Sand flags

Good afternoon all you people that like to go four wheel driving and camping in the great out doors, the same as what I do, now the question is a simple one really and the answer I hope is just as easy, I have just come from a four wheel drive shop and I over heard a conversation about sand flags on vehicles, and although I think they are a good Idea from a practical and safety perspective I agree with them but I always thought that they were up to the individual to use them, I did not think that they were enforceable by law, like the sales person was telling the young bloke that they are now a legal requirement if operating a four wheel drive off road, can some one clarify this for me. Who is going to enforce it here in W.A.
any answers please.
Broodie H3
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Reply By: Dean K3 - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 15:13

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 15:13
Yet to find any "legal requirement" in WA however, different states different laws/codes of conduct.

Did bit of a quick search and found this on simpson desert requirements:

www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/Home/Media_Centre/News_Events_Listing/140313-safety-flags

As you say its a safety thing which comes first in my mind, I have a small 1.5 metre that fits nicely inside cab behind front seat easily attached as and when i need it.

Quick connect with spring mounted on roof bar as opposed to bullbar, down side to this is i have taken out a few lower branches when doing bit of track work and one drive through clearance sign (totally forgot it was still fitted)

Mandatory by mine site /companies require them for both day and night use, when it comes into force for using permit access like railway Tom price to Karratha remains to be seen but for OHS it will probably be enforced one day

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Follow Up By: GarryR - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 16:20

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 16:20
Last year I did a trek onto some private stations, 3 to be exact, all owned by the same person. It was mandatory to run a sand flag by the station management as a safety requirement for safety of their staff as well as my self as the track was single vechile and blind crests. ( easy to have a head on) I suggest that you install a mount and carry one for the minimal cost of safety as well being prepared to erect one easily should the occasion arise.. I do think it is mandatory on some tracks in SA, or highly recommended. Hope this helps you out. My attitude is always think safety first, even if others seem not to worry. For $120- or there abouts I would not hesitate to carry one
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 20:59

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 20:59
MY concern was for the young bloke being told something that is untrue and forcing him to buy something that he does not legally require, and spending UP TO $140 on something that he doesn't need, that is what I am concerned with. I am not fully conversant with the traffic act of W.A. and I didn't know so I asked the question, and by the responses that the question has raised, and the answers I have received to my question it has been answered. thank you all.
And I do use a sand flag myself in case you are all wondering. thank you one and all.
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Follow Up By: Member - backtracks - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:43

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:43
Regardless of the law, cost can be Nill. For a bit of a joke I used a very long bamboo pole with a Fluor vest wired to the top last Simo trip. Rather eye catching and almost the tallest flag I saw!
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 18:14

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 18:14
I have just yesterday crossed the Simpson Desert and there are notices at each end advising that sand flags are a compulsory requirement to the specifications contained in the Desert Parks Pass.
If you agree with the need for flags, why are you concerned with them being legally required?
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 18:32

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 18:32
The OP seems was told it is a requirement for offroading....which it isn't ....EXCEPT for the Simpson desert ( and possibly other deserts ?? )

If you have no intention of doing desert treks or remote station treks, then no, a sand flag is not needed..
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 19:17

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 19:17
Simpson & Canning to my understanding - not aware they're mandatory on any other public roads or NP's

Private landowners have the right to make thier own rules......
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 19:27

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 19:27
Personally, and this is my own opinion, I've always had a bit of an ambivalent attitude to the effectiveness of Sand flags - certainly they are useful on lower sized ridges and where you have some visibility. Were quite useful on the CSR where you were driving through vehicle hieght scrub. However a lot of flags don't exceed the height of the vehicle cabin and steep sand hills in the Simpson and on the CSR, by the time you see the sand-flag it quite often too late, particularily if one of the vehicles is taking the sand hill at speed.

Far more effective IMHO, is mandatory use of UHF radio's and mandated channels - gives you far more advance warning of approaching vehicles and can be used to manage passing groups, particularily in high traffic / low visibility areas.

my 2c worth........
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:10

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:10
Hi Scott,
I have always believed that to be prepared as best you can for anything to happen, and I agree with you on the use of UHF radios, do you know of a channel that everyone uses when off road, the trucks use channel 40 caravans 18 and a lot of people have them in there vehicles and never turn them on, with me I put my radio on when the wheels hit the dirt and put it on scan and hope like hell I hear someone calling before I get to the next rise.
So Far in all our travels we have had very few near misses, and I put it that down to good luck than management.
Maybe one day we may be able to get some sort of uniformity with all off roaders.
just my 2c worth.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:42

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:42
Brodie, some places like the Simpson & CSR mandate a channel, otherwise, once off the East Coast and unless you're in a group - Ch 40 is it.
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 22:22

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 22:22
Except for the New England Highway...Ch 29.
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 23:31

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 23:31
New England Hwy is Ch 40 The Pacific is 29
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 23:51

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 23:51
"New England Hwy is Ch 40 The Pacific is 29" - why I said "once off the East Coast"
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 22:32

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 22:32
Channel 10 is usually the one used for 4WD tracks and National Parks. This should be signed when you enter. Use what ever channel is on the sign. Some roads frequented by mining trucks or logging trucks will be signed "switch to channel xx" if different to channel 40.
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 06:40

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 06:40
And everyone naturally assumes that all vehicles have a UHF CB fitted. Sadly, this is not the case.

