Destroying the canning

Submitted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 18:18
ThreadID: 107972 Views:7226 Replies:12 FollowUps:14
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I recently had the pleasure of completing the Canning stock route with 3 4wd vehicles. We travelled from sth to nth. During our trip we encountered the Outback Spirit of Australia tours who were in convoy with 4.massive Mercedes benz vehicleswho were going the opposite direction. We were held up as they plowed their dune destryers over a difficult dune which took several attempts. Once we passed them we could see the damage caused by them on all the downsides of our dunes. How can they allow this commercialised destruction and expect everyone else to respect the track. I pitied those behind them travelling the same way. With 2 6 wheelers and 2 four wheelers and towing huge trailers and a new trip planned weekly you can kiss the canning as it has stood goodbye.
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Reply By: mikehzz - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 18:22

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 18:22
It will be the greenies or the traditional owners who take the blame though.
AnswerID: 533254

Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 18:32

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 18:32
After a couple of days of wind you won't see where they've been!
First groups through the Simpson Desert each year have trouble finding some of the tracks.
AnswerID: 533255

Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 19:46

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 19:46
Gidday shaker

No one ever has trouble finding the CSR tracks. Sometimes there are four or five of them!

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 19:53

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 19:53
Yes, having done it I know, as has the Gunbarrel & almost any other badly corrugated track that you care to mention. The same applies to the High Country!

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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 19:47

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 19:47
Badboyz, I think you are being a bit negative. A decent blow over summer and the tracks are gone. The dunes are constantly moving. A few wheel tracks are like the wake of a yacht crossing the Pacific.
AnswerID: 533264

Follow Up By: Badboyz - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 23:40

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 23:40
Bob. Not at all. By the time the first group went through. The second were 8 wells behind. Dont think the wind was blowing strong enough to repair that time frame. Ive seen it in PNG. East timor and the Solomons. Ive been doing this for 30 years and it was the worst spring smappers ive seen.
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Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 22:07

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 22:07
BB, all the iconic outback tracks are copping a flogging these days from sheer numbers alone. If you think these blokes were bad, wait till you see what a convoy of "normal" 4x4's can do with tyres at 38 psi all round and heedless to advice. "You've got to take those corrugations at 80 kph 'cos it's the only way you can get on top of them!" Leader of a Toyota 4x4 club expedition....waiting at well 40 for his new shocks to be delivered to him!

The Benz machines will probably cause the least of the issues in any travel season.


Cheers Mick


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AnswerID: 533280

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 07:52

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 07:52
The funny thing is that the bloke waiting for the shocks would probably say what a great time he had...."the Canning was tough, it beat the crap out of me, but I overcame it. Can't wait to go back". Maybe the real measure of a challenge is whether a bunch of indigenous locals sail past him in a Falcon? :-)
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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 23:45

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 23:45
Its funny how these type of threads go.
Get a few people with one opinion state their opinions first and the rest of the replies generally follow the trend so as not to seem to be against the grain.

Myself - I'll come to a bad track and say to myself, "that's a shame".
I'll come to a good track and say to myself, "that's a shame".
lol, human nature, love it!!!


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In whatever comes our way.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 06:37

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 06:37
Made me chuckle, and a good point to boot!
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Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:23

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:23
Well said Alan.
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‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.





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Reply By: Member - CSR Walkers - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 07:00

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 07:00
Basic 4WD rules should apply slow down and lower your tyre pressure, if everyone just respected our tracks maybe then there will be something left for everyone to enjoy.
AnswerID: 533287

Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 07:57

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 07:57
I’ll leave it to Outback Spirit to answer to the specifics of this case.

But a couple of points worth noting here is that there will be many who say that any vehicle travelling this route will cause damage, and rather than singling any one particular group out it might be simpler to ban everyone if we are concerned about damage – so let’s be careful of what we complain about, especially when it is potentially a subjective judgement call.

The other is that many vehicles doing the CSR have, on average, two people in them. These Mercedes Benz 4WD Buses can take around 16-20 people. That is one bus to around eight standard four-wheel drive vehicles. It would be interesting to do a comparison as to what does more damage, eight standard four-wheel drive vehicles, or one larger four wheel-drive bus.

