Its one to think about,...For some of us!

Submitted: Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:23
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Can your camping companion , Wife, girlfriend,Partner, who ever Drive your 4by?:

I ask this as near knocking a eye out this week walking into a sharp twig protruding from a shoulder high shrub, got me thinking if this had happened out bush when in the defender, then I would be in strife, as she has no idea how to drive a manual, and never will, its the way it is!....Auto is the safer bet for us if we decide to go remote, and really have not thought about it that much, until the other day, when a simple little accident can change things dramatically.


Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Member - Burra - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:34

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:34
seeing as my wife used to be a driving instructor with the reserves,I reckon she can handle the defender on and off road.
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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:39

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:39
Lucky Bugger!..Lol


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 17:05

Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 17:05
Which unit was your wife an instructor in Burra, not 4 Trg Gp by chance?
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Follow Up By: Member - Burra - Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 17:52

Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 17:52
No I wasn't. I was a member of 2/10 MDM Regt and did my training through 7 Transport Sqn and Army school of Transport
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:34

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:34
My wifes first real drive of our Patrol was straight across the Simpson with no-one else in the car.

I was close by on my trailbike giving helpful instructions over the UHF radio.

She only got stuck once which surprized me.

When I praised her days laterfor such good driving , she confessed and said my mate went over to her after the first day and said don't forget this car has twin lockers.

Next morning she banged them both on and never switched them off.

Always wondered why the front end was a bit sloppy after that trip !
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:44

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:44
Mate your blessed, don't worry about the patrol front end ,,she could save your life!.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:51

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:51
Your right Axle - even if they don't do it regularly everyone with a license in your car should be able drive it a bit (and use the radio).

But 3 days straight , by herself , and it was a manual , what a legend.

Don't tell anyone else - but I brought a second remote for our TV , just so she could have one to play with to.

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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 21:50

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 21:50
Robin,
You miserable bugger. Put her on, she should have her own TV, not just a remote.
What a top lady. Mine can't back the 4 be out of a shopping center carpark without scatching 3 other cars in the process...(:=((

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Member - Chris_K - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:41

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:41
My beautiful wife (she sometimes reads the Forum) ;) is an excellent offroad driver. the important thing is probably to share some off road driving regularly. I do get the privilege of digging her out though, when things go slightly pear shaped.

If the partner only has an auto license though...can't really help...although some professional driver training in a manual sometimes would help?

Chris
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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:54

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 18:54
Chris their weird creatures as we all know!( hope she's not reading forum this week), but you know when they say "they can't", and you know they could",My trouble is now! to OLD to CONVINCE.....LOL.



Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:24

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:24
An excellent post Axle, and something John and I are very aware of. We have both done our 4WD driver training and routinely share the driving, usually swapping over every couple of hours irrespective of the terrain. But the most we tow behind our definitely manual Troopy is a light trailer - with a caravan (which we don't have and probably never will) it might be different.

There are plenty of ladies who drive but it constantly amazes me that there are so many who don't. No doubt there are a number of reasons why they don't, but I have a sneaking suspicion that their other halves are sometimes not very encouraging or simply don't want to relinquish the wheel. Often we have heard that "he" isn't a good passenger and he likes to drive ... when asked what they would do if he was incapacitated they just look blank. We have met more than one woman in the NW of WA whose husband had had a heart attack - they were stuck waiting for family members to fly in from the east to drive them to Perth or wherever their husbands had been taken to hospital.

When planning a trip, spares are a priority item to pack. Why is it that so many of us set off on a big trip without a spare driver?

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:42

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:42
Hi Val , ..Yes it is a issue , and complacenty can rule a brain sometimes, I've always been the drover and never had a problem for years,..Hence Wife has had no issues either, ...But have to stop now and say Hey!..What if something does go wrong?,

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:47

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:47
Axle, I missed an important point.

4x4 driving is FUN!!! (blokes know that, don't they)

Why would any woman want to miss out?

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member - VickiW - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:06

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:06
What a great post. Such a safety issue but also why should the husband have all the fun!

But I have to say the other half may not always be that encouraging. (criticism, even while saying you should drive more often, does not make it a fun experience).

