4x4 clubs , Bad images

Submitted: Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 17:10
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Hi all 4x4 club members < today I have been looking at a few 4x4 club web sites and was really disgusted to see photos in their albums and trip reports of members doing donuts , driving on saltlakes ,and burnouts in the mud on what apeared to be formed tracks , most of these clubs had links to Tread lightly and other organisations that are trying to protect the 4wd image .Thay are also members of their state 4x4 groups ......
1.I ask all club members to look at your own sites and have these photos REMOVED , we are trying to get a good image going for 4x4ers and these type of photos are there for the taking by the media and other govt groups , why give them the bullets to shot us with
2. Why are clubs that profess to be resposible allowing this sort of bushbasing behaver in their clubs ?
We all like to get out in the mud or drive the biggest sand hill we can find but fair is fair dont let the few idiots spoil it for all of us .

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Reply By: GLD - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 17:50

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 17:50
I would like to think it is only a minority who abuse the bush etc in their 4wds, but I have my doubts.

Sure it will do the cause of the 4wders good by removing the offending photos from the club sites, but if the actual practices arn't stopped, then no real benefit has been achieved.

I think the problem lies in that the people who tear up tracks, contribute to the worsening of bog holes, destroy/harm vegetation etc, won't admit that what they are doing is irresponsible....afterall, what are 4wds for if not for having that sort of driving fun?

I listened to a first hand account of a 4wd clubs activities on an outing after I was asked to attend and declined.....if I had gone on the outing, I would have promptly turned around and left, and these are people I know in my community.

We use our 4wd as a means of getting to wonderful places out in the bush - I just hope that in years to come, these places haven't all be closed up.

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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:09

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:09
Hi GLD , I started looking at other sites in the hope to contact a couple of clubs to do combined club runs with but the photos really put me off a few of them , I know all our club members would do the same as you and turned around and head for home if this sort of behavior started
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Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 17:53

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 17:53
Peter it has been a problem for years even in tv advertisment you have seen the adds the 4wd racing through every thing.
It portrays a bad image.

All the best
Eric
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:01

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:01
Eric ,I see it on TV and that is bad enough but to see it on 4x4 club sites that really upsets me as these clubs are the ones that will be the first to scream when areas are closed off , and to have the afront to say in their club rules and regulations that the support tread lightly and others is just bull , I know we cant stop the rat bags out there but clubs displaying this sort of behavoir is just #@%*
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Reply By: uther - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 18:27

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 18:27
Peter, recently went across the Simpson, even out there, dougnuts etc etc, I was surprised that people would take a chance on doing damage to their 4x4 way out there, considering the cost of recovery etc, I thought if it hapens out here under these circumstances it will happen anywhere. Then we wonder wht they close roadways etc...Uther
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:11

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:11
really makes you wonder about some so called adults !
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Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:16

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 19:16
any group of people will have individuals who will choose to do their own thing, even if it is frowned upon or outright against the rules, as a member of a club, what can you do to stop this behaviour from a couple of members??

That's a serious question, I'd really like solutions.

and imagine that you are in a small city, you're the only 4wd club and everyone is mates with everyone!!
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Follow Up By: navaraman - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 20:18

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 20:18
The only way is to kick the offenders out of the club. they will still act irresponsibly but at least they aren't dragging the club's name through the dirt.
I downloaded a newsletter from an SA club and there was a report in it about members trying to get up a hill and failing. There solution was to make their own track upo the hill and keep tying until they succeded. I believe they were asked to explain their actions to the Australian Council of 4WD clubs. I don't know what happened but they certainly didn't get my membership money.
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 23:24

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 23:24
Dave , I come from a very small town in the country (pop 2700) our group has set rules even though we are not a formal club we have just ejected a member and a friend that choose not to follow the rules after being told a number of times ,it is sad and hard to do but his actions were detremental to our groups good name and in the long run may have been a saftey issue where another member may have been put in a dangerous position .People that join clubs and groups do so knowing there are rules so why do they think they dont apply to them .
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Reply By: Member - Gajm (VIC) - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 20:10

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 20:10
I wanted to join a 4wd club but a lot of the same type of pics is what put me off, Why can't Explore Oz set up an Australia wide 4 wd club with branches in every state....not trying to suck up but I have found that quite a few people from this forum have similar values regarding how to treat the bush, I'd happily sign on and support forfeit of membership for people who stuff it up for the rest of us.....hope this made sense, got gastro and not totaly clear thinking
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Follow Up By: Rod W - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 09:24

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 09:24
Like that idea. How bout it ExploreOz?
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Reply By: Richard - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 21:08

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 21:08
Peter,

The club I belong to certainly doesn't condon this sort of thing. If you believe some websites have inappropriate pictures either send them an email directly orto the state association.
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Reply By: Nomad - Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 23:09

Sunday, May 09, 2004 at 23:09
Not only some of the 4WD clubs that are advertising inappropriate behaviour. As mentioned you have the TV ads but you also have the 4WD magazines.

