muddy conditions

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:40
ThreadID: 5506 Views:1798 Replies:8 FollowUps:19
This Thread has been Archived
What's the best way of handling a bush track that's turned to mud, especially one that had a lot of fine bulldust before the rain (the real thing, not the kind you speak). I hear some say increase tyre pressures to cut through to the hard stuff, and others say keep them soft, more like beach driving. What's the right thing?Keeping the speed down goes without saying, and keeping the front wheels in the direction you want to go makes sense, but are there other tricks like using the handbrake to try to just brake the back wheels, especially when everything is sliding? Finally I am surprised that in all the 4WD magazines you rarely see anything about the use of snow & mud chains. I understand that these should only be used in extreme conditions as they are likely to chew up the track, but are they a good idea, and do they make a differerence, even just to get out of a tight spot. Looking for any experience, comments or advice that you can provide. By the way I have an 80 series petrol cruiser, with OME suspension (up 50 mm) and have done a number of the major treks, but mostly in dry conditions, hence the query.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: BAZZA - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:57

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:57
one other thing - u can swing the front wheels to and fro if ruts narrow but i'm sure u'll get further good advice - 'appy slidings
AnswerID: 22808

Reply By: tristjo - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:23

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:23
Kevin,

Do yourself a favour. Next time it's been raing for a day or to, make a trip to a 4wd park, or one of your mates paddocks (if your lucky enough to have one with a farm), and get out there and experiment. The first time you drive in slippery conditions, all the dry weather tactics go out the window, so it helps if you have been able to have a bit of a practice in controlled circumstances in the slop. Try a bit of throttle steering, and maybe master a little bit of handbrake work. I have learnt some of the most important things by just having a play, and of course, making a few mistakes.

Get used to the feel of driving your vehicle in the mud, then try a few excersises, like a little hillclimb, maybe a few drifting turns, and in no time, you'll feel more than confident of piloting your truck through those terribly sloppy conditions, that will no doubt confront you one day on your travels around Oz.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IS BY FAR THE BEST TEACHER.

Good luck, and have fun!!

Tristjo.

AnswerID: 22814

Reply By: Rob - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:27

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:27
Not to drive on it would be one consideration, but leaving that aside:

- LOWER pressures. High pressures work as well in mud as they do in sand. 20psi is good.
- The handbrake trick is for vehicles with a rear LSD only, and then only in extreme conditions as it does cause excess wear. Do NOT do it when everything is sliding, you'll only make matters worse.
- Use the highest gear you can. Second low is a good starting point, depending on the gearing and torque of the vehicle third may be possible. I've not driven an 80 but I expect 3rd low
- Wind the windows up first.
- Walk the mudbog.
- Attach a snatch strap to your recovery point, hang the strap in a window, wind the window up.
- Don't be afraid to use the right boot, but try and keep things smooth.
- Avoid braking. If you need to go somewhere, you'll best go there by gentle acceleration so the tyres pull and bite, not by lifting off the accelerator and trying to turn.
- Wave the steering wheel from left to right frantically, this gives the side lugs a chance to bite.

hth

--
Robert
http://www.gpsvehiclenavigation.com/
AnswerID: 22816

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 21:34

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 21:34
I think Rob made a good point. Most tracks which are marginally passable when wet will be severely damaged by vehicles and it would be best to avoid the situation where possible. Having said that, low pressures, maintain momentum, follow wheel tracks already created, steady use of the wheel, keep revs up.
0
FollowupID: 15061

Follow Up By: kevin - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 23:43

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 23:43
Thanks for the advice guys..... it helps!

Kevin
0
FollowupID: 15151

Reply By: desert - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 09:22

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 09:22
First thing to do when things turn bleep y and wet is to get those tyre pressures down to about 20 psi. Even with road tyres this will help enormously, and can be the difference between getting up that hill or not. Wheel chains are a godsend in slippery mud/rock conditions. There are not too many circumstances where you will not get out of with chains on. Traction is awesome. Provided that you do not deliberately spin up the chains, they actually do less damage to the track surface than a spinning tyre does. A wheel chain that is being used correctly will only leave an indent of the chain in the track surface, provided you do not induce wheel spin. Chains have saved my bacon many a time, far more effective than diff locks and certainly preferrable to a long,arduous winching procedure, up a greasy, slippery incline. But what many knockers do not take into account, is the added safety and traction afforded the vehicle ON DOWN SLOPES, where danger of the vehicle running away is very real. Yes, chains are a very,very useful piece of kit, that unfortuneatly, have copped very negative press in years gone by, mainly by those who have never really been in the serious terrain positions to correctly judge their effective usefulness.
AnswerID: 22853

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 09:43

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 09:43
Congrats Desert this is the first positive and factual info about chains I have seen on any forum. Chains are an important part of my recovery equipment and I never travel without them. Used correctly as Desert says they do no damage to the tracks. They are also compact and easy to carry and are far cheaper than diff locks. Cairns Offroad Training & Tours
0
FollowupID: 15077

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:15

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:15
Couldn't agree more. We got caught on the CREB track many years ago and it was only the two vehicles with chains that could move and they did it so easily they we able to tow other vehicles up and over tracks that had become impassable.

