3 Dunes - A taste of The Canning

There have been a quite a few enquiries about the Canning of late with lots of members planning trips out that way this year. I've pulled a bit of stuff together that gives an idea of what dealing with the Canning dunes can be like. While it can be representative of the many hundreds of dunes you'll cross on this trip, sand is only part of the whole driving experience, as are corrugations.

I've put everything I've created and loaded to Vimeo in respect to the canning in one folder now for anyone who wishes a look at broader conditions along the length of this great track. Hopefully I'll put something more substantial together about Durba in the next week or so.


Canning Album - Vimeo









Cheers

Mick





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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 07:24

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 07:24
Great videos Mick, thanks for sharing.


We often see questions on EO about track conditions, tyres, can I take a camper and so on. The 3 Dunes Taste of the Canning video goes along way to helping people understand the driving conditions, how many runs ups and side tracks they'll encounter and the corrugations.


One thing botanists would be relieved about is the track side acacia is not an endangered species!


cheers


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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 08:59

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 08:59
Cheers Phil. Looking forward to getting back out there. Yes if it ever was declared endangered, I think I’d just send the CSIRO over to Equinox’s place to vacuum his ute. He could repopulate the entire western deserts biosphere purely from the botanical trace he collects in a single trip

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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 23:08

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 23:08
You should see my front garden, when all the plants mature - I'll feel at home at home amongst the desert ecosystem.




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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 23:17

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 23:17
Now that's funny!!
Told ya to wind up the windows Al :))

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 07:58

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 07:58
Great stuff Mick, and a pretty fair indication of what to expect out there. You didn't mention the scolloping on the dunes....when the whole vehicle is thrown bodily up and down and even Troopies break their springs!

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 08:56

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 08:56
There is always so much going on in the cabin John. As I’m sure you know only too well, the amount of concentration needed in these driving conditions is all consuming and exhausting. The need to constantly assess the conditions every moment, judge the approach, power off at the top, watch for issues on the track and any other approaching vehicles that cannot be seen until your bonnet drops over that crest…struth, I need a nap just remembering it all ;-)

Yep the scalloping (I think I called it Runnelling…I don’t know where I got that word by the way), is a real problem, particularly if you have adjustable shocks wound down almost zero damper for the corrugations. A very real chance of breaking something alright.

Some might also pick up that “tram tracking” effect when your vehicle is sucked into the furrows left by previous vehicles. It can be a pretty sudden move sideways that can bang you into the window or passenger with a whiplash like movement.

It’s all good fun though and truly a test of machinery and the folks who drive them.

Just hanging to get back out there. Mick
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 17:45

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 17:45
hi mick
great stuff brings back good memories of crs
we called them-- whoopeydoo's
what you term runnelling/scolloping
yes i agree it calls for continued concerted concentration even if you have been on csr before each trip the wheel tracks are left in different conditions by every vehicle some wide some narrow the worst condions that i encountered was when someone gets bogged half way up a dune and leaves the bog holes with out filling them in that has a big chance of breaking the next vehicles springs
cheers
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:39

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:39
Unfortunately a far to common occurrence mate.

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 13:38

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 13:38
Just like all the "holes" we found in the Simpson. Mainly done by twits getting bogged with a trailer in tow. Luckily most were on the "down" side for us. One couple towing a T-van bragged that it took them a whole hour to get up one dune. No wonder the SA Government says they do not want trailers to be taken through these sandy places. Some people couldn't even get out of Pitt Street.

So far I haven't seen anything that is unsurmountable and could turn us away. Without belittling it, the CSR appears a much longer version of what we found in the Simpson (WAA and French) and other deserts with the dunes having longer approach and departure slopes. Corrugations, undulations, narrow track (more pinstriping), long grass, track side stakes, large dunes and solitude and of course no supplies and a long way to get help if needed.

Still looking to drive the CSR solo though. We are ready but the "boss" hasn't got enough leave left. Maybe next year. But I am running out of years AAAAAGGGGHHH. They only gave me five!!!!!

Thanks Mick. The videos really paint a good picture. It allows one to judge how one would go on the trip. As they say - a say picture says a thousand words and a video even more.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 20:31

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 20:31
PJR do you have any evidence for your claims re trailers. More likely just parrotting the hype you have heard I suspect.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 21:27

Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 at 21:27
The SA Government states in the Desert Parks Pass Handbook that it is so. Also I think that the many years since 1968, when I drove my first 4wd, following trailers and towing trailers from one ton backyard ones to 80 ton tank transporters, is enough for me. I am not parroting others and object to your insinuation that I know nothing.

