2013 Canning Stock Report: Three VDJ Land Cruisers

Submitted: Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:19
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We just completed a fantastic adventure over the Canning Stock in two VDJ78 Troopies and one VDJ79 Double Cab WorkMate. Based on the lack of tracks, we suspect our group was the first across this season, although we did encounter another few vehicles at Well 33 (nice couples in an 80 series and a Patrol).


It was a bit wet in the south, with only a few places lacking an established bypass. The one spot resulted in a nice stuck and a few hours to get those heavy machines winched through, including about 10 MaxTrax.


Well 33 is really an oasis in the desert and there are new(er) accommodations, a well-stocked store and plenty of diesel at $3.40L. Part of me wishes it all didn't exist and we needed to be fully self-sufficient the entire 1,800KM.


The track was a bit more challenging then expected, and we engaged diff-locks a few times. Overall, it is the distance and remoteness that makes the route difficult, not any one climb, dune or bog.

You are all blessed to live in such a beautiful country, so sparsly populated (particularly in the center). We have driven over 6,000kms of dirt since arriving, including the distance of the Outback Way and the Tanami Road. For navigation, we primarily used a HEMA Navigator and AU 1:250,000 topos, along with a back-up paper map, spare GPS and compass.

The night sky was breathtaking!


I have enjoyed researching on ExplorOz and found the reports and information invaluable. I thought a few images and a current report might give back a little. If I can help answer any questions, please ask. Overall, the track is in good shape and after driving around the world a few times, I can attest it is one of the earth's greatest overland adventures!

Scott Brady
Arizona, USA
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Reply By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:23

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:23
My apologies for the duplicate thread. The forum indicated a server error on the first submission, so I tried again. Maybe a mod can clean one of them up?
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Reply By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:28

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 16:28
One more shot of the track. There were a few cross-axle climbs that brought out the smiles and cameras.


Kurt, one of the team helping with the stuck. I was glad the Canning got us properly boged, it just added to the adventure.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew L (QLD) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 17:53

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 17:53
Very nice Scott.
The CSR is a brilliant magnificent remote part of Australia, I did it in 2010.
More people are getting out there to it, so unfortunately that also brings a bigger element of morons as well that may damage aspects.

As remote as you felt, I bet you found cigarette butts ...

What timeframe did you do Wiluna to Billiluna..?
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:38

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:38
The track was exceptionally clean overall. Hardly a single sign of trash in the entire length, save for the odd burned out vehicle.

The track hardly looks used, the brush so close to the vehicle and the spinifex so tall the route appeared little driven in years. Your deserts are quite hardy.

We didn't encounter a single vehicle on the track in nearly two weeks (the ones we met were at the Kunawarritji Community).
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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:16

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:16
You bewdy Scott, stone the crows that's a great report. You did it in the heat too. But you will miss the daytime sky and the annular eclipse at sunrise on May 10th at Well 19.

By the looks of things you've done a Gall Boys and are still driving and getting bogged after dark. LOL. By the way what is the logo on your doors?... W
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Follow Up By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:20

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:20
PS forgot to say that Tropical Cyclone Rusty dumped up to 100mm rain on March 1 and 2 south of say Well 33 in an event that is extremely rare. How were the widflowers?.... W
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:44

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:44
We got boged before sunset and just pushed on getting unstuck into the evening. Great fun and not a particularly difficult recovery, just time consuming given the length of water/mud. We have a few hundred meters of recovery ropes and three 9,500 winches.

The logo is for our around the world trip. We have completed a circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere with those Land Cruisers and are just starting the southern lap. Africa is next and we ship out of Melbourne.

My dad flys into Alice Springs in a few days and we are going to take our time exploring the route south. Most of the team flys out of Alice on the 14th, with just a few of us to get them to Melbourne for loading into the containers and some work at ARB.

Thanks for the kind words and welcome. Australia is a very special place.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:32

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:32
Scott do you have a web site at all?
Interested in your truck setup & fit out etc.

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Reply By: Off-track - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:57

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 18:57
Top job, Scott! Keep the pics coming and I also would be interested in following your travels through your website, assuming you have one (I'm pretty confident you do!).
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Reply By: troopy 47 - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 19:06

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 19:06
Hi Scott, we also have a VDJ78 and we are doing the tanami and GBR in the next 6-8 weeks I will also be interested in more photos and more info on your troopy set up. We run BFG all terrains , front rear ARB diff locks , suspension upgrade by ARB and all the normal accessories what ARB store are you going to.
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 20:06

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 20:06
I just finished the Tanami a few days ago. Easy 2wd track. I did find a nice campsite on top of a small hill just north of Quartz Ridge.

It sounds like your truck is perfect for that route. In all my travels, I have found the most important modification is the one to the driver - mechanical sympathy!

We had all of the ARB accessories to the VDJ78s installed in the US, but the WorkMate 79 had everything fitted by ARB Cooper's Plains in Brisbane. They were fantastic.
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Reply By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 19:57

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 19:57


Most of the details on the modifications to the trucks and our trip is in the print publication Overland Journal (US based). I am the publisher.

The VDJ78 is a serious exploration vehicle, I believe one of the best made. The double cab is in the same class and exceptionally robust. We have a lot of seat time in Jeeps, Defenders, Patrols and G-Wagons, and as everyone knows, each has their strengths and weaknesses. For this type of travel, which is global overlanding, a Land Cruiser is arguably the best choice, given dealer infrastructure and proven reliability. A Jeep will have better performance, a Defender will look better in photos ;), and the G-Klass is a fantastic compromise, but ultimately lacks the dealer network of Toyota.