This was my first experience with chains and what struck me was that they did far less damage than was caused by the non-chained vehicles gauging out the track in their efforts to get traction. The ruts got deeper and wider and the track got chewed up, whereas the chained vehicles simply picked a line and drove straight through with minimal effort.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
0
FollowupID: 15086

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:27

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:27
This month's (July) issue of Overlander has a piece on chains and says basically the same thing. It reported the cost as ranging between about $170 and $345 a set (of 2, not 4). Seems like a good investment to me as, if you used them, you'd need your $700 hand winch less, and may save $2,000 by not buying that diff locker you were looking at.Talk is cheap ...
Rohan (Sydney)
0
FollowupID: 15089

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:07

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:07
Wow $700 for a hand winch I can supply brand new Tuff Pull hand winches for $375 if your interested. I also lost my Leatherman recently and found a cheap sauce if anyone is interested Leatherman Wave $175 plus freigt cod to your door. RR price is $250. Cheers RobCairns Offroad Training & Tours
0
FollowupID: 15094

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:20

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:20
Thanks Rob. I'm not in the market for either, but if I were buying a hand winch, I'd go the the Big Haul.Talk is cheap ...
Rohan (Sydney)
0
FollowupID: 15096

Follow Up By: tristjo - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:41

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:41
Hi Rob,

$375 for a Tuff Pull, mate, that sounds like a bargain!!!! What sort of load rating does it have???

At half the price of a certain 'T' branded hand winch, it's surely worth a look!!!

Tristjo.
0
FollowupID: 15099

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 13:12

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 13:12
Like the other well known brand the Tuff Pull has a 1.6 ton hoist rate and a 3.2 tonne pull rate. Its all a question of marketing tristjo which is why Harley Davidson so many M\Cycles. They spend huge amounts to advertise a product that in reality should not be competitive in the market place.Cairns Offroad Training & Tours
0
FollowupID: 15103

Follow Up By: tristjo - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 13:54

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 13:54
Rob,

Thanks for posting that. As long as it is up to the Austrailian standard, I can't see much reason why it wouldn't perform aswee as more expensive ones.

Your right about marketing, though, thats for sure!!!

Tristjo.
0
FollowupID: 15105

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 14:25

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 14:25
Tristjo,

We've had a Tuff Pull for 5 or 6 years now and I would recommend it without hesitation. $375 is excellent buying...I'm sure we paid more for ours all those years ago.

:o) MelissPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
0
FollowupID: 15108

Follow Up By: tristjo - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:13

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:13
Thanks, Melissa,

I have been thinking about getting one for a while now, mainly for the extra confidence, but was always told "don't but anything but a tirfor", and therfore I found it hard to justify the expense.

$375 though sounds very reasonble for something which may save life and limb in the longrun.

Thanks all, and I'm sorry for hi-jacking someone elses post!!

Tristjo.
0
FollowupID: 15111

Follow Up By: bruce.h (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:14

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:14
Gday all
just aquick note that you should check with local authorties before using chains as they are banned from use in some state & areas
Regards Bruce
0
FollowupID: 15112

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:36

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:36
Hey Tristjo. A good post is like a good jouney - a little digression, a little meandering, and don't be afraid to find yourself somewhere you hadn't intended.

At $375 for the Tuff Pull, you could also afford the $325 for a set of chains and you'll be sweet.Talk is cheap ...
Rohan (Sydney)
0
FollowupID: 15115

Follow Up By: Member - Bonz (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 17:02

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 17:02
Desert,

What sort of chains do you recommend? Plain of ladder type or the newer diamond variety? And do you think they should go on all 4?

wheels that is. thanxSo many places to go!
So much work to do :0(
0
FollowupID: 15123

Follow Up By: tristjo - Thursday, Jun 19, 2003 at 11:26

Thursday, Jun 19, 2003 at 11:26
Hey Rohan,

Thats very philosophical, mate, I like it!!!!

The winch and the chains sound like good ideas...........

Mmmmmm, I wonder how much I will get in my tax return?????

