had some experiences that could be described as character-building”, Graeme reveals. “And a lot of them have been with a man behind the wheel!
“Women tend to stand back and examine the challenges. In my experience they also listen a lot more to the instructors and consequently end up driving a lot better,” he said.
“Men have a much more simple approach – they ask themselves ‘How fast can I do this?”, Graeme added. “The results can sometimes be a little hair-raising."
The planning consent is now permanent and the new website plays an integral part in Graeme’s plans to promote the different areas of the business even further – which operates with Land Rover Defender vehicles weighing more than two tonnes. The Agency helped Deepdale to access Business Link IT consultants and funding for the new website.
“We have a range of 4x4 driving packages which are purely for pleasure and the thrill of the experience. A lot of people like to give our vouchers as birthday or Christmas gifts,” Graeme explains. “But we also offer training courses for individuals wanting to learn how safely to drive their 4x4 off road – and they can bring their own vehicles to our site for instruction if they wish.
“Our final market is providing training programmes for companies whose employees have to drive company vehicles on challenging terrain that requires specialist skills. We have trained drivers to take vehicles on beaches, cross-country and even down a mine that had 20 miles of underground roads,” Graeme added.
Sue Ellwood, Agency Account Manager has been working with the company for five years.
“We started work with Deepdale offering IT support,” Sue explains. “As the company has grown we have become more involved and were delighted to help them secure the funding needed for their excellent new website.
“The company is a great ambassador for the region and we’re looking forward to helping them grow even further,” she added.
Deepdale Off Road can be contacted on 01833 630 802 or at www.deepdaleoffroad.co.uk