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Hummer H2 Academy

By Michael Cohn

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Hummer H2 Assembly Plant
Training Class at the Academys
After a quick lunch, we sat back down for some classroom training on recovery tools and methods and discussions about trail safety and etiquette. Then it was time to climb back into our Hummers and hit the trails.

This was the part that I had been waiting so long for. My chance to pilot the H2 and really see what it was made of. Having driven Jeeps for so long and just about every other worthy 4x4 on the market today, I was dying to see if the H2 was all hype or if it really could live up to the Hummer name and the claims of the marketeers at GM.

South Bend had been in a drought situation for a month or two and just prior to our arrival, several inches of rain swamped the area. So it wasn't long before we were really able to check out how the H2 would do in the really slick and snotty stuff out in the woods. Great!

Each participant in the academy was given a partner and assigned a trainer. Each group then had "their own" H2 for the duration of the academy. Our H2 was equipped with the optional air suspension package with automatic load leveling and rear height elevation systems. This would prove useful over the next two days, as it allowed our H2 to get over a few humps and out of a few situations where the extra height in the back really helped.

Hummer H2 Academy
Hummer H2 Academy
Hummer H2 Academy
Hummer H2 Academy
Hummer H2 Academy
Hummer H2 Academy

We had a blast for the next hour or two as we wound around the wooded trails and flexed the H2's suspension to the max. Being IFS, I didn't expect the H2 to perform off-road nearly as well as it did. I was not only pleasantly surprised with its capabilities, but I was astounded at the amount of rear-end flex the solid axle had. Despite the flex and front-end travel, the H2, like its big brother, did spend a fair amount of its time off-road on three wheels. But because the truck is so large and well-balanced, we never felt like were going to go over on our side.

Hummer H2 Assembly Plant
The Coopers figure out how to use their Garmin GPS units
Coming from the rough-riding world of short wheelbase Jeeps, it was a nice change of pace to take the H2 out on the trails. The cushy suspension and heavily-padded leather seats of the H2 made driving over rocks and falling off of ledges easy work for our kidneys. The H2 really did have a wonderful ride quality to it. It's just big - real big. Sharp turn-ins are definitely not the H2's forte.

Just when everyone was over their initial jitters and amazement at what their trucks back home were capable of, it was time for another quick class inside. Each of us was given a brand new Garmin GPS V, complete with MapSource CD, instructional video and a GPS navigation book. We were given an overview about how GPS systems work and were taught the basics of GPS-based navigation. We were then given a coordinate out on the grounds to go find and test our skills.

Once everyone showed up at the waypoint (some much later than others), we all headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up and headed out to Houlihan's for dinner. Everyone chowed down on whatever they wanted to eat and drink, we all chatted about the day's events, and the Hummer gang, of course, picked up the tab.

 

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