Female Co-drivers

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 18:15
ThreadID: 131215 Views:2076 Replies:14 FollowUps:10
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With apologies to Axle I ask the question..... how many of us have 'The Wife' behind the wheel in all situations for as many driving hours as ourselves. (Well it was a boring day. lol)

On our first trip in the Troopy, as we were leaving Birdsville, Roz was handed the wheel and took to it like it was the VW that she learned to drive in. Straight over Big Red (after being given guidance on gear and throttle selection)

From then on she spends about as much time behind the wheel as I do.
In fact, I can't get to the wheel on Frazer Island!!! Window down, wind in the hair... Wheee.

Apart from any other consideration, it is a good safety thing in the event of me becoming incapacitated.

So.... how many of you encourage you wives and girlfriends (not at the same time!) to take the wheel in all conditions, not just on the 'easy' stuff?
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Batt's - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 18:46

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 18:46
Good to see.. I;ve had no luck tried over 20yrs ago with my wife driving on a bush track doing well came to a puddle which was on the driver's side the type that appears after a shower of rain a couple of inches deep probably 5 mts long. She stopped I said it's ok to keep driving she said how do you know how deep it is I said it's a couple of inches I can tell by looking at it and from experience. She got out and jumped in the passenger's seat with no intention of driving through it but was fine with me doing it. I have since said it would be handy for her to learn a few things if we're out and I get hurt she said she'd manage if that happens. A mate of mines girlfriend loved driving my cruiser when we went to Stockton beach couldn't get her out of the seat.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 19:02

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 19:02
And the truth is that she probably will manage in a real emergency. Most of our wives are more capable than we give them credit.
One problem is that they may feel that if they try and don't get it right, then they will be criticised, so they avoid that by simply not attempting. And don't worry, I still fall into that mistake from time to time!
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 11:55

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 11:55
Allan, you are spot on re women not driving because of the constant coaching bordering on criticism. John seldom does that these days ,but its taken 50 years of "education" lol... and then there is matter of what happens when "the boot is on the other foot". A recent health issue that saw him not driving for 6 months really emphasised how quickly circumstances can change and how important it is to be tolerant of each others skills and shortcomings.

Seriously though the behaviour and language by some (not all) men wrt their wives/partners that is often on display in camp areas, caravan parks, (and even on this forum at times) shows a lack of respect that would be enough to put any woman off driving - or anything else for that matter. I wonder how many men would tolerate being called a "handbrake" or "minister of war" in public.

Cheers,

Val.

J and V
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015 at 02:24

Wednesday, Dec 30, 2015 at 02:24
Val, If the truth be know, some of us are probably called a lot worse by some of our women folk, they just don't do it in public. :-)

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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 19:47

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 19:47
Would love the Nagivator to do some of the driving - Unfortunately, she is not so keen - she doesnt like towing and hates putting it in 4WD.

Even offered to get her to do a "Womens Only" 4WD course but she baulked at that as well.

The good thing is - She can handle the Landcruiser on the bitumen so hopefully if it all falls apart she would be able to get us out of a sticky situation.

Cheers

Anthony

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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 20:20

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 20:20
Too right. And she does her own recoveries and very good at it also. Far be it for me to "butt in".

May I also add that she is a life time member of a national car club having been the national champion back in her raly days.

She wouldn't even let me change a tyre on her car. Yep. Another reason why I just stood back and said to myself "this is the girl for me". That was 45 years ago, and we are still married!!!

Phil
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Reply By: gelatr - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 20:37

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 20:37
I still spend too much time in the driver's seat. I'm conscious of the need to have a competent partner with me in the event of an emergency so it is something that I have to get better at.

I, or I should say we, do a lot of towing and she is now quite good at backing the boat and JetSki at boat ramps. She even got a marriage proposal from another cheeky bugger a while a go.

