Avoiding Thumpa

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:10
ThreadID: 33156 Views:1954 Replies:16 FollowUps:7
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I've got my hand on my head to touch wood when I say this, but I've never hit a roo. Not in 30 years of driving. Had one commit Hari Kari on the side of the vehicle but thats it.
I rekkon emus and other furry things are worse but not as numerous at night in the areas I travel in.
I try never to drive at dusk and dawn and as little at night in the bush as possible. I've had some near misses of course. Last trip a mob of around 100 just crossed the road in front as if they owned the place. It was around 12pm not am ! A family coming the other way would have needed new undies, but I was travelling slowly enough to see them early.
Shoo Roo and those whistle things are surely useless....or are they ?
Apart from staying at home what's your tactic for a thumpa free trip ?
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Reply By: Geoff M (Newcastle, NSW) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:32

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:32
About the same as yours, bloody silly things they are.
Just the same amount of road sense as my 13yo daughter!

Bloke I work with says the whistles are Ok if you follow the instructions, I didn't know they had any!

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AnswerID: 168519

Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:41

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:41
Jim I had one leap off an embankment in the Grampians a few years ago.
I thought it was going to land on the bonnet, lucky it hit the road just in front of the car and the bull bar knocked it flat and the Muddies finished it off.
It was in the middle of the day and I was on a dirt road traveling at about 70 k/ph.

I don't know what the answer is except to do what you suggest and have really good driving lights if you drive at night and slow down.
Just a hazard of driving in Australia I guess.
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AnswerID: 168520

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:47

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:47
I dont think there is any scientific way of avoiding them... It is pure ar$e and nothing else..
It's like dying,,, when you are due,,, you are due...
Those whistles are like hyclones,,, sucker born every minute to buy one...
As you already said,,, time of day is important but not a cure...
AnswerID: 168522

Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 09:45

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 09:45
Yeah, but they are a lot cheaper than Hyclones!
Any mug can be uncomfortable out bush

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FollowupID: 424058

Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:52

Saturday, Apr 22, 2006 at 23:52
Thankfully, I also have never hit a roo or wombat etc., which may surprise a few as I only have one set of driving lights.

I did have to do some other b@stards dirty work though, one evening I came across one left on the road, dreadfully injured, compound fractures etc etc, i was on the way to our holiday place & all I had was a mattock, so I had to use the handle as a club.
Ruined our weekend & I still think about it.
AnswerID: 168523

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 00:30

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 00:30
You did the right thing with what you had available. It's never pleasant.

FollowupID: 423872

Reply By: Exploder - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 03:19

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 03:19
If driving at night in an aria I haven’t been before I just take it easy till I get a feel for what’s around or if I what to take it easy just sit behind a road train if ones around and let him clear the road of any obstacles.

I won’t drive at night too far north have done it 2wice, once out of coral bay at 10:30 at night we did around 45km in a hour before just pulling over till morning it was that Bad!!, The second was out of Paraburdoo/Tom price aria and the lead car hit a Cow, boy that was a fun night, 2 shredded tyres a damaged Patrol and dead cow after some help from Mr. Remington, all happend within 2Hrs yeah good times LOL.

Also if there are cars coming in the other direction I find it gives you a indication that the road ahead is clear for a little bit as wel, if you know that the aria is notorious for animal strikes just sit it out till morning if you don’t wana risk it.
AnswerID: 168528

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:12

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:12
That stretch of roads on the Northwest Cape has always been the worst for roo's at dawn dusk and night, though you hardly see them in the daytime IMHO.
Worked up that way for a few years. Left Exmouth 8.30pm once heading south, and hit 3 before Learmonth (30km) doing only around 75k's. All smaller ones though. Dispatched the last one with the Ruger, drove about 500 meters round a corner and there were the 2 sentries at the RAAF base. They didnt seem to bothered about gunshots at night nearby?
FollowupID: 423896

Reply By: guzzi - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 05:51

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 05:51
Bought a lotto ticket lately?
In 30 yrs of driveing / rideing Ive hit one,with a work vechicle, dead centre, and had another hit me in the side on a motorcycle, got less than a second warning on that one. Score me 2 roo's 0. Both could have been much worse. Both in broad daylight.
Many near misses at all times of the day/night.
How do you avoid them?
Vigulance, drive to the conditions and plain old good luck on occasion, although none of those are guarenteed 100%.
AnswerID: 168529

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:04

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:04
Near miss = collision
Near hit = a close call!
FollowupID: 423894

Reply By: jemkia - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 06:15

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 06:15
Talking of roos

I possibly just wrote of the family wagon (Vt Commodore wagon) not ten hours ago when a roo jumped on the bonnet to the windscreen to the roof.
Wife due to give birth in one week and two young kids in the back.

Ironic that seeing as we are about 7 weeks off heading around Australia again, we hit one just 5 min from home(Mornington Peninsula).

95kph and absoutely no warning.
Apart from me being sprayed with glass and the car totalled everyone was OK

So do those roo deflectors work or not !!!!!!!

On the plus side when I said that I'm going to spend $400-500 bucks on spotlights there was nothing but agreement and positive comments.

Of course I'm sure the thumpa would have just bounced sideways when hit by the bullbar/roobar on the County with no damage.