I have complained to them on several occasions about photos of 4bies jumping sand dunes, driving off the formed tracks, ploughing through bog holes and making them worse and various other things. Usually get some sort of excuse to justify the pic but they still continue. The same mags will then rant and rave about track closures.

I'm just very sorry to say that I feel that there are far too many 4bie drivers out there not doing the right thing. They may still be a minority in actual fact, but the perception is growing that it might nearly apply to a majority. Remember that perception is reality.

As one letter mentioned, my 4bie gets me to some wonderful places. I try to do that with the minimum of intrusion upon the country I traverse. And if you want to get commercial, why the hell would you risk breaking a $50K truck.

Cheers
Nomad
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Reply By: Hedonist - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 01:09

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 01:09
Well said Peter.

As others have commented, I believe the solution needs to go beyond concern for the 4WD 'image' and address the underlying values - As long as this is viewed by clubs as merely a public perception issue it will continue to be a problem.

I sincerely hope that a mature attitude within the 4WD community will prevail, where the conservation ethic is valued above heroics. For some of us the 4WD is a means to an end; for others the challenge of pitting their skills and equipment against obstacles is what gives them their jollies. I would like to think that 4WD clubs would require members to confine the test of man and machine to designated '4WD amusement parks' (LCMP and others of that ilk) and require a commitment to Tread Lightly! values everywhere else.

Sadly, I think for many the 'commitment' is more lip-service than belief. In the end, the proof is in our actions, not our words, and discussions such as this can only help to challenge people's attitudes - It is up to them to decide what to do about it.

Good on you for making a stand - If enough of us do it often enough it will make a difference.

Cheers,
Pete
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 01:55

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 01:55
Which club sites?
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 09:54

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 09:54
Truckster ,at this stage I am not going to name clubs , all I ask is that members of individual clubs that fell strongly about this issue have a look at there club sites and ask their conmities to remove these photos and if they are going to talk the talk about conservation and member control then they should walk the walk .Otherwise it is just a lot of bull having club rules .As in one of my posts above we have removed a member and a friend from our club that was bringing our club name down by not following some basic saftey and ethical rules .
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Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 06:45

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 06:45
As mentioned above the mags can do agreat amount of harm to the image of 4wds.
In monthly type mag they had a 3 part series about a place I frequent .
There information was very misleading and name places were wrong and the out rite abuse and glorifacation of alchole abuse worried my self and Peter.
They had photos of 4wds comming out of a creek which is not the track you take and if you know the creek the scar on the bank is very ugly.
They also have cover shots of 4wds doing amazing things this is also not a good look.
In another 4wd mag an past editor brought up the issue in a section he writes and it also worried him.
The new stlye 4wder seems the need to climb over everthing that posibbly dosnt move. In a few places I have been you can see the results of this and if our green freinds saw the results there could be another closure.

All the best
Eric

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Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 07:27

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 07:27
Which club sites Peter?? If you post them here, we can all have a look at them and maybe if everyone contacts them, they'll remove the offending posts!

In the debate of good/poor taste, maybe your "tag" line needs addressing?

"Why is it called tourist season when we can't shoot at them ?"

Doesn't bother me at all, but I bet someone out there would say you are an irresponsible gun owner! But you were probably just having a bit of fun by writing that, right?? Like I said it doesn't bother me, I laughed my ass off when I read it, and I see the humuor in it.
What I am saying is the people who run the web sites you are complaining about just maybe can't see the problem with it. Maybe you have to point it out to them a bit clearer!
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 10:01

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 10:01
Brian please see my answer to Truckster above re nameing clubs , no I dont own a gun the tag I read somewhere and just made me LOL , no offence ment .
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Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 18:45

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 18:45
Peter,
No offence taken.
Like I said, I thought the line was hilarious... and I am on your side with what you're saying. And I read further down where you have been in contact with the club. Good to see someone will stand up for their beliefs!

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Reply By: Member - TonyG (NSW) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 08:15

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 08:15
Hi Peter,

I, as a member of a 4x4 club, am pretty annoyed by this sort on behaviour, especially as they promote them via their photo's on their website.

I think it would be a very good idea to nominate the relevant web sites on this forum, so we can "EDUCATE" them.

One of the reasons I joined a club, was because of the safety and environmental focus that the club has.

Please put the links to the websites here so we can email them and get them to smarten up their act.

Thanks

TonyG
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 10:10

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 10:10
Tony , please see my reply to Truckster above , let each club member help to clean up there own site ,at this stage I only want to make a point that this is out there , hopefully common sence will prevale ,If I start posting club sites I am only making it easier for the media , greens or others to find these photos and the next thing we will have more 4x4 bashing in the media , I would hate for CALM or other national parks people to see these type of photos .
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Reply By: John - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 11:35

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 11:35
Peter
Some clubs have there own properties and these properties are set up with a variety of obsticles including skid pans, bog holes, water crossings and various track conditions etc.