Her ability to reverse a trailer was an absolute blessing during a recent visit to Airlie Beach where we were launching our JetSki. I could drop her off at the pontoon and she could competently reverse the trailer down the ramp and I could then drive the ski directly on the trailer minimising exposure to any nasties in the water. So I've learnt that giving her experience and sharing these sorts of roles can actually be a benefit to both of us.

I believe that if I did get into strife she would be more than capable of getting us out of trouble. It just makes a lot more sense to give her more practise and experience before this situation ever arose.

Cheers Geoff
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Reply By: Zippo - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 21:09

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 21:09
Heck yeah. Mrs Zippo does as much of the driving as I do, sometimes there is almost competition for the driving seat. We know one couple where the mrs won't drive away from home ground, which is very limiting for them and tough for him. Makes me v.happy that SWMBO is a very capable driver, and more than willing to do her share. The only time she's slightly reluctant is if it is boggy - I think that's so if we get bogged she can blame me!
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Reply By: Life Member - Fred B (ex-NT) - Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 21:42

Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 21:42
My Precious Treasure prefers I do the driving as she loves to do the navigating / mapping. However, when it comes to moving her precious horse around in, and towing the horse float... I get out of the way and leave it to her. In fact she has on many occasions towed horse float on her own to many a varied location and situation over some pretty narrow roads and tracks.

Having said that, she has also done the 4WD driver training course (3 very full on days) and did better than a lot of blokes on the course. The course included reverse hill starts, winching, use of snatch straps etc. and changing flat tyres. She was just amazing.

There were a couple of occasions (on extended trips) where she had to drive because I had damaged my knee and simply could not drive. Without her skills we were stuck.
So "more to" all the "other halves", "handbrakes", "finance managers", or whatever we tend to call our "other halves".

regards
Fred B
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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:08

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:08
Our split is about 80/20. The Dragon is fully capable of towing our 3,5t BT through any terrain - doesn't like the city, but is very competent.

John
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:14

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:14
I wouldn't dare call here 'the wife' but yeah, she takes the wheel when we're on plain long distance runs. We take it in two hour shifts and so reduce the risk of driver error. She's not confident in 4WD conditions. We've done a basic course together so she gets the basics and to stay fresh we talk through any challenge we're looking at.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:31

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:31
How about "My wife" then Sigmund? Well no, I mean "your wife"........ oh, you know what I mean. I had to address the wider readers!
I wince when I read "Minister for War & Finance" and "The Handbrake" etc.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 10:39

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 10:39
It's complicated hey Allan.

We don't have the bit of paper. I don't like "partner" cos that means various things. "Common law wife" I like better but that's a bit obscure. "De facto" - nah. "Her indoors" - well she's outdoors almost as much as me. "The missus"? She's very much her own person - own career, finances and friends - and shouldn't be labelled in terms of her relationship with me.

As an aside, when we got into 4WDing seriously about a year ago I looked around for basic courses and almost all that were available charged extra if you wanted a family member along. So I went with the guy who didn't and we both got a lot out of it. These days my capacities are waning and it's good to have two minds working on some of the things we face.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 13:29

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 13:29
.
It can be complicated Sigmund. Which is why resignedly I opted for "The Wife". (Note the Capitals)

When someone refers to his "partner" I confusedly think of a 'business partner'. However, to me "wife" means the person that you are spending your life with exclusively, whether married with 'papers' or otherwise. In actual fact, whenever I refer to my Significant Other Person it is always as "Rozzie" as I view her very much as an individual, not an appendage. As with your err, SOP, Roz is "very much her own person". Amusingly, for several years after we were married, Roz retained her 'maiden' name for professional reasons and I introduced her by that name which raised a few eyebrows in our social relationships. Nowadays it is quite common for separate surnames.

As a child, if I used the word "She", my mother would reprimand with "SHE is the cat's mother". I never did really understand that until many years later.
But we digress.
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Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 15:15

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 15:15
The "love of my Life", "My Soul Mate", "My Best Friend" "My Wife" "The Nagivator" (or whatever other name she goes by) and I have been together for over 25 years.