To get back on topic, here is an offering from Bushcomm, that is a mining safety whip with intergrated LED lighting, and a UHF antenna can also be incorporated into the whip.

Safety Whip

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 08:30

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 08:30
Agree about the radio. Same on CSR - met some Pathfinders/x_trails without anything.

I can't help but laugh Stu. Just imagine a convoy of blinking lights and christmas tree LED strips heading across the dunes.

Next you will want us all to have a man with a red flag , stop/slow and hi-vis clothing leading every car through.

Agree with sand flags but for the right place. Not driving around town like you see occasionally. Please leave me with some responsibility.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 17:11

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 17:11
G'day Phil,
My late Father often recanted that when he was a young fella, a motor car had to be preceded by a man on foot, waving a flag in order to stop the horses from being spooked.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 17:20

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 17:20
And from where I sit it looks like we are heading back there with all this "over the top" safety stuff. And in most cases it's the minority who haven't the sense to take care and responsibility for their own actions.

Don't start me - as Phil Gould would say.

Catchya

Phil
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 19:53

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 19:53
I don`t know about it being a legal requirement
Just a little bit to the side of your question.
A 2 or 3 piece surf or beach fishing rod held to the bull bar with TV antenna clamps or large hose clamps is a far cheaper option than what you will pay at the ripoff 4x4 shops.

Scrubby.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:33

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 21:33
Yep Scrubby a 3 piece surf rod , is what we use , we had the highest most visible flags in the Simpson .

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Reply By: Member - Robert1660 - Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 23:12

Monday, Sep 14, 2015 at 23:12
We drove the sand tracks at Steep Point in WA recently. Although there is no requirement for a sand flag we nevertheless attached ours. The tracks at Steep Point are narrow with many blind corners and crests. Although we could not see the numerous vehicles coming in the opposite direction they often commented that we were clearly visible. This meant that they pulled over waiting for us to pass by. Thus sand flags in this situation were very worthwhile.
Robert
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 11:21

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 11:21
For the Simpson the flag has to be 3.5m above the ground from memory. As posted already, that may not be all that helpful on steep ridges. One driver I know has fitted his pole so that it can be pivoted forward a bit.

Doesn't have to cost much as has been noted. I used a five buck length of 1" grey conduit and it lasted the Simpson plus another day in the desert. The orange stuff should last longer.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 20:25

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 20:25
Probable the shops client was planning on crossing the Simpson, where it is now mandatory to use a sand flag to minimum specs.
Elsewhere there are certainly times flags should be used, but not enforcable.
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Follow Up By: Member - Broodie H3 - Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 01:56

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 01:56
Hi Les,
the young bloke had a fairly new Mitsubishi sitting outside the front of the shop, and he reminded me of me when I first set up my first lot of recovery gear back in the seventies brand new everything, not even the wifes temper when I got home with all the new gear, and the rent was due the next day, being thirty dollars short, OUCH. lol but we survived, and I suppose he will too.
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 22:27

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 22:27
Hi Broodie
Lots of chat , hey.
I've certainly seen the signs at the Simpson - Dalhousie end , that flags are required.
Can't comment on elsewhere, but I'm pretty sure , not a general off road "law".
And the salesperson is full off ..it that's for sure!
How often do some sales people talk out of their ass to make a sale!
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 22:51

Tuesday, Sep 15, 2015 at 22:51
shane, if you followed every bit of advice from a salesperson or 4wd 'celebrity' (read promotional mouthpiece) on what was 'essential' gear, you'd need a b-double to haul it all around.

We all learn by experience (and jeez we've all tossed gear out), however I wonder sometimes how 4wd newbies work it all out. Remember one time standing outside a tent at a 4wd and camping show watching some spruiker doing a number on a fairly clueless bloke over some bit of expensive multi-functional bi-directional cooking gear that promised to make pizzas / roast dinners / pavlova's etc. in the middle of nowhere. Had more windings than Inspector Gadget. Bloke was trying to convince the missus they couldn't leave home without it. Missus didn't look convinced (as she was the one who was probably going to have to figure it out and use it). Couldn't help myself and sidled up beside them a quietly told them it'd wind up in the back of the garage!
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Reply By: Member - evaredy - Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 10:24

Wednesday, Sep 16, 2015 at 10:24
I also think they are a good investment, they are easily put on and taken off when not needed.
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