I'd encourage any women wanting to learn to drive their 4x4 to get out in it without the husband (or put a muzzle on him). Just being by yourself and being responsible for making the decisions about how to drive a track does a lot for your confidence & enjoyment.

At the TLCC driver training weekends they always get the wife do the driving part of the training before the husband. They found if the husbands did it the first day they discouraged the wife from doing the driver training the next day.
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Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:17

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:17
Lol Vicki, ...But what about poor ol hubby if the wife does a excellent job first?...LOL...."Just get over it'.. you would say! .haha.

Fair enough ,both have got to be capable drivers to make a safer situation.


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 21:56

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 21:56
Personally I have no problem with the good lady driving off road. It's just the thought of trying to change a clutch half way up a sand dune somewhere along the CSR that gives me cold shivers....lol

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:46

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 19:46
G'day Axle

A couple of the 4wd clubs I was a member of often had a "ladies day" so to speak where it was compulsory for partners to spend a day driving the car in all sorts of situations on different tracks etc for the very reason you are talking. There is no point having a perfectly working 4wd sitting next to you if you are injured or incapacitated in some way and your partner cannot drive it !

After that was taught in the clubs I now make all partners drive the vehicle for at least half a day on my tours just in case something happens and then it gives them the confidence they can get to the nearest place of help should it be required.

Good topic Axle

Cheers

Gazz

AnswerID: 527420

Reply By: Jos - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:14

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:14
As the WIFE, I'm a bit stunned by this topic. It just never occurred to me that there were "companions" that couldn't drive the 4WD.

We'll share the driving and towing, however I try to avoid driving tracks with steep drops off the sides as I'm terrified of heights. Otherwise, it's all fair.

On one camping trip last year my husband burnt his hand - so if I couldn't have driven, we would have been stuck!

AnswerID: 527424

Reply By: SDG - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:41

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:41
In thirty years of driving, I have never had a companion capable of driving a manual. It has only been in the last year that I even have a passenger with a license, and she is only able to drive an auto.
Give it a couple more years and my son will have his L's, but then again. He already has plans, and some money saved, to get his own 4by, so I doubt he will be a passenger after that.
AnswerID: 527425

Follow Up By: Axle - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:47

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 20:47
Your the same as me mate,.....lucks been on our side!, ..But it doesn't take much to put a different slant on things.


Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 21:09

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 21:09
Axle,

Di here. Bruce and I take it in turns. I've been 4Wdriving for more than 20 years as has Bruce. Love it. Have driven across the Simpson on something like 6 occasions. Have driven various other 4WD tracks.

I also tow our camper and our caravan. I can back both. I am happy to follow directions for this and I know how to use mirrors for backing.

We've always both done these things because:
a. it's fun
b. one day it could be necessary.

I even tow through major cities.

Di
AnswerID: 527426

Follow Up By: Axle - Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 10:11

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 10:11
G/Day Di. Towing through a major city is a exercise on its own!,


Good on you.!


Cheers Axle.
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Reply By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 22:19

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 22:19
My wife doesn't like to drive. She prefers to be holding on to her Camera. On saying this every so often I book her into a 4wd driving course... and tell her when we get there as I step out of the car.
She seems to take advice criticism by others better!
AnswerID: 527432

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 22:21

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 22:21
...and do BOTH of you know first aid?!
I have a rellie who teaches first aid and says it's amazing how many do a course before the big trip...but only one does it...!
Uh...if your first aid trained person is in need of first aid, will they be able to tell the untrained person what to do?!
Or may they be unconscious?
Or in too much pain to think clearly?

Just a thought.

:)
AnswerID: 527433

Follow Up By: exmouth1 - Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 23:04

Friday, Feb 28, 2014 at 23:04
Good point axle, back in the early eighties I was posted to a remote park in wa. I taught my wife to drive every piece of equipment that was available, the reason being that it was remote and it was a bonus for me to assist with the job. She even drove the fire truck. Years earlier there was a ranger who went out into the park and did not return. His wife who did not drive walked to the neighbouring property to find no one home as she did not drive, she did eventually get someone on the hf. My wife now tows the van and goes 4wding in the dunes, remote travelling and the like and is very competent. She does have a licence to drive a 100 ton dump truck.
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 09:25

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 09:25
No worries here mate. But a damned good idea for a thread. Luckily my wife was a rally driver and a good keen car lover especially hot Minis. Unfortunately my brand new bright red Kingswood didn't impress her. The gear stick came off in her hands once and she got a screwdriver and simply drove home. It was a 4 four speed M34 box with a six cylinder first gear option, mounted in the floor instead of the old tree on the steering column. Luckily the M34 box had a rather simple gear select lever mechanism mounted on the top. I never knew you could that with a screwdriver.

