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Table of Contents

Section 4: Operating Instructions

Steering Refer to Figure 4-5

Steering: The vehicle steers by pivoting about the center swivel yoke with the aid of a hydraulic cylinder.

IMPORTANT: Become familiar with the steering capabilities of the Gondo before putting the vehicle into service. Be certain to practice steering going forward and backing up as it has a different feel than normal front wheel steered vehicles.

Center Swivel Yoke

Clean off mud residue stuck to rotating drive shafts and to the tires as quickly as possible. Mud clinging to rotating parts causes and imbalance that can damage vehicle components. Also clean the brake drums of mud to reduce premature brake wear.

Watery Terrain Always determine the depth of water before driving through it. Do not drive through water that is higher than the bottom of the floor board. Always enter the water slowly and continue traveling slowly through the water to minimize splashing. The vehicle could stall if the electrical system gets wet. Never allow water to get up around the engine. A wet engine is likely to stall or become damaged.

Power Steering Hydraulic Cylinder

Test the brakes for stopping capabilities once through the water. Allow the brakes to dry before proceeding if braking capabilities are reduced. Brakes can be dried faster by driving the vehicle slowly on a level surface while applying light pressure to the brake pedal.


Figure 4-5

Driving Conditions

Terrains vary creating different driving situations. The following are circumstances you might encounter and suggestions on how to operate the Gondo safely. Always approach each new situation with extreme caution until you have become experienced in handling your vehicle.

We recommend for your safety and the safety of others that you allow only operators experienced in driving a standard transmission, understand all potential dangers of operating this vehicle, has studied this manual, viewed the video safety tape supplied with this vehicle and has received actual hands-on instructions from an experienced operator.

Sandy Terrain Tires with high air pressure perform better in loose sand. Also, stay in low gear to avoid spinning the wheels. Always maintain vehicle control, don’t make sharp turns and avoid hard braking when possible.

Muddy Terrain Better traction is achieved by accelerating the vehicle slowly to avoid spinning the wheels. Making sharp turns and hard braking can cause the vehicle to skid out of control. Let up on the accelerator pedal and stop when skidding out of control.

Snowy and icy Terrain Like muddy terrain, accelerate the vehicle slowly to avoid spinning the wheels. Avoid making sharp turns and hard braking. Let up on the accelerator pedal and stop when skidding out of control. Always maintain a steady slow speed allowing time to slow down and stop. Remember slick surfaces require more time to slow down, make turns and stops.

Uneven Terrain The Gondo’s center articulating steering enables the four driving wheels to maintain contact in various uneven terrain situations. Because of this, the vehicle is capable of maneuvering over rough surfaces, up and down steep inclines. Avoid operating on excessively steep hills and especially on hills that are steeper than 15 degrees.

Climbing Steep Hills Always approach a steep hill straight on in 1st (low gear) to reduce engine strain and minimize stalling. Continue straight up the hill in low gear moving right or left only to go around obstacles. Do not attempt to turn the vehicle around during a steep climb. If the vehicle stalls or should you decide to stop the climb, place vehicle in reverse gear and back down the hill slowly and as straight as possible to a safe location. If needed, apply the brakes very lightly to assist slowing down vehicle’s descent. Hard braking can cause total loss of control and a rollover situation. Don’t depress the clutch while backing down except when bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.

Maximum traction and control is achieved while traveling up a steep incline in 1st gear at the lowest possible speed. Also traveling slowly allows more time to correct a dangerous situation.


4400EX Heavy Duty Off Road Utility Vehicle 720-051M


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