We are "legally" married. In a church with a white dress and the whole "catastrophe". She even maintained her own surname. She is very much a person in her own right and very much a significant part of me.

She is the Mother of our 2 children and a better one doesn't exsist anywhere. She is the most "selfless" person I have ever met.

We have worked along side one another as teachers for over 25 years. She has been my boss at times and I hers at others.

While we have had professional disagreements, we have never had a fight. We have never slept in another bed unless we are physically in another place. We have never gone to bed angry or upset.

We have been through thick and thin "together". We have been to hell and back medically and have always been there to support one another. When our children were born, due to a horrendous medical condition, Our obstetrician told me I had to make the worst choice a person would ever have to make - My wife or our child!

I think you get the picture - this is the woman I will and want to spend the rest of my life with.I would never say or do anything to deliberately upset or offend her. I have too much respect for her.

In our families, we have numerous nicknames for each person. These are used depending on the circumstance or context.

In our case, when we talk about travelling or four wheel driving my wife goes by "The Nagivator". This is a term she inadvertently gave herself when we were talking to another couple about this very topic - "Does your wife do any of the driving?". Her reply was "No! I'm just the Nagivator."

This is not a "Term of Endearment" it is a "Term of Affection". One that is accepted and brings a smile to our faces when we remember how she came by it and the pleasant memories of the wonderful couple we were with at the time.

Cheers

Anthony
VKS 3539
Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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Follow Up By: Member - Kirk L - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 15:28

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 15:28
Good for you Anthony. I envy you mate. Well done.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 10:32

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 10:32
Allan,

I'm sure you know how we do it - up to 2 hours at the wheel then up to 2 hours as navigator, then swap back... Val and I both did a comprehensive 4WD course many years back and we've driven hundreds of thousands of km since, many of them in desert sand. Either of us can handle most things that are handle-able, though I find it's always me that lifts the spare up onto the back of Troopy, or the Jerries down from the roof rack. I'm assured that's just a male ego thing.

Most of the advantages of having a competent co-driver are listed above. I wouldn't travel remote without a spare driver any more than I would without a spare wheel.

Cheers

John
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Reply By: Member - Kirk L - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 15:23

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 15:23
Can somebody find me one of those please. Actually find me someone who will travel with me. License not required lol
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Reply By: Tony H15 - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 16:25

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 16:25
I don't have a 4WD anymore just an AWD SUV that I tow our Aliner with, she shares the driving - have trouble getting her out of the seat actually. When we had a 4WD she wasn't keen on driving off road, has the same problem with yachting - once the vehicle heels more a degree it's worry, worry, worry, I have RA now so my hands are next to useless so she'll probably do a lot more driving and I'll have to show her how to hook up the Aliner. Backing the camper is the real problem, turning the wheel the opposite way to where you want the camper to go confuses the hell out of her, still only a matter of practice I suppose. Unfortunately she can't read a map or UBD, even turning it upside down, sideways, backwards, you name it she gets lost, so when we need to consult one she drives and I navigate or we use the GPS. Funnily enough the GPS gets her flustered too. Nevertheless, handy things to have around these women, and they can cook too!
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 18:06

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 18:06
Try gripping the steering wheel at the bottom and turn the same way you want the camper to go.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 12:25

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 12:25
Or if reversing in the mirrors, if you see too much of the trailer appearing in a mirror, pull that side of the wheel down.
FrankP

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Reply By: Tony H15 - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 18:16

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 18:16
No good telling me!
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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Di T (SA) - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 21:09

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 21:09
Here's a 'wife' etc, replying. I drive as much as my 'husband' especially when we are on tracks. I also drive in cities and on the open road. We've had a rule for years; drive for 2 hours then hand over.

I also back and park.

Di
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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 at 09:17

Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 at 09:17
Totally!
She even has her own truck.
You both have to be competent as one of you may be incapacitated so the other has to do the business.
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