I don’t have a view either way on whether four-wheel drive buses should be allowed, but put this out there as food for thought…

Cheers, Baz
AnswerID: 533290

Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:06

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:06
Like it or lump it Badboy I think commercial trips like that are here to stay and in the end its the commercialism that will help keep some tracks open.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 533291

Reply By: Slow one - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:25

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:25
Solution,
ban all vehicles from the CSR. Exemptions are as follows.

Horses with riders must be accompanied by 200 head of cattle each. All horses will be limited to a 110kg + Horses tare

Camels. 1 to 6 accompanied by one person with load restrictions of 400kg + camels tare.

Traditional owns will be allowed 1 vehicle with a minimum of 8 occupants. Only these vehicles will be allowed.

All Toyota 4wd range except Prados.

All Mitsubishi Pajero range prior to 2006.

Ford Falcon range up to but not including BA's. Station wagons looked on very favourably.

There we go. Problem solved, and the route now used for what it was intended for.
AnswerID: 533293

Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 16:24

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 16:24
Had to laugh at this one.

Sounds like my missus............as I do all the cooking, she is now being used for what she was intended to be used for.......tongue in cheek people

The bikes should be on your list as long as they carry a gps.............bike without gps'es is very costly as we have all heard.

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FollowupID: 816656

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:40

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:40
We shall see soon enough. I set our north to south schedule so that we would, for the most part, be travelling between two groups. So we will see at firsthand.

I don't like the idea of just the sheer size of a large bus/truck on a desert track but I will agree with Bob that we should be careful what we say.

Generally speaking I compare it to what we see around house building sites. Many people carrying a few bricks at a time across a paddock won't usually cause much damage but get one truck to do it in one go and you would have to be blind to see the extra damage done.

Of course if it's hard packed by all the previous trucks and tractors then one could say that I am talking rubbish. Think of just a normal untouched paddock that has nothing more than sheep on it.

Phil
AnswerID: 533295

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:46

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 08:46
Or like a couple of adventurous souls, just make a new track across the desert. You might pick up the odd puncture but no corrrrrrrugations.

(;-))

Cheers
Pop
AnswerID: 533297

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:40

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 10:40
Just makes me chuckle Pop.

We will be there soon and what do I do if they come up behind me. Stop and suggest that they go around me. Maybe get a puncture. The image is amusing. Anyway, why should I get off the road. They wouldn't for us and I have experienced that before in trying to get around one on the Bungle Bungle road. Maybe what goes around may come around.

Phil
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Reply By: Outback Spirit Tours - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:26

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 11:26
Thank you everyone for your interest and concern with our Canning Stock Route tour.

In light of the original comments made by ‘Badboyz’, I’d like to add to the conversation to clarify a few things. It appears that the facts have unfortunately been ignored for the sake of a good story.

Firstly Badboyz, you’ve described our vehicles as massive. They aren’t. Some other contributors are also under the impression that we are using large 4WD coaches for this tour. We aren’t (We do use large 4WD Mercedes Benz coaches in the Kimberley, Cape York and other regions). What we ARE using on the Canning Stock Route are Mercedes Benz G Wagon Professionals, with two 4x4 and two 6x6 vehicles per fleet. These vehicles have about the same wheel track as a Landcruiser. The wheelbase and weight of the 4x4 is also about the same as a Landcruiser. The trailers, towed behind the 4x4’s are slightly heavier than a fully loaded camper trailer, but not by much. This leaves the 6x6’s, which are possibly the most sand dune friendly vehicle out there. They walk up most of the dunes at low speed with virtually no wheel spin and no fuss whatsoever. They are quite remarkable.

Badboyz, your suggestion that we are ‘destroying’ the Canning is ridiculous. The Canning has nearly 1000 vehicle crossings per season. Our vehicle movements over the season equate to 56, or about 6%. If you look at the fact that we carry 18 passengers in these four G wagons, you could easily make the argument that we are reducing traffic on the Canning and are therefore lowering vehicle impact. We also carry all toilet waste off the stock route and donate funds to Trackcare for track maintenance.