Official claim of damage;
Here are two quotes form the SA Government Desert Pass Handout that they send out to all who apply for a pass and it's there in black and white that they do damage the environment and that they recommend that vans and trailers are not taken.

On page 18 it states in bold type the following "It is strongly recommended that you leave your caravan and trailers at home".

And at the end of the same paragraph it states "You may be experienced in towing and are able to get your trailer through difficult terrain but you will cause detrimental, environmental and track damage".

Is that what you wanted. I would call that an official statement.

Do you want me to scan the page in and post it?

Personal experience in support of my claim;
I can only gather from the way that you worded your question that you have never bothered to actually watch and observe the difference in track damage done by a car struggling with a trailer and the damage done by a car struggling without a trailer. And I am not talking about your easy tracks like the Strezleckie or the Birdsville tracks or a simple run up the Oodnadatta track. Watch what happens when a car is struggling to get grip up a steep hill and the wheels are slipping. Or one struggling to get off the beach or up a big sand dune. It's there for anyone who cares to bother to look for.

Phil
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:41

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:41
Hi Mick, entertaining and educational as usual. The 3 Dunes vid definately shows that it is less arduous travelling north to south.

Will get to find out for myself one of these years. Knowing my luck though when I eventually have the time the track will either be closed off to the public or bituminised.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:34

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:34
Mate I wouldn't be sure on that. I've done a lot of it both ways (that sounds so wrong doesnt it!), I mean in both directions and the degree of difficulty is very similar. Thankfully there is such a variety of terrain along a track of that length. It aint all sand.

You'll get there mate.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 22:38

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 22:38
Agree with Mick, north south or south north its about the same in my view.

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 23:12

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 23:12
Having never had the fortune to have travelled the track, I can only lay claim knowledge gleamed from reading various comments from those who have driven the track. In recent Forum comments a number of members and others made comment that North to South is a bit easier because of the shape of the dunes.

Looking at Mick's video it appeared to me that the southern side of the dune was steeper, more cut up and tended to have sharper bends at the bottoms. Now that is based on the 3 dunes shown I know there are hundreds, so in hindsight the 3 shown may not have been indicative of the rest.

One day, and I hope it isn't that far off I might have the opportunity to drive it myself.

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 23:25

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 23:25
The north side is generally the same. The downward side of the dune doesn't seem so rough as your not driving down hill with the same level of power you use to get up, you just roll down gently.
Condition will mostly depend on the amount of traffic heading whichever way at any given period.
You just have to take it as it comes regardless :)



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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:59

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 10:59
Mate your video editing skillis get better everytime.
Well done, enjoyed them heaps.

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:31

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:31
Cheers Johnno old boy. I did have some footage of a tall grumpy bloke under his cruiser chekcing tyres just before that big sandhill but I lost that. Glad you made it home lol.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 12:10

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 12:10
Hello Mick
Another fine installment !
Is it possible to save your Vimeos to my computer or do I have to log on each time to view.
Sometimes it is not possible to have an internet connection.
Kind regards
Stan
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:20

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:20
Yes you can. I've sent you an MM with the how to;

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: Member - GeeTee (NT) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 17:29

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 17:29
Hi Mick O, Would also like to save some of your videos. Could you also MM me as well

Thanks
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:40

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:40
Done GT. MM on the way.

Mick
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Follow Up By: Member - GeeTee (NT) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 15:28

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 15:28
Thanks Mick !!!

GeeTee
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Reply By: baz&pud (tassie) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:49

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 13:49
G'day Mick
Love watching your vids in relation to the CSR, as it's an area i (not we) would love to visit, but being on the wrong end of being a grey nomad i don't think it's going to happen.
Keep up the good work for me lol.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 14:01

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 14:01
Never say Never Baz. The good thing with the Canning is that you can get off it once you're on it. There are routes on and off at the Gary Junction (Telfer Mine) Road and the Talawana which effectivly break the journey into thirds.

Rest assured there will be plenty of EO-philes out there to carry the mantle.

Cheers mate and a great year of travels to you for 2013.