But all that aside I need backup driver on trips for medical reasons and damned if I am going to sit at home and not go bush. So she is a godsend to me.

Same as Val above she has also done the clubs 4WD course and passed with flying colours. Safe as any man driver and a lot better driver than a lot of men as well.

Good thread mate

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 10:27

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 10:27
Haha Phil!!

Seriously though I think that every woman with access to a 4WD would get a lot out of doing a decent 4WD course - noting that "our" course was pretty full-on, offering rather more than what could be fitted into a one day offering. And having some female trainers was a real bonus too.

We put off doing that course for a long time with all the usual excuses. But as soon as we got through the theory and out onto the "nursery" slopes it was clear that we had much to learn. Subsequent outback trips have put that learning to the test, but there is nothing like learning by doing to improve your skills.

But why stop at just driving? I have known a number of women like your wife who had excellent mechanical skills. Mine aren't up to your wife's level, but I do have a pretty good idea about what happens under Troopys bonnet, and can change a wheel too, given time.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 10:47

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 10:47
A few decades back we went to Oran Park in her Mini. When we pulled up she said that one tyre was on the way down. Sure enough, so I open the boot. "What do you think you are doing?" I hear from behind. Well didn't I get the look!!! No way was she going to let me change that tyre. And it was done in quick time also.

At Peter (stand up Peter's) third day she had a flat in the Toyota. Boy was she a bit upset when she got home. The "MEN" changed it for her. I stayed clear until I had made her a cuppa.

And before we go down the track of our Germain Greer - No she isn't. But handy = You betchya.

I get a little put off at some blokes though. There is one post earlier complaining about the thought of extra clutch wear. You never know she may be better than him. I am only using it as an example of the caveman attitude of some. No necessarily that bloke either as I didn't read the whole post.

After 44 years I am not about to challenge my wife's mechanical or especially her driving skills. She used to beat them all in the rallys and I wasn't fool enough to challenge her. She and her Mother we made lifetime members.

Say Hi to John for me. Next time we should make time for a cuppa.

Phil
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Reply By: Member - johnat - Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 21:50

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 21:50
We, +1 and I, share a dislike of automatics, so we have 2 manuals (one town car and the Navara tug) which we both drive in equal shares when out and about.
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Reply By: Batt's - Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 23:45

Saturday, Mar 01, 2014 at 23:45
I thought of that about a year after we meet but my wife's a panicker she tried driving a 4 runner we had off road she drove down a little hill then on the flat there was a puddle about 20 foot long on the drivers side I told her it was only a few inches deep she said how do you know I replied you can tell by looking at it and you learn with experience. She wouldn't drive thru it and has never tried to drive a 4WD off road again since then sometime around 1995. There was no argument or anything she just doesn't like it. So maybe my daughter will be better when she learns to drive. On the plus side my clutches last a long time because she has a habit of riding them.
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Reply By: Member - Triple A - Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 10:59

Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 10:59
Excellent topic! I am the wife of this combo. I CAN drive a manual, BUT, have never driven one while pulling the trailer. I often think I need to get some practice but always go with the path of least resistance and let hubby do it all. I have actually considered that if, god forbid, something happened to him, my camping days as I know them would be over. So you have inspired me. I am gonna get out and get some practice! Still not reversing it with the trailer on tho! LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 14:19

Sunday, Mar 02, 2014 at 14:19
Good for you! Troopys really are fun to drive, especially with their good visibility. Do a couple of day trips first without the trailer to get used to the feel of the vehicle. Backing the trailer can come later. Do a 4WD course if you can find a good one.

Good luck,

Val.
J and V
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