Some photos on some web sites may be showing members undergoing driver awareness training on these facilities and maybe they have caused the misconception you spoke about.

I am a member of one of Victorias biggest clubs and the attitude to tread lightly is drumed in from the begining of your driver awareness.
I did not judge this book by it's cover before joining, I went to the club meeting's and watched and listened to what was going on before I made a judgment.

If they photo's are in the public domain as you say then why not tell us so that we can look and make a valued judgment for ourselves and yes we can then do something about it if needed.
I looked at my clubs web site and found no issue with any photo on the site that I saw, I would be interested in more specific information to justify your argument.
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Follow Up By: John - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 12:00

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 12:00
Sorry should have added I am in the Toyota Landcrusier Club of Victoria.
web site www.tlcv.org.au.
Have a look and let me know if you have a problem with what we display on our site.
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Follow Up By: GaryW - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 13:00

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 13:00
Hey John - Tried the TLCV site a few days ago and had trouble with the links and images. Same again today - perhaps you could contact the web master and ask him to look at it. I am using IE6 in WinXP - no probs with other sites.

Gaz
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Follow Up By: Member - Peter (York) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 13:16

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 13:16
Hi John , thanks for your comments , the photos I mentioned were it a public place they were from a trip report showing the locations , as can be seen from others comments to this post there are others who have seen these type of photos on other sites , before I start putting up links to these sites and creating disharmony between clubs I will be contacting the club involved and letting them have the opertunity to remove them , I will be also be showing the photos at our next Trackcare meeting ,if you have not heard of this group have a look at www.trackcare.com.au
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Follow Up By: John - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 14:01

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 14:01
Hi GaryW
I use IE 6 and WinXP and don't have a problem.

Try emailing the TLCV webmaster direct on webmaster@tlcv.org.au.
And see if he can help.

Regards
John
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Follow Up By: GaryW - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 14:04

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 14:04
I did - also sent a screen shot of the problem - THX

Gaz
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Reply By: maverick - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 13:07

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 13:07
Peter, i gather you are from w.a. you may wish to advise the wa4wda direct of the sites and photos that you consider offensive - that way if they are members of the assoc maybe something can be done to ascertain if the photos relate to private or public land. as for not naming anyone/thing in case it upsets people - it's the internet - who cares. there are more excuses than these photos being used to push individual and group agendas re 4wds and their uses. rgds
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Reply By: Member Colin - NSW Bungendore - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 15:04

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 15:04
Peter
I'm glad you have raised this issue - this bad 'publicity' has irked me for some time. It is not only on Web sites - a friend has shown me an article in a Magazine published by the owners of an American made 4WD. The article talked about driving up and down a river and even tackled a small waterfall, much to the 'amuzement' of some public watching from a nearby bridge - pity I wasn't part of the public! (I think it was in WA?)
A couple of years ago I wrote to the Editor of a popular 4WD Mag - that also has a Web site - with a complaint about some of the activities/photos etc that was on the Forum - similar activities to what was done and procecuted for at Bendethera. He basically told me to piss off - I dont buy that Mag any more and dont visit their Web site.

So the problem is very wide spread, and so I'm not suprised by the reaction of the Victoria parks/forests/police in the Wombat area. It doesn't take many 'bad eggs' to spoil it for the 'good guys'. Unfortuately self regulation doesn't work!

Australia is in a mess environmentally from droughts, land clearing etc, and any bad practise, by 4WDers, householders, farmers etc etc will not only make the situation worse, but will also eventually impact on everyones leisure activities.

Tread Lightly
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Reply By: Member - Peter (York) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 15:46

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 15:46
I have contacted the President of the club re the photos and have been told that it was done on crown land but not on the main track , he has no control over links or photos posted by club members , but will ask members that post these photos to put contact details below the photos if others want to discuss them , I was also told that the members doing the driving were resposible and keeped saftey in mind at all times , he also feels that the marks will soon go and no vegatation was in the area of the cut ups , it was just a salt pan . My problem is that the average person looking at these photos may draw other conclusions .
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Follow Up By: Rod from Bush Camping - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 09:23

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 at 09:23
G'day Peter,
"it was just a salt pan" This is what they just don't get! It may only be a 'salt pan' but a salt pan is a unique environment in its self which has taken probably 1000's of years to evolve.

A year or two ago now a big club had a photo on their web site of 26 vehicles up on top of Elachbutting Rock, again a unique environment that has taken 1000's of years to evolve, and by running their vehicles over it they destroyed sections of it in minutes.

I'm with you Peter.
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Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Monday, May 10, 2004 at 18:42

Monday, May 10, 2004 at 18:42
It is certainly a place were green groups get ammo and land managers get a lot of info from doing searches aswell. The stupid ones also leave their rego's on the photos. Thanyou fine on way !!!!!
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