In summary, our vehicles have no more of an impact than anyone else’s. Our experienced and professional drivers let their tyre pressures down and tackle the dunes as slowly as they can, far slower than some of the other vehicles out there.

If anyone has any further concerns, please feel free to email them to us at info@outbackspirit.net.au and they will be addressed in due course.

Yours faithfully,

Andre Ellis
Director
Outback Spirit Tours
AnswerID: 533376

Follow Up By: Badboyz - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 12:09

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 12:09
Thanks Andre for your follow up and your reference to my "Good Story" In particular your references such as "Minimal wheel spins" Slightly heavier etc etc. The Canning is a route that is designed for people to enjoy a part of the outback in a manner where their safety and vehicles are not put in jeopardy. It is not a track designed specifically for Die Hard 4WD drivers to challenge themselves over complicated dunes etc such as some of the replies here boast. A lot of the people we met on the track are retirees who simply want to enjoy the beauty of the track rather than engage a challenge that could end their Canning experience.

If your vehicles were only carrying weight "Slightly" heavier than the average camper, then why did they fail their practice attempt at the Canning and had to be rushed back to the manufacturer for urgent repairs to meet their booking requirements. Plenty of people with slightly lighter campers seem to manage with vehicles which are rated much lower than the Benz without difficulty at all. Now this would mean that the vehicle that you pay a couple of hundred thousand dollars each for is an expensive lemon to do the job or your professional drivers cannot get a slightly heavier camper over the dunes. Maybe replace them with some compatible cruisers. After all there is little difference.

I am fully aware of how dunes repair themselves as I have driven them for many years. I am also aware that it does require wind and time to do so. Two things which were not around between your first tour and second tour a few days later, I am also aware on how to set up vehicles with proper weight distribution to enable climbing the dunes without difficulty. Now the video footage and photos I have taken at the numerous attempts at a particular dune (4 attempts with minimal wheel spin of course) Tend to show people bouncing high off their seat and massive scalloping on the dune surface that would greatly affect a smooth climb for any person following. The chances of suspension damage is increased for them which of course destroys their Canning Experience.
Maybe you should get out of your office and do the tour in your four wheeled vehicle which tows that huge trailer and see what the poor driver has to go through to get it over the dunes.

I will send my video and photos to trackcare WA and let them decide what they think.
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FollowupID: 817123

Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 12:27

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 12:27
Is it possible for us to see the videos anywhere?

We are going that way, north to south, shortly and I would like to see them. I am hearing both sides and although we have timed our trip not to coincide with the large group I would like to see any track issues. We are prepared and don't anticipate any issues but . . . .
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FollowupID: 817124

Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 17:33

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 17:33
You don't sound like a bad boy to me, you sound like a bloody cry baby.

Phil
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FollowupID: 817147

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 18:39

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 18:39
Good idea, send your video to WA Trackcare, you might even succeed in getting the Canning closed!
Did you ever hear the saying " Live, and let live"?

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FollowupID: 817155

Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 18:59

Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 at 18:59
Hi Badboyz,

Firstly I have over 20 years of remote desert travel experience and done the CSR countless times and have seen it all.

You single out Outback Spirit saying that they are ‘damaging the dunes’. There are many people travelling in regular 4wds (some towing campers) with concrete hard tyres that charge the dunes rooster tailing sand and digging holes in an effort to get over them.

I note that Andre said in reply:
‘We also carry all toilet waste off the stock route and donate funds to Trackcare for track maintenance.’ This is more than most people do re the CSR.

Don't single out tour operators - people who can't get to the CSR any other way have a right to see the CSR.







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Follow Up By: Member - Munji - Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 10:01

Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 10:01
I think its about continuing education of the mindless using these tracks at different times and places. Majority of people are very responsible and we need to be mindful of how we raise and discuss these issues otherwise more tracks will be closed down.
Remember - people living in glass houses throwing stones.

Get out there.

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