Mick
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Reply By: Candace S. - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 14:34

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 14:34
Why would anyone be driving around on that terrain without reducing pressure or engaging 4WD? Do they for some reason WANT to get bogged? Great videos, thanks.
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 15:01

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 15:01
Hi Candace,

Not everyone understands about letting your tyres down. On the CSR we encountered them time and time again. Some almost get hysterical when you suggest they let their tyres down - because dad always said keep your tyres hard.


One guy had trouble time after time getting up a dune - we explained letting your tyres down - he then let us through - the next time he caught up with us, he said it sure makes a difference letting them down. When asked what pressure he now had them on - down to 35psi he said.


Another old timer struggled mentally with letting them down, letting them down a few lbs then trying again, Eventually he got to the top, then stopped right on the crest and pumped them up again.


We found others saying but how do you pump them up again - then they say we haven't got a compressor.


What chance have we got keeping the tracks in a reasonable condition with people not understanding or being prepared to understand the basics of desert, dune and bush travel.
Then there's the damage they are doing to their vehicles because of the harsh ride.

cheers


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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 15:10

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 15:10
No Candace, in many cases it's lack of knowledge or experience and with others it's just plain pig headedness. I've seen organised tour leaders insisting groups leave their tyres up at 35 psi. I've seen a bloke swear that skinny MRF's with 25mm thick sidewalls are the only way to go and that any wide radial tyre was inappropriate for the Canning and off track work.

There's a million reasons for silliness

Glad you enjoyed it.

Mick

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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 17:40

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 17:40
Yes it is interesting. My vehicle weighs a lot, I'll leave it at that, but I've never had to take a run-up, in fact for even the most difficult dunes, I've been able to do almost all of them in first gear low range or perhaps second gear low range at such a slow speed the vehicle does not bounce. Any tour leader that insists on 35 psi needs to retire.

I, start my clients off at 350mm footprint, typically 50% of on-road and if any of my clients are having any sort of tyre slip I tell them "drop 3 psi more" until they stop having trouble. We then stay under 50 kph- actually well under because in the dune country of the Canning you can;t actually go that speed most of the time due to corrugations or scrub, or rocky sections. We take the rocks very slow.

But we still encounter people who having just gone past us in the opposite direction at break-neck speed proceed to tell their convoy how we tour groups "go hell for leather" and "don't even stop to look around or take photos."

I had a bit of fun informing one of them we were doing half their speed and that one of our participants had informed me he took over 1000 photographs the previous day alone!

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:38

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:38
Yes I'd be keen to see how my new Rig handles the dunes with her new tyres and the diff locks. I reckon with the right footprint I might be able to walk up the dunes as well. Unfortunately for me, the Nissan didn't have lockers and that particular beast was the only dune to stop me on the whole trip. The sand was simply so loose and so deep as is probably evident from the video.

I actually encountrered the Toyota Landcruiser Club from (name withheld to protect the innocent) o the Canning a few years back. Their leader had insisted that 80 kph was the best speed to take the corrugatuions because you got on top of them. He and a lot of his crew were through their original and spare shocks by well 40 and they'd only come on off the Talawana.

It's amazing how many different doctrines there are out there and everyone swears that theirs is the one true way. Thank goodness I know mine is! ;-)

Cheers David.

Mick
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 08:07

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 08:07
Here I am going "hell for leather" :-) over a dune with convoy behind me.




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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:16

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:16
Last time I did the csr a tour operator starting with M and ending in I, insisted all of their cars run at 35. They were also travelling way too fast!

Poor buggers were changing tyres and shocks regularly.

After crossing savoury creek, I noticed little dots of fuel in the middle of the track. It was diesel. I radioed ahead to this tour that went past about half an hour early. Caught up to the them and a Tojo 100 with a long range tank had a leak in their second diesel tank. He was in the middle of the convoy and no one else noticed this !

At Durba Springs this same group, were again repairing tyres and replacing shocks. The trip leader, a lady in a Patrol ute, had both of her fridges stop working. I approached her about her tyre pressures and her convoy, and the response was not what you would expect from a female. She had travelled all over oz, and 35 was a good pressure. I told her I was running 17 cold in the front, and 22 cold in the rear, and not one single issue. Suggested she rethink her advice to her travellers.

This turned me off tagalongs (not yet needed to join one but have thought about it). If I ever go down that path of a tagalong, I would scrutinise the tour operator to the nth degree to see if they really knew what they were talking about.