For these vehicles, the goal was to improve performance with an OME suspension and larger diameter BFG Mud Terrain tires (255/85 R16). Then we addressed animal strike protection and self-recovery. Most of the attention and customization was related to the camping and storage systems. We sleep inside the trucks on custom composite drawers and cabinets that allow for a flat surface and lots of secure storage. We have low-profile, light weight racks and some pretty serious LED and HID lighting.

Ultimately, these trucks are one of the best tools for the job, which is to explore the remote and rugged places in the world - so far, they have been flawless (50,000+ kms of driving around the Northern Hemisphere, including Alaska to eastern Canada, NordKapp and crossing Russia, ending with the Road of Bones.



I am happy to answer any specific questions, but Australians wrote the book on remote desert travel. You guys have some of the best vehicles and kit on the planet!

Scott
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Reply By: Member - VickiW - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 20:02

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 20:02
Scott the pictures are brilliant.

I'd love to do the CSR - maybe after my project ends next year if I can arrange company.

Best wishes for your journey.
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Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 21:19

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 21:19
G'day there Scott. Followed your fitout on Expedition Portal and was wondering when you'd grace our shores. Glad you enjoyed the Canning. It is a truly amazing drive. Did you stop in at Durba Spring? If so, what was the water situation like in the pools there? Did you take any of the side excursions such as Helena or Rudall River?

Where too from here mate?

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 21:25

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 21:25
We enjoyed a long afternoon and camp at Durba - beautiful campsite. The pools were nearly full.

My dad flys into Alice in a few days, his first trip out of the US since the 1980s. Really excited to travel with him at a relaxed pace. We are going to do Kings Canyon, Finke Gorge then the Oodnadatta Track along the old Ghan railway to Lake Eyre and Lake Torrens. A night at the Prairie Hotel in Paranchilna before making the run to Melbourne. I will be in Melbourne for a week or so getting the trucks inspected/serviced before slipping them into containers for Africa.

Here is a shot from the Great Central Road - I sure love Australia!!!
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Reply By: Mick O - Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 21:58

Friday, Apr 12, 2013 at 21:58
Mate good to hear about conditions at Durba.

If you're spending the night at Parachilna, make sure you head through the Flinders Ranges on your way out. The Geological Trail is not to be missed (The turn into Brachina is 19 km south of Parachilna) especially the scenic drive through the Bunyeroo Valley. Bloody Magnificent country.




If you're looking a for a nice camp spot on the Oodnadatta Track, slip in to Anna Creek siding about 12 km north of William Creek. Turn in is at 28°48'33.91"S 136° 7'21.98"E. It's a fantastic old rail siding. Buildings, while they have no roof are a great place to spend the night. Buildings are at 28°49'30.13"S 136° 6'23.03"E about 2.7 km in.





Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 09:35

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 09:35
Thank you Mick! We will camp there for sure
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Reply By: Off-track - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 00:02

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 00:02
Gday Scott, I have a simple question (hopefully not a dumb one). How come your vehicles are right hand drive? Have you kept the same vehicles or do you buy them in each country you visit?
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 09:16

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 09:16
At the time we purchased the vehicles, the V8 Turbo Diesel was only available in RHD. I actually enjoy driving RHD, even in LHD countries. I drive a RHD 70 series and J8 military-spec Jeep in the US.
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Reply By: troopy 47 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 08:53

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 08:53
Scott, where did you get that rear step on the spare wheel would like to have one on mine bit easier than trying to climb up on the rear wheel, would really like to have a look at your vehicle is it possible to catch up when the vehicles are in for service.
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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 09:32

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 09:32
They will be at Kilsyth for a few weeks. If we can connect, I am happy to show you the rigs. I will post up a few times I will be at ARB HQ.
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Reply By: Ozrover - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:27

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 10:27
Scott,

Great pics & write up on your CSR trip, as well as your choice of vehicle I couldn't agree more.

It's a shame that your not crossing the Simpson Desert while your over here, but I suppose that your on a tight time budget.

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Follow Up By: Scott_Brady - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 11:47

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 11:47
There are a few trips I want to make on my next visit. Simpson Crossing, Kimberly and Tasmania.

I have been to the Flinders and Stryzlecki (sp?), as well as Frasier Island on my last trip in 2011.

I need to move to AU for a few years - seriously! :)

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Reply By: troopy 47 - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:25

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 19:25
Thanks Scott , I will keep an eye out on his forum , and that would be great if we could catch up and look at your vehicle. Enjoy your great journey.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 21:09

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 21:09
Scott your trip and vehicles are obviously of great interest to so many on here.
Why not start a blog so we can get more details?

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Reply By: mikehzz - Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 22:07

Saturday, Apr 13, 2013 at 22:07
Yes good stuff Scott. Nice pics and story. I enjoy your work on Expedition Portal. Cheers.
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Reply By: Scott_Brady - Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 09:31

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013 at 09:31
The trucks are all safe at ARB in Melbourne and ready to slip in the containers.



Since I had a few spare days, I borrowed a Patrol and enjoyed the Victorian High Country, including the Billy Goat and Valencia tracks - brilliant!




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