Ten day desert trip - tyres and punctures

Submitted: Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:12
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Hi guys just got back from a 10 day trip to the Great Sandy Desert in WA. Here is the score on tyres and punctures.

Vehicle 1 BFG AT 15 inch 2 punctures
Vehicle 2 BFG AT 16inch 1 puncture.
Vehicle 3 BFG AT 16 inch no punctures
Vehicle 4 Hankook 15 inch 1 puncture
Vehicle 5 Cooper AT 16 inch 5 punctures
Vehicle 6 Duelers 16 inch 2 punctures.
Vehicle 7 Cooper SST 16 inch no punctures (Stayed only 7 days).

Totalled about 3000kms driving of which 1900 kms was tar. The rest was from good gravel roads, to tracks with washouts, rocky sections and creek beds and 150 kms of that was cross country – no tracks straight over spinifex and around scrub, rocks and wash outs.

I am not going to comment on which brand or AT’s versus other types are the best, I’m sure you guys will take that up.

I will add that Vehicle 1 was in the lead all of the time and probably should have had more flats.

Cheers

Phil
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (SA) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:20

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:20
Hi Phil
Sounds like you had a great trip. Cross country travel takes a heavy toll on any brand and type of tyre. With my cross country trips, I have found that the first 3 vehicles tend to get most of the punctures, clearing the track for the following vehicles. With our punctures, all but one were side wall punctures, even with new LT tyres. Like they say, if you intend to do any cross country desert country, you must expect tyre damage.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:11

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:11
G'day Stephen,

Off topic query -

I wonder if I am able to have permission to copy the image of Mt Finke on your members profile?
If you email back to me, rickmoore@pacific.net.au, I'll tell you the purpose.

thanks in advance,
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (SA) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:01

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:01
Hi Rick,
By the time you read this, the photo will be in your in box of your email.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: equinox - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:26

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:26
Welcome back Phil - Glad you're back safely.

I can't wait for your trip report.

I'll be definetly keeping the Cooper SST's when I nudge the Sandy in July.

Cheers
Alan.

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Reply By: Member -Signman - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:32

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:32
Hi Phil
Was there a common cause for the punctures ?? Where they tread or sidewall?? Did they occur on the different vehicles at about the same time on the same type of terrain??
From the description of the track- no obvious reasons if reasonable care/ pressures used !!
Why should the lead vehicle have more flats??
I'm sure we (the Forum) would be interested in more detail..



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Follow Up By: Kev & Darkie - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:39

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:39
and was the white writing on the inside?? ;))

Cheers Kev
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He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:43

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:43
Yea Kev- that would have been a contributing factor !!
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Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:45

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:45
Aha...As I always thought...The white writing and the moon phase does have some thing to do with tyre flat.ulance
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:55

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 13:55
Gday Phil, also asking for more detail. What were the punctures sustained. Were they merely holes in the tread that were easily repaired with plugs or were the tyres wrecked?

Which fourbies were loaded up the most?

Barnesy
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Follow Up By: Member - Bentaxle - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:31

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:31
The Patrol punctures were all high on the side wall, on the corner of tread and sidewall area
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Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 14:27

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 14:27
Hi guys

Thanks for your comments guys.

Following your questions here is more info.

Why should lead vehicle get more flats – it led the way cross country and I would have assumed would have been more likely to stake a tyre. I would therefore presume the following vehicles would therefore have less chance of staking. Strangely however the lead vehicle didn’t stake a tyre cross country.

All punctures were stakes and repaired without them being taken off the vehicle. 2 in the tread and 9 in the side wall with 7 of those 9 being on the outside.

Tyres pressures were carefully monitored and driving was cautious and careful. Whilst we expect to get punctures in such conditions – we don’t look for them by being careless.

All vehicles either Cruisers x 5 or Patrols x 2, all were similarly laden, 2 people, roof racks, jerries etc. Except the Troopy V8 with had 3 adults 1 child and was more heavily laden, it had the SST’s and no flats during its 7 days on the trip.

For those with that assuming streak – the BFG’s had the white writing on the outside.

Cheers

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:05

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:05
rear vehicles get more puntures for the same reason as rear tyres cop mre flats. lead vehicle kicks stuff up and braks stuff off for which the others cop the flats.
your findings are simular to mine while tyres nowadays have very good punture resistance in the tread the walls are still wafer thin. 9 wrecked tyres is damn expensive work
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:35

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:35
Hi Davoe ,

I don't agree with your statement that the rear vehicles get more puncture .

We did the Eagle Camp / Mt Madley / Calverts two years ago , and most of the time cross country as we could never find the track .

Three vehicles , 18 punctures ( all sidewalls )and the lead vehicle sustained 60 % of the punctures . We regarded him as our sacrificial lamb . We stayed right up his clacker on his wheel tracks and found that he was flattening them and often taking a puncture doing so .

It was impossible to see the stakes as the spinifex seed stalks were a metre high and thick .

We have used this method before , always with the lead car copping the majority of staked sidewalls .