Brett....
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Follow Up By: DiscoTourer - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:17

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 20:17
By the way Mick O .....great video as usual!
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:04

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:04
Thats really good advice Brett.

I met, lets say "a certain" tour group, in many places. Once as we left Wiluna they were coming in with 14 out of 15 vehicles with no shocks left. I met the lady leader one day on the Laura coach road leading her convoy. I stopped, as you do, driver's window down to say "G'day {name removed}" to which she replied "who the f%$k are you?"

I can't imagine how someone could travel remote parts of Australia and not learn anything, but what is worse, teach others bad habits and what is more, be so rude.

Then there is another operator who I once asked to stop putting sawn off lengths of wood in the mud a Palm Creek on Cape York- the same operator who yelled very very loudly at his clients "shut the f%$3k up while I am talking!" he told me to garn ..... well you can guess what he said.

Still let's not tar us all with the same brush.
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:11

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:11
Yes and great videos Mick, and I wasn't being critical of your methods, a dune can stop us all sometimes particularly when dry and hot, and there is no shame in having several goes at it as long as we all look after the track.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:04

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:04
Hi Mick

Another well put together video that shows it very well. You always go well out of your way when putting them together and the end results speak for themselves.


Thanks Mick and lets hope that those that need educating take notice.



Cheers


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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:14

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:14
Cheers Stephen. The best way to get educated is to get out there and give it a go I reckon!

Mick
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Reply By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:42

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 at 21:42
Top stuff Mick.

Brought back all the memories - thanks.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:17

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:17
Glad you enjoyed it JB.

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Member - Rob Mac (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 00:55

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 00:55
G'day Mick, good videos of CSR, I often wish I had a video camera back in '84, I only had a 35mm slr camera. I had a 1983 Landrover long wheel base hard top with a Isuzu 3.9 (4bd1) heading north from Newman we headed out on the Ethel Creek road to stock route I vaguley remember we came across a few vehicles on the Tallawanwa Track that were heading out to Newman, and then a few more on the CSR. We did not have too many corrugations to contend with, only a few bad scallops/divots created by "farmer brown and his dog" who was heading south before us( there was a lot of holes on the north side of the dunes) I have a few photos from that trip but am limited to the amount I can put on this forum Excuse the spelling, I cannot seem to find how to edit the spelling on the photo insert
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:20

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:20
Thanks Rob. I have a look at my photos from the early 80's and it all seems so pedestrian these days. It's good to see that something like the Canning remains as a true challenge in every sense of the word.

Cheers Mick
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Reply By: Candace S. - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 02:01

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 02:01
All the replies and follow-ups here are interesting!

Wow, how badly has a group abused their vehicles if they require changing all the shocks along the way?! I can see ruining one occasionally, but that many?

I've done quite a bit of banging around in the deserts and mountains in my part of the world without ever trashing one. But I take my time, and run about 15 PSI cold if I'm driving on anything really rough. I often drop it to at least 20 if the road will be any rougher than a graded road plus I'll be on it for awhile. So I spend a little time airing up when I'm done, but I'm sure that's less time than it takes to replace shocks in the middle of nowhere. =)
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Follow Up By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 08:15

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 08:15
It is surprising how easy it is to destroy shock absorbers on the Canning corrugations, it doesn't take any determined abuse other than to drive too fast, especially if you do it for long periods of time. They simply get too hot and destroy the seals. The section from Georgia bore, north to Well 34 is typically the worst. We've been doing 15 kph on that section and had people overtake us quite fast- doing about I would say 70 kph or more. From the rear I could see their shock absorbers copping a pounding. When we got to Kunawarritiji they were there with destroyed shocks.
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Reply By: Mark T6 - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 09:56

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 09:56
I am part of a crew of 4 vehicles doing the CSR in July, thanks for this greatly appreciated.

We have done the Simpson Crossing so are used to, and well prepared for Dunes.

We (like many on here) are old farts, and have learnt long ago....pressures down, take it easy.

I did Cape York last year, and was horrified to have groups of vehicles going around me at 110-120 KPM loaded to the hilt, but just as the last poster said, I saw most of them in Weipa getting new shockies.

I have the greatest respect for our country and a huge respect for my vehicle as without it I am buggered.

Thanks for sharing
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:21

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 at 12:21
Enjoy the trip Mark. I'll be part of a group out that way somewhere myself in July. Can't wait.


Cheers Mick
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