what type of 4wding is nt??

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:05
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can ne one tell me what type of 4wding northern territory is???when a track says "experience drivers" only...what sort of experience??we do lots of hill climbs etc....but is it mainly corrigation and rutts driving needed??...going to do oodnadatta - finke-alice,mereenie loop etc....going in a 80 series....laura
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Reply By: Member - David 0- Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:25

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:25
The biggest challenge for most of these tracks (roads) is that they are remote. The other concern is usually they are very long distances and it is possible to get up to high speeds, then encounter ruts and holes disguised by bulldust etc. Experienced driver can read (sometimes subconciously) the little tell tales signs of impending holes and ruts froma distance. Inexperienced drivers have one thing as their friend- low speed. ie keep the speed low and you will be safer.

Your vehicle should be well prepared. if you are unsure, take it to a 4wd mechanic and tell him what you intend to do and ask him to inspect. You should carry enough water for several days as you can be stuff for 3 or 4 days if something goes wrong or the weather turns bad on the rmote tracks.

Take more than one spare tyre and tyre repair equipment. Run your tyres at 26-28 psi and TAKE YOUR TIME. If you break down stay with your vehicle. If you are really concerned and it is your first time then do a tag along tour or travel with friends who are more experienced.

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Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:43

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:43
stuck for 3 or 4 days
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Reply By: Rod W - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:31

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 10:31
"Experience Drivers" is a very broad statement to cover a diverse range of situations and requirements, like be prepared for;

long distance and/or remote area travel.
be prepared for constantly changing road/track conditions.
be fully selfsufficient ie food, water, clothing, fuel, tool and basis spare parts etc.
if something happens be prepared to wait for help.
know your capabilities and limits.
know your vehicle's capabilities and limits.

I'm sure others will add to this list.

The term "Experienced drivers" goes way beyond the short one day crash and bash trips.
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Reply By: richopesto - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 12:32

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 12:32
Hi flora,

I went to WA and NT with little or no 'experience' in heavy duty 4wding. I found after some practice, advice and general common sense, that care, caution and common sense outweigh all other factors. Dont be scared to go anywhere, just be reasonable. If its dry weather its mostly just dusty. But when it rains, it can get very messy (and potentially dangerous)
I took every recovery item known to man except a motorised winch because I was by myself. I travelled up through Normanton to Arnhem land from Birdsville, right across the TopEnd, Roper Bar, throughout the Kimberley including the Gibb River Road (not recommended ! take the highway) and I must mention the now infamous (at least in my book) 'Selwyn Track' out of Boulia - 2- 3 feet of nonstop bulldust for 100km+ !! - now that was a 'gripping' learning experience !
I crossed rivers flowing over the wheel rims, fast flowing rivers, got stuck in black mud, beaches and dunes and genrally pushed me and my truck as far as I felt comfortable.
So - I got back alive, and I now have heaps more experience for next time. Remember - 60 yr old retirees who cant lift their own wheel rims to change a tyre head off into the never-never without a care in the world. If they can, you can!
(no offense to the more nimble and capable 60yr olds)

PS I only ever needed to use the shovel. But plenty of OTHER folks needed my snatch strap, inflatable bag and hi-lift. ;-)

cheers
richopesto
AnswerID: 149372

Follow Up By: Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 13:27

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 13:27
The Gibb River road has to be one of the easiest roads you will ever come across. It does seem to have rather sharp road metal which can cause punctures but otherwise I can't see why 4 wheel drive is even recomended!
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Follow Up By: richopesto - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 15:33

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 15:33
Hi Kiwi,

My first thought is your one of redbacks' mates just trying to be provocative, - but your comment isnt stupid and ignorant. (If this means absoutely nothing to you, just ignore it and read on)

I can only think it must have just been graded (that would explain the exposed stones)
I havent been on every road in Australia, but it was easily the second worst corrugations I have ever seen - the coastal track from Exmouth to Coral Bay was w-o-o-o-o-orse, but nowhere near as long. At any rate, the GRR is consistenlty rated as the one of the worst in Oz - so it must have been your lucky day.

I spoke to two couples who were re-considering driving the entire road due to its poor condition (one of them was already halfway along, unfortunately)

....and you completely forgot to mention the Pentecost. Whats that? A rivulet?

cheers
Rich

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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 20:26

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 20:26
Obviosly conditions change but I found it more as Kiwi sayswith the pentacost being just that - a rivulet, In April 03 I saw nothing about the GRR that would challange a 2wd
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Follow Up By: richopesto - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 10:23

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 10:23
well, there you go. I was last through in jun 02. This is a classic example of how much the road conditions can change year to year. The year I went through massive rebuilding and regarding was occurring as many parts had been completely washed away previous wet. One of the very well-known campsites (I cant remember the name) literally did not exist. A sign was on the road basically saying 'dont bother, theres nothing left"

from one extreme to the other !

cheers
richopesto
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Reply By: Wizard1 - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 13:18

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 13:18
How lomg is a piece of string.........

Sorry to say it, but it is a silly question.

The NT is a very, very big place. The driving in one place is different to another. Kakadu you could do in the family sedan, whilst some desert tracks may be a little more of a challenge.

Go up there, make sure you a prepared, and see for yourself.

I lived there for a few years. Pick where you want to go and drive to the conditions at the time.....
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Reply By: Darian (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 14:23

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 14:23
Sounds like a good trip Flora - we love it up there - roads for the areas indicated are all straight forward in bush travel terms - if you are equipped suitably for remore area travel AND you are the sensible types (driving to prevailing conditions) you'll have a great time. IMO, the "experienced" tag refers to people who understand that different surfaces and conditions require different tactics (and equipment sometimes)..... changing tyre pressures for sand and stones etc........having a shovel, a decent jack and a snatch strap etc...........some people who know "nothing about anything" sometimes travel in these places and need to be warned !
AnswerID: 149390

Reply By: Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 18:00

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 18:00
Reply to Rich,
1. Yep, the Pentecost is a riverlet in the dry season (and a hard bottom).
2. You do not need four wheel drive to negotiate the bumps on a corrugated road.
3. The GR road is well known as being hard on tyres due to the sharp stones.

However, the GR road is a long corrugated road and has no fuel or vehicle repair facilities so yes you should have a reliable and well serviced vehicle. But in my humble opinion it is not a rugged 4wd trip. 10 km from food or fuel in a blizard is just as dangerous as a breakdown 150 km up the GR road. How did anyone travel up to Alice before the road was sealed or the Birdsville track before everyone had a 4wd? Two wheel drive ! In reality, distance from service centres in case of breakdown or medical emergency and not the corrugated road is your main problem.

I drove the Stuart before it was sealed 2wd and have driven the GR in a 4wd, what's the differance? prob only the 4wd didnt have as many bits fall off. Must remember to user gaffer tape on 100 series Cruisers headlights before starting out next time :-)).
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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 18:59

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2006 at 18:59
You probably won't need to use 4WD on the proposed roads you have mentioned. Most of these roads can be done in a 2WD, but a high clearance vehicle is an advantage.

Keep your speed down on these roads and watch out for wildlife crossing your path
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Reply By: flora - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:38

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:38
thanks everyone....you have all just told me what i thought you would all say and what i already knew...i just want to make sure...ever since i have had kids im not as invincible!! so i just like to make sure....dont worry people we are't city slickers who think that a 4b looks good and never use it for what its made to do!! go those 60 yr olds out there....about to see some adventurous ones!!!! how do you guys add photos....we nearly sunk the 4b the other day...wanna show ya's!!!!laura
AnswerID: 149571

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