What I find fascinating , is why everybody seems to get most of the staked sidewalls on the outside of the tyre ( shut-up up you crazy white lettering buggers ! ) .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: jeepthing - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 20:52

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 20:52
The idea of airing down sounds good in theory however it does increase the risk of sidewall damage tenfold. The thickness of the wall on the roll from the tread is quite fine and very open to penetration by anything sharp. If you're going to follow this theory my view is it is very important to use a tyre that has straight sidewalls so that when you do air down there is very little bulge in that area. The Cooper STT does have straighter sidewalls compared to the other tyres that were used. I suggest this is why ii did not receive any punctures. The Cooper AT when aired down does have more bulge than the STT.

If you talk to the people who live in the outback you will find that a majority of them will tell you to crank your tyres up to max cold psi unless you're operating in sand. I have been running Cooper ATR's and copped 2 punctures and was told by a local who came on the scene while I was changing the tyre to crank my pressures up which I did and I never had any problems after that in terms of punctures but the tread did chip a fair bit. I challenged Coopers about that and was advised that the ATR was not the best of their range for the country I was in as the ST or the STT would have been a better choice.

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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:54

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:54
Jeepthing,

I don't agree with that either. Aired down bulging sidewalls will often flow around a sharp obstacle - tight stiff sidewalls do not .

A bit like pushing a nail against a fully inflated balloon and one that is half inflated .

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:12

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:12
Ive heard the ballon analagy and it is flawed. A tyre is not a balloon it is made up of a tread area containing around 7 plys with at least one being steel. A puncture in this area is often repairable.
and also a sidewall built soft and thin for heat disapation with no steel belts.. Exposing them to stakes can only have one result and it isnt repairable
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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:16

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 23:16
Hmmm... well a lot of them legally and technically are repairable (not if you've driven it flat for a few hundred metres, or it is blown to smithereens).

It is just that most remote tyre sellers prefer to sell you a new one and make a lot of money from you than do a proper repair of it.

So, carry the old one home with you and take it to someone who is willing to repair it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 07:57

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 07:57
Davoe ,

You are correct , a tyre is not a balloon - that is an analogy .

I do not agree with you about low vs high psi . I guess we will just have to do our own thing .

Hopefully forumites seeking sound advice , will do some more reading on this subject .

Willie .
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Follow Up By: jeepthing - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:06

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:06
Willie,
11 punctures 2 in the tread and 9 in the sidewall!! The bulging sidewalls didn't flow around too many did they?
I use to adhere to the airing down theory but when you start talkng to people when travelling around who have had many punctures from airing down and here we have an example on this thread, then when you talk to the locals who do much more driving on outback roads than us grey nomads and holidaying tourists and DON'T adhere to the airing down concept and DON'T have very many punctures I think you have to sit back and start thinking about what they are saying.
I've had occasions now to visit a number of tyre dealers in the NT and WA and every one of them have told me to airup do not air down unless you are on sand. A couple of them have jokingly said to me we love you tourists who air down it's great for my business. They say that by airing down the obstacle is held by the tyre and this combined with the weight of the vehicle provides more chance for the obstacle to penetrate. They say that by airing up the obstacle is flicked out of the way a very high percentage of the time and will significantly reduce the number of punctures.
Anyway I'll guess we'll agree to disagree.
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:22
Jeepthing ,

How do you know how many stakes they hit with their tyres ? 11 punctures might be bugger all in the circumstances .

Willie .
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Follow Up By: jeepthing - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 15:54

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 15:54
I was referring to sharp obstacles in accordance with your reply I never used the word stake. The fact of the matter is that there were 11 punctures 9 to the sidewalls. It doesn't matter whether 11 could have been bugger all in the circumstances 9 still received sidewall penetration.

The issue is what "caused" that to happen and I'm suggesting it was because of sidewall bulge. Now I'd don't care whether you agree or disagree that is my opinion.

I have tried the balloon test on a sharp stone the deflated balloon still burst under downward pressure. I've seen the Coopers video they didn't do it on a very sharp object did they and from my viewing of it it didn't seem to me that they used a great deal of pressure on the deflated one either.

This is the same as their test in their adds the object used is not sharp it is rounded on the end I would like to see the same test performed with a sharp rock or stake and see what the results are.

In a loaded vehicle such as a patrol you'd have to be looking at 3+ tonne? on an aired down tyre on a sharp gibber or if you want to use a sharp stake right on that "thin" bit of tyre near the tread roll; I'm saying that on the balance of probabilities the likelyhood of penetration still bears a risk and as far as I'm concerned a much higher rish than if that same tyre was inflated so there is no bulge.

Since I've been following the views expressed by the people who live in the outback I have not had a problem.

As I said before we'll agree to disagree
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 17:10

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 17:10
Only some times in my experience andrew. A tyre dealer will not touch anything in the sidewall. i hvae been taking mine to a tyre repair place they do truck tyres etc. Of the 3 i have taken there only 1 did they repair the other 2 they said wasnt safe. they dont sell 4by tyres and they had nothing to gain by not repairing them except doing the right thing rather than take $60 and hope for the best
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 17:29

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 17:29
Andrew ,
Like Davoe , I have been refused whenever I have turned up with sidewall punctures .
Willie .



