What We Do



 

The Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association Inc., (VA4WDA) was formed in 1981 by a group of concerned four wheel drive owners. Some belonged to local clubs and others just owned a four wheel drive vehicle for recreation purposes. The issue that brought these four-wheelers together was proposed legislation by the Virginia General Assembly that would severely restrict the bumper heights of vehicles in the Commonwealth and make many existing vehicles illegal. We met in the banquet room of the Richmond Golden Corral Steakhouse to address the proposed legislation. From that initial meeting, the need to have an organization to represent the interests of four wheel drive owners inside the state became apparent. Issues like the bumper bill laws, lift kit restrictions, body lifts vs. suspension lifts, inspection procedures, installation of larger than stock tires, tinted windows, and auxiliary lighting all were being addressed by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Police. There needed to be a voice for fourwheelers in that legislative process. As a result of the hard work and dedication of these initial volunteers working with the legislators in the General Assembly, the compromise legislation that we have today, which is reasonable, flexible, and safe, was developed.



Since the beginning, the Association has been a non-profit organization, made up mostly of member clubs, as well as individual members. These members come from inside and outside of Virginia. As time went on, we have added associate members, who are businesses that help us support safe and responsible four wheeling in Virginia. The Association represents a broad spectrum of four wheel drive owners. Hunters, fishermen, racers, trailriders, and show truck owners are but a few of the individuals who own a four wheel drive vehicle and benefit from our work. We are the only state four wheel drive association in Virginia, and we are very proud of our endeavors over the years. Our mailing address and monthly meeting place is based in the Richmond area, but we represent four wheel drive enthusiasts from all over the Commonwealth.


 

All of our efforts are performed by volunteers who work closely with legislators, land managers, national forest officials, automotive dealers. etc., to provide valuable input, influence, expertise, and manpower to help keep public lands open for everyone. The Association believes in organized four wheel drive activities and the multiple use of our public lands. We support the United Four Wheel Drive Associations and the Blue Ribbon Coalition as a state association member. We support the Tread Lightly program and embrace their policies on minimal environmental impact.


 

We have waged many successful battles to keep out public lands open for four wheel drive recreation use. It is a never-ending struggle that we must continue to engage in if we are to enjoy our sport. We continue to write and personally contact our state and local government representatives, in order to have our views considered when legislation and restrictions are put forth. The Association has participated in the Symms Trail Fund Act that provides funding for projects to create, repair, and improve recreational four wheel drive opportunities. Thousands of volunteer hours have been spent in our National Forests improving trails and repairing damage done by natural disasters.



 

We have an annual meeting once a year, usually in the late Winter or early Spring We sponsor an annual trail ride, a weekend picnic/inter-association competition, a float fishing trip on the James River, a Casino Night fundraiser, and other events as voted on by the club representatives. Member club sponsored events are scattered throughout the year, and are usually open to other members of the Association.



 

Many of the events listed above, as well as the ones put on by the member clubs, benefit charitable organizations. A partial listing of the organizations that have received funds from our efforts are, the Virginia Special Olympics, Hunters for the Hungry, the March of Dimes, the America Diabetes Foundation, the Children's Hospital of Virginia, the Hanover County Christmas Mother, Meals on Wheels, the American Red Cross, Adopt-A-Highway, and local fire and rescue squads too numerous to mention. Many of the clubs are the first to champion a local citizen or families who have been devastated by an accident or disaster. In addition to funds, thousands of hours of volunteer time, as well the use of our vehicles in emergency situations, have been contributed. These selfless deeds and contributions largely go unnoticed due to the fact that Virginia four wheelers, like those across the globe, are a generous breed that don't look for adulation or reward, but receive an inner satisfaction knowing that their sacrifices have made a better condition for those less fortunate. Such are the members of the Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association.


We are proud to be a part of an Association made up of individuals who volunteer time and energy to promote a sport we all enjoy. We are always looking for volunteers to contribute a little time to the cause, so our sport can continue to grow and our children can have a place in the outdoors to use and enjoy.



 

We send out a quarterly newsletter, "Four Wheeling in Virginia", informing our members on issues pertaining to four wheeling and upcoming outings. We keep people alerted to issues that could affect the modification and operation of their four wheel drive vehicles. The Association strives to inform our membership of environmental and economic impacts, as well as user conflicts on public land and land access for recreational vehicles. We promote good ethics as well as safety of owning and operating a four wheel drive vehicle.



Remember, it’s up to every four wheeler to do what it takes to keep our sport alive. We can not count on others to do the work for us. We all have to do our part and get the word out. Tread Lightly and happy four wheeling from the Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association.