Tristjo.
0
FollowupID: 15173

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, Jun 19, 2003 at 11:40

Thursday, Jun 19, 2003 at 11:40
Yeah, isn't it? Sitting here, thinking of "somewhere else".Talk is cheap ...
Rohan (Sydney)
0
FollowupID: 15175

Reply By: Brian - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 18:55

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 18:55
OK... my interest is piqued here guys.... tell me more about the use of chains.. types, uses, safety concerns etc... I have never even seen a set in real life, so am completely ignorant on there use. I always assumed they were for snow driving(?) When fitted, do they damage the tyres at all?? I run 33" Pro Comps on my GQ, and "may" never go far enough into the rough to need chains to get out... but "ya-never-know!!" LOL
AnswerID: 22922

Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 21:25

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 21:25
I have had my ladder type chains for over 20 years and they have always done the job for me. Chains are most effective on slick hard packed clay. They do not work very well in soft bottomless type mud. Never spin your wheels with chains as you will loose grip, tear up the track and may even damage your car or brake lines. Some of the new types look great and are probably more efficient and easier to fit. I think I paid about $50 for mine all those years ago. Like most recovery equipment they can last a llifetime if looked after, my own handwinch an old Elephant Looper is over 20 years old as well. I also have a grey snatch strap that I was given to test to destruction over 2 years ago, it must have done over 100 snatches by now. These sell for $55. Cairns Offroad Training & Tours
0
FollowupID: 15143

Reply By: kezza - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 23:10

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 23:10
Apart from lower tyre pressures I can also suggest the original 'Joey' which is the 'extra wheel' attachment that can be bolted onto any 6 stud axle front or rear - also can be used as a winch or offset to act as a jack to lift the vehicle out of a bog. Brilliant device - gives untold confidence for the sole adventurer - very simple but amazing extra traction, won an Aust design award - been off the market for a few years but may be available soon on Explore Oz - watch this space.

kezza
AnswerID: 22952

Follow Up By: kevin - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 23:58

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 23:58
A big thanks to everyone for their responses, especially Cairns Offroad. I really had wondered for some time about the effectiveness of chains (used appropriately) and I guess that you have confirmed what I thought. There seem to be several types available. Looking at the Piranha range they have round and flat section chains in a diamond pattern, a "v-bar" ladder pattern (in two thicknesses), and a regular ladder pattern in a standard link chain. The v bar is basically a regular ladder pattern bdesign but has small bars that fit across the links and looks like they would be quite good. In Adelaide TJM sell the regular ladder for $275, the 6mm v bar for $320, and the others go up from there. I am tending toward purchasing the 6mm v bar, but would be interested in whether the type makes any difference.

Kevin
0
FollowupID: 15152

Reply By: desert - Thursday, Jun 19, 2003 at 10:43

Thursday, Jun 19, 2003 at 10:43
The question from Bonz was a curly one and requires me to answer with several parts. Firstly, I use ex-army ladder type which I brought 25 years ago and have since modified the binders to a more user-friendly, over-centre type latching device.Certainly, more modern designs are now available, ie "v" chain and diamond pattern. "v" chain will bite in more than normal chain. Diamond pattern will give you superior lateral or sideways grip, but on hard rock on decents their do tend to skid down more than ladder. Swings and roundabouts.
Secondly, yes obviously four chained wheels provide more traction than two chained wheels. But is probably overkill, here's an example.
25 years ago, the tracks in the high-country of Victoria were generally in a harder to drive state than they are today (thats another story) and also the vehicles we had to use were less capable than today, viz crash-box Nissan's and 3-speed cruisers and series 2 LR's etc, etc, but my point is, we were able to drive those hard tracks in bleep y trucks with no more than the rear wheels being chained. Up to you. Thirdly, whether you put them front or back is an option you need to consider as the driver of that vehicle and differs with the environment you need to cover. Certainly, if I was looking at climbing a steep, wet, rocky, off camber climb, I would put them on the rear because the rear wheels are doing 70% of the work in pushing the truck up hill. Conversely, if I was faced with a windy, snow covered twisting track through large gum tree's, I would fit them on the front because my priority is now accurate steering response to miss those tree's!
All of the above does not take into account the few vehicles around that have full time 4x4 but cannot lock their centre diff. You could argue that what the hell are they doing there in the first place, with such a lame duck vehicle, but nonetheless an unlocked drive is not going to give drive to the wheels with the grip, in this case the wheels with the chains.
AnswerID: 22971

Reply By: Gazza - Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 15:40

Monday, Jun 23, 2003 at 15:40
Folks,

Ive been using chains for years and have also fitted a front airlocker to my TX Prado (I'll fit a rear one too when the LSD wears out) and I agree that the chains used properly do far less damage to the tracks.

However, with a centre Diff lock I reckon fit them to the front for ascents (where you need to control your line on the hill) and on the rear for decents to stop the back end from trying to beat you to the bottom of the hill.

When I have a rear diff lock I'll probably play with one on opposite corners (IR Front right & back left!)

I avaiod bog holes whereever possible as the chains just churn them up even more unless there is a solid base down there somewhere.

Gazza
AnswerID: 23290

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)