Flinders Ranges Tyre Pressure

We are about to travel to the FR pulling a 16 caravan and were wondering about road conditions. Is it necessary to deflate the tyres as I am thinking of getting a small tyre compressor. thanks johno
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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 18:23

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 18:23
Yes mate, I feel dropping pressures as soon as you are off the blacktop is a great idea.
So much more forgiving on tyres on sharp stones / rocks etc, gives better traction on gravel etc, and makes for a nicer ride for the passengers on same bumps and corrugations.

Don't forget to drop the cara tyres as well.

No hard rule on what you drop to, I generally feel if normal pressures are 36 or so, then going to 28 - 30 suits me and my vehicle.

Of course you are driving slower on these roads anyway, but always a good idea when running less than recommended pressure.

Usually you can hit the bitumen and drive short distance to a town and air up at the local servo, again just keep speed down, maybe 75km/hr would do you, or if longer than 10 or 20 ks to town, then use the comp to bring em up a bit.
AnswerID: 538274

Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 18:31

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 18:31
Forgot to say, assume you're running decent off road tyres, light truck construction ATs or MTs . . . wouldn't drop more than 10% if talking road tyres.
FollowupID: 822674

Follow Up By: Member - P and JM - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 20:45

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 20:45
Hi johno59,

I agree with Les, 30psi all round will see you through the "Great" Flinders Ranges no worries.
Just drive with care through the gorges as there is always somebody who thinks he's a rally driver in them.

Back in the 60's & 70's I worked all through the Flinders area from Hawker in the old Highways Department, to Arkaroola for a mining company operating a grader and the roads were always kept in good shape.
I would assume they are still in good shape, but its' been a couple of years now since we visited the area.

Happy travelling and enjoy.

Cheers P&J
FollowupID: 822687

Reply By: olcoolone - Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 21:21

Thursday, Aug 28, 2014 at 21:21
I am going to go against the trend of lowering tyre pressures on good dirt roads and in most cases average dirt roads; and for the last two years have ran high pressure with no ill side effects.

How many trucks do you see do it ....... How many locals do it and come to think of it when I was rallying we ran normal tyre pressures and at speeds of over 200kph so these days there is not really and hard fact of the advantage of low pressures along good dirt roads and in some cases it could be dangerous...... I think it's a case of " my granddaddy did it and my daddy did it and there for I must do it

How ever I do agree with different pressures for real rocky or sandy areas..... Most maintained dirt roads are nearly as good as good sealed roads and in some cases better.

Some seem to become quite anal regarding tyre pressures and dirt and still live in the dark ages......

Have a mate who run tour vehicles fitted with A/T tyres in the Flinders and out back SA and he doesn't drop pressures between bitumen and high speed dirt again with no problems.

If I was you I would run normal pressure and seeing you will be taKing it easy; sit back and enjoy the scenery and not worry about if you have the correct pressures.

Getting back to our tyres, so far 20 odd thousand K's wit no tyre tread chipping, scalloping or damage with even tyre wear..... Not bad for weighing 3800kg and it doesn't get an easy life across the dirt.
AnswerID: 538284

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 08:17

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 08:17
Hmmmmmmmm, you're towing a 16 foot caravan through out the FR.

There is no need to lower tyre pressures at all. There are sealed roads every where and the dirts roads have all been graded by council and land owners this time of year.

If you ever need to lower tyre pressures, it would be on private tracks only and even then tyre psi depends on track conditions and you won't be towing your caravan.

I have to agree with one other comment, I have never seen the locals lower tyre pressures for dirt roads in the Flinders and in some cases most track owners don't lower their tyre pressures for travelling on their own track.

AnswerID: 538291

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 08:32

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 08:32
If you are planing to do 4wding on properties, it is advisable to have a compressor on board.
I have a permanent air under the hood and many others do to.

Many have portables.

Prior to having permanent air I had a portable Bushranger Black Max air compressor, It work great and the kit is around the $200 mark these days.

