first time on a track

Submitted: Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 23:55
ThreadID: 24163 Views:2256 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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Hi to all,

I would like some guidance and tips if you can regarding the necessary knowledge for undertaking a track for the fist time. I have drove Hilux's in the UK and had fun on old mining slag heaps and fields etc but nothing as serious or as remote as the Aussie landscape.

I live in Perth and would be looking for something easy to tackle at first and take my apprenticeship from there. I have just bought a 2001 troopy to take the family and friends out for days and breaks, and would be looking for 'localish' tracks, the big journey's will come eventually.

I need to know about reporting to rangers of my whereabouts or whoever i need to tell, permits, good 4wd clubs in south perth or any reasonably priced training courses, the ability of my vehicle, and any other tips regarding jacks, winches, or anything. I'm new to this and willing to listen and learn from anybody with decent advice.


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Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 08:12

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 08:12

The BEST advice I can give you is to join a club, preferably one that has a Driver Awareness Program built in to the joining process/fee. When we bought ours a couple of years ago, I wasn't keen on the club thing, but bowed to some pressure from my SWMBO. Honestly the best thing I have ever done! We learnt how to drive it, go on plenty of day trips and weekend camps, have made some very good friends along the way and most importantly we are still here in one piece!! Search the club listing on ExplorOz, or click here for the national four wheel drive association They have links out to clubs in each state on their home page and you may find there's one in your area.

AnswerID: 117368

Follow Up By: Banjo - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 10:14

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 10:14
Brian has given you THE answer. One suggestion for you is the Toyota Landcruiser Club which meets in the Tennis Club at Belmont, which is close to you. They have a lot of members so there is always a trip of interest happening. Not only will you learn how to safely drive the vehicle, but you will see the many accessories/modifications available and get unbiased advice as to their efficiency.

Banjo WA
FollowupID: 372817

Reply By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 09:18

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 09:18
Hi Dean

Welcome to a whole new aspect of Australia - I hope you enjoy it.

As Brian, above says, a club and training course will give you lots of practice and knowledge.

My advice to a newcomer to 4WDing is simple: KEEP THE SPEED DOWN.
It's _very_ easy to loose control of a vehicle on dirt roads and at any speed over about 60kph you will have serious trouble regaining control - it's not easy at 60!

The same advice applies for low range work - low speed. My motto is "I don't want to get there quickly - I just want to get there" :)

Have fun.

Mike Harding
AnswerID: 117376

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 13:21

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 13:21
Dean there are a couple of reasonably easy tracks around Pickering Brook. Try the powerline track from Lockwood Road Bickley to Ashendon Rd Bartons Mill. Its about 13km long and takes about 40 min. My wife hates it cos she gets bashed around as the track is fairly eroded. Couple of small wet spots. The track actually starts on Mundaring Weir Rd and goes through to Brookton Hwy but sections are gated. Easy place to start and easier than the Mundaring Powerlines track.

Pick up a copy of Western 4Wdriver for the names of a couple of Perth based instructers. We did one and it was excellent. My wife who hated basic gravel roads loved the course and she did most of the driving.

Also pick up the Western 4Wdriver Day Trips out of Perth booklet. Available from most newsagencies. Also on this website.

happy and safe driving

Make sure you give back more than you take

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AnswerID: 117396

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 13:25

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 13:25
The other thing you can do in addition to the club thing is go and play.

I did. My first 4wd was bought less than 1km from home but I managed to get bogged before I got there. Ok I took the scenic route. But my point remains, the best way to learn to drive 4wd is to look, listen and learn. Then to ram the lesson home go and get bogged, preferably on your own and not too far from home, and spend 3 or 4 hours getting the car out. I know there is at least one place on the south of Perth where you can do that. It is not far north of a Power Station and not far from the coast. Sorry, have only been there once an that was a long time ago.

It does two things,
1 It makes you think about where you put your car and the consequences of putting it in the wrong place.
2 It provides you with experience that may come in very handy one day when you are bogged 300km from the nearest assistance.

Some may argue with me on that but it has worked for me.

You seem to have the right attitude, I'm sure you will soon be enjoying your new Troopy and getting to enjoy this great country.


AnswerID: 117397

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 14:38

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 14:38
It isn't often I get on a "soapbox" and I thought long and hard about this one, but here goes!!!!!

Re the post above by Duncs........ be very careful Dean going alone for your first time out. Do you know what to do if you get stuck? Do you know what to do if you get stuck on the side of a hill? Do you know how to get yourself back down again? In ONE piece? I have seen what can go wrong! it AIN'T pretty.

Be sensible and join a club. You will learn much and enjoy it more. Who wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, even if it's just a k or 2 from home, alone???
AnswerID: 117412

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 14:53

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 14:53
The first thing that you have done right is to buy a Troopy so you are off to a good start and the rest will follow.All the above advice is good but at the end of the day you will find that you will rely on common sense and experience.
AnswerID: 117413

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:04

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 18:04
Join a club, learn the in's and outs of what can go right and wrong, I belong to the 4wd club of WA (inc), check out the web site, meet fortnightly in Mt Lawley. Great fun, family orientated, all makes and models usual ribbing and rivalry. As someone mentioned you can join a club that is brand specific if you want. We have driver awareness programmes as part of the membership which are always well attended. If you go out on your own and get stuck can be very costly and embarrassing. Mundaring for a bit of fun, Collie and Harvey for a tad more let's say "adventurous" experiences. The Western 4W Driver is an excellent mag for around the Perth area, especially the one day trip book.
Good luck you'll love it.
Keep the shiny side up

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AnswerID: 117433

Reply By: Phillydom - Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 19:03

Wednesday, Jun 29, 2005 at 19:03
Hi Dean......before you go anywhere make sure that you have the following
a quality aircompressor
a good tyre guage
a shovel
a snatch strap( in case you don't get yourself out if someone comes along they can assist you)
2 quality bow shackles
Do this BEFORE you go anwhere....regards Phil
AnswerID: 118104

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