Jeepthing ,
"Since I've been following the views expressed by the people who live in the outback I have not had a problem."

That's great mate . Oh , and sorry for getting you flustered saying stake instead of "sharp Obstacle".
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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 19:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 19:22
For those in Adelaide, Mick Hutton will do major repairs if they are legal...

Cheers
Andrew.
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Follow Up By: jeepthing - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 20:22

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 20:22
Willie,
Me get flustered mate I was only correcting you:))
Something I didn't tell you is I lived in Charleville Qld for 5 years and most weekends went pig shooting in all sorts of rough country and we always had tyres to max pressure never ever had sidewall damage. In recent times this air down theory evolved and it made sense to me problem was I started getting sidewall punctures with sharp sticks the size of a matchstick. Tyre dealers will not repair a sidewall puncture because they cannot guarantee the repair, I also understand that it is illegal. So after having to pay $300 a pop for a new tyre it wears a bit thin.
So I've taken the advise of the people who travel the outback the most and basically gone back to what I did when chasing pigs and have not had sidewall damage since. The guy that I mentioned who came along in my first reply was the station owner of a property close to where we were and he told me all that airing down stuff was b### sh#t and that if he ran his station vehicles with aired down tyres he'd be destroying tyres every week.
You mentioned in your reply to Davoe that on that trip you did 3 vehicles had 18 sidewall punctures, Mate surely that must tell you the sidewalls are running too low to the ground.
Anyway have enjoyed the debate with you.

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:12

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:12
Statistically I make this out of your figures, ignoring the short stay
of one Cooper clad job..
BFG....25% of tyres punctured.
Han.....25% " " " .
Duell....50% " " ". .
Coop....62.5% " " " .
Not sure how significant that is, but interesting nonetheless.
...oldbaz.


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Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:38

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:38
Statistics- bloody statistics..
Bet ya had the calculator working overtime to get those figures out!

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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:23

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:23
Statistically none of it is of any consequence.

An experiment with uncontrolled conditions and insufficient data size ;-)
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Reply By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:24

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:24
What was the purpose of the trip?
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:36

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:36
And the 150 km off track was where to where ?
Willie
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Reply By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:05

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:05
Hi guys
I’m with Willie on the lead vehicle being the sacrificial lamb in cross country work over spinifex, scrub, rocky and washed out country. My experience over countless trips has been the lead vehicle cops it.

Pump them up hard may be ok in flat, sandy or gravel country but in rocky country rocks are unforgiving, they usually go thru the tread and by the time you have stopped you have a wrecked tyre. I have tried both hard tyres and reduced pressure over the years and find reduced pressure is the way to go over rocky country.

The 150 kms was cross country in the area north of Carnarvon Ranges in WA, we were following up on some places found by a dogger in the 1960s.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 00:44

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 00:44
Hi Phil B, would that dogger be Peter Muir? I'm just reading his book "Blue Peaks & Red Ridges.

Cheers

D


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 07:07

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 07:07
Hi Dunworkin (WA)

Yes Peter Muir was the dogger.
Other than publishing Blue Peaks etc via the people who produced the Guide to the CSR he has self published many other books. one for each year he did his dogging work between Wiluna and Jigalong and later east and north of Laverton. Unfortunately they are around $200 each.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 08:07

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 08:07
Phil,

That sounds like a great bit of country you went into .

A few years ago now I went through the Carnarvon Ranges - entering through Neds Creek and exiting to the South along the CSR .

Can you tell me where you went , or is it hush hush ? Maybe you would rather email me . I am interested in the aboriginal art in that area .

My email address is jigalongjigalongATgmaildotcom

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:05

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:05
Phil,
I am sure if you did the same trip again the results would be different.

Thanks for the info. I run BFG AT and have had a great run over 2 sets. Tempting fate with this statement.

Statistics: Head in an oven + feet in a freezer, Average body temperature is normal.

I am not taking a shot and am genuinely interested to read your comment. I think this is a great result for all vehicles if you did 150ks over scruby spinifex country. Last time I did some driving in mulga country I wrecked 2 tyres (sidewalls) in 10k and headed back slowly with a walker in front since I had no more spares.

cheers
alastair
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil B (WA) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:32

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:32
Alastair
I deliberately stayed away from saying one tyre was better than another.

I just wanted to report the facts as they occurred. I agree with you do the same trip again at another time and the results would be different.

I like you comment
Statistics: Head in an oven + feet in a freezer, Average body temperature is normal.

cheers

Phil

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 14:01

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 14:01
Alastair,
That remins me of the first Madigan line trip I did - 2 vehicles in the group had 100series with 265/75 BFGATKOs. One had no punctures, the other had six. So I guess they averaged 3 per vehicle :-)))

And Phil B,
I think you've done great - just reporting what your group's experiences is great. Nice to see others who use the tyre plugs well. I wouldn't leave home without a plug kit.
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