If you are going to purchase one and you think you may need to lower tyres on any thing you are pulling, ensure the hose is long enough to reach both side tyres on what your are pulling.

Most hoses will only reach the rear tyres of your truck.
AnswerID: 538292

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 09:19

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 09:19
Another vote for not fiddling with tyre pressures. I have never done it (except sand) &
have had no issues. I have stopped for countless folks on outback roads with tyre
failure..all were running reduced pressures. Speeding & overloading were also factors.
The notion of upping & downing pressure when leaving the tar or returning to it is
laughable to those of us that reside in rural areas with a mix of surfaces.
Carry a compressor & tyre plug repair kit by all means..sensible precaution.
Lowering tyre pressure when towing...not for me, but your choice, of course..
Enjoy your trip.....cheers....oldbaz.
AnswerID: 538301

Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 10:08

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 10:08
It seems to be the popular thing is not reducing pressures, but let me say that lowering pressures slightly will give you a better ride on corros (for passenger and vehicle / contents), will prevent sharp stone damage, and also give better traction on corners etc (as does running in 4WD when off the blacktop).
The trick is go the right speed, and only drop a slight amount on half decent dirt.

Tracks with plenty of slower rock work is DEFINITELY a place to reduce pressures considerably (generally I run around 22 - 24), but you won't be doing any of that with the van, and only if you do some of the tracks on private properties.

Flinders is certainly pretty good dirt in the main, and I was probably referring more to the great variety of the outback roads in SA, some slightly further afield.
AnswerID: 538305

Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 11:21

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 11:21
Road conditions, ambient temperatures, ability to maintain traction, speed, and importantly, the weight of the vehicle are all factors that need to be considered. No one situation will necessarily translate into another, even with the same vehicle.

A question I find useful to ask is “do I need to lower pressures to ensure forward motion”.

And whilst lower pressures may make for a more comfortable ride, don’t lose sight of the possibility that lowering pressures, without giving adequate consideration to the points mentioned, increases the risk of the tyre flexing and overheating leading to a sidewall failure – which can have disastrous consequences.

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 538309

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 19:16

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 19:16
Came across a French couple in a Britz Hilux at the Pentacost River crossing.
He had his second puncture in two days while driving the Gibb River Road. Tyre pressures were 45psi which is way too much on dirt. The advise he was given by the hirer I suspect was for blacktop roads, not dirt.

Anyway, I managed to plug his flat spare and inflated it to 32psi and advised him to deflate the other tyres to the same amount.

In direct opposition to other recommendations, both my mate and I deflated our tyres to 30psi at El Questro and drove the Gibb River Road, then the Cape Leveque road, then the track out to Middle Lagoon and back to Broome before reinflating the tyreds back to highway pressure. Not one Puncture for both of us and a much more comfortable ride as well. Both of us were towing campers which we adjusted as well.

Folk who advise against deflating tyres are going against the proven method when driving of off road surfaces.

I would have to say the Gibb for the most part was just dirt, but some of the "non deflating" folk should try driving the Birdsville or Strzelecki Tracks and see if they survive without a puncture or two.

Tyre deflation on off road surfaces is a proven method of giving a safer and softer ride, with less damage to the expensive rubber most of us run and to ignore this advice is just courting disaster.
The folk who ignore this method are just too lazy to pull over to deflate/inflate their tyres and should not be advising others to follow the same stupid principal.

Tyre deflation will not guarantee you will not get a puncture, but the chances are if you do and you pull over quickly enough, you will be able to repair the tyre, rather than scrap it entirely.


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AnswerID: 538347

Reply By: Member - VickiW - Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 21:52

Friday, Aug 29, 2014 at 21:52

I live in Arkaroola in the northern Flinders and we run our tyres only a few psi (about 3 - 4) below unladen highway. Just enough to soften the ride & let the tyres flex a little over the stones, but not too much so as to expose the sidewalls. Hope you have a great trip!

AnswerID: 538363

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