Oh well now for the insurance game

AnswerID: 168530

Reply By: Richard W (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 06:58

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 06:58
Hit one about 5 years ago between Bourke and Nyngan on the Mitchell Highway at about 9am. Was on the speed limit (110) and two came out of the trees on the side of the road. Got the second one at about 100. Only had a nudge bar on the Pajero but it saved the insurance company a fair bit of money. Also had the plastic roo whistles on.
AnswerID: 168531

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:54

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 08:54
Yep, That's an interesting stretch of road at night. All sorts of critters with kamikaze intentions :)))
FollowupID: 423900

Reply By: bigcol - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:44

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 07:44
Mate has the electronic Shoo Roo fitted to his 100 series and when driving at dusk the wallabies certainly move away from the road verges and around here is notorious for them.
We cleaned up 3 in one week.
AnswerID: 168533

Reply By: schane - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:11

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 09:11
Hey all, l drive from Cairns to Mackay every few weeks, mainly at night after work. The strecth of highway from Homehill to Bowen is the worst strech of road for roos l have ever seen in this lovely country of ours, three roos in the space of half an hr on one trip, on the return trip my brother gave me a set of the plastic whistle type "roo shue" things, l said that they were a load of b*?":><t but put them on anyway, just to keep him happy, and l have not hit another since that day, and the only roos that l have seen have been heading bush! l have been told that they only "work" above 80kph. One trip ,when the hilux was off the road, l drove an old mazada 323 hatch ,with the buul lights from the lux fitted, and a set of the above and not a roo to be seen
AnswerID: 168546

Reply By: TassieDave - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 10:02

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 10:02
When I was working in the snowys a fews years back we had just got our shift change vehicle back from the smash repairer's after hitting a roo, they had fitted those little whistle's to it. I hit another roo that night coming home at about 11pm. The boss was not too Happy. So I don't think they work.
AnswerID: 168553

Reply By: PBob - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 11:20

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 11:20
I have hit plenty from many years of bush driving - but have not hit one since putting whistlers beside the windscreen washers for the past 6 vehicles over the last 8 or so years. I think that they do help, (for $20 it is well worth a try). They seem to sit upright on their haunches as you go past. you need to be doin about 80k for the whisles to work. Having said all that, I agree with most of the above, (particularly about slowing down and dusk to dawn). If your number is up, cop it!
AnswerID: 168562

Follow Up By: Exploder - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 13:05

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 13:05
I have found the same thing they just sit there and look at you, Once I see one I will slow right down and just drive past it. I have been asked a few times about my Roo whistle's I just say well I haven’t hit a roo yet. I am not saying they do work not saying they don’t but for $20 it’s worth a try.
FollowupID: 423933

Reply By: Hairy - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 11:52

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 11:52
I had one of my roo whistles adjusted by a roo's head at about 100ks! Doesnt give me a lot of confidence in them!
AnswerID: 168567

Reply By: Member - 'Lucy' - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 12:00

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 12:00
Schoo-roos, Hi-clones etc etc.

The only thing you haven't mentioned trying is a 'fitch'.

Have heard they only work on Wombats though.


NIGHT: Light/s and heaps of it including side facing driving lights, along with total concentration and peripheral awareness that you seemlessly integrated with the driving conditions, goes a long way in avoiding fauna clashes.

DAW/DUSK: Slow right down and keep those eyes sweeping for the 'enemy' , or just stop and have a cup of tea until it either gets dark or the sun comes up.

DAY: Hopefully the B a s t a r d s have gone to sleep .

CONCLUSION: C H IT happens, so do your best and if a fauna mega-giant is hell bent on suicide, hope like hell it picks someone else and not you to self destruct on.
AnswerID: 168569

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 13:03

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 13:03
Roos generally come out towards dusk.

So if you have pulled over and set up camp for the night, you will have reduced ALL chance of hitting any.

In rare situations where I am still travelling, a combination of a good set of spotlights and the bullbar have given me the "tools" I need. The bullbar's impact reducing feature by the way is a last resort. I have the Bullbar to mount the Spotlights AND the super expensive set of "shoo roos" also mounted on it.

The pair of "shoo roos" (little plastic sub-sonic whistles) were a few bucks from the local auto shop and I must say they have proven themselves to work in at least attracting animals to my approach. (e.g. roos, dogs, eagles, crows and even a bloody horse on one scary occasion).


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AnswerID: 168577

Reply By: rickwagupatrol - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 14:51

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 14:51
Hiya Fottie.
If skippy really wants to commit harikari, there aint nothing you can do about it. Try and line them up with the centre of the vehicle(strongest point), and get that foot off the brakes just before you hit it. A car hard on the brakes, nose pointing at the bitumen is more likely to have skippy join the driver through the windscreen.
Two sets of spotties, one spread and the other pencil beam, adjusted to give the broadest spread of light over the entire road, from the bush 5mts to the side, and as far ahead as possible, mounted on a good bar certainly helps lessen the risk of damage. Make sure the spotties are mounted behind the "line" of the bar, or skippy will simply smash them when he hits. Do not have spotties super tight, allow just the slightest bit of slack, so that they may move, therefore absorbing the impact a bit better. Make damn sure you are fully awake when night driving, and not fatigued. Get the passengers in on spotting for eyes in the dark.(my kids have a side each and SWMBO looks forward)
There are places all over Aus that have large roo populations, ask at the local towns first, before blindly driving into the night.(pun intended).
Hope thishelps.

AnswerID: 168592

Follow Up By: Muddy doe (SA) - Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 18:25

Sunday, Apr 23, 2006 at 18:25
Very good point from Rick about the suspension being compressed from braking. Also works for unexpected potholes, creeks or rocks.

Maximum brakes the instant you see something but then release them at last possble instant and when you hit the obstacle the front end has a bit more absorbtion in the shocks to ride out the damage. In the case of an animal the front of vehicle is at maximum height thus greater chance of it going under the car or bouncing forward rather than going over the bonnet.

FollowupID: 423960

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