punctures, corrugations and gibb river road

How heavily corrugated is the Gibb River Road? Any tips for avoiding punctures when travelling this road? Should we stop and rest every now and then to cool down the tyres? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:05

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:05
Corrugations depend on the grader timing.
It can be 'ordinary' or very smooth.
Slow down and reduce your tyre pressures.

Cheers,
Peter
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Reply By: Steve63 - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:08

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:08
Corrugations depend on when you go and when it was last graded. It varies a lot. Sensible tyre pressures and keep the speed down to below 80km/h. There is plenty of stuff to see so you will probably be stopping anyway.

Steve
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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:12

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:12
As usual on stony roads the type of tyres and tyre pressure accounts for some of the failures. I don't think that you can avoid the sharp stone that has your name on it so just keep your eyes on the road and try not drive on the windrow of stones on the road shoulder unless you have slowed down a lot. It's a bit of a lottery really.

.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:13

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:13
When we were there last June the GRR itself was in very good condition with not much in the way of corrugations at all. The same however cannot be said for some of the roads leading off it. The road up to Kalumbaru was corrugated in patches, but with reduced tyre pressures and not trying to drive too fast it was OK. The road into the Mitchell Falls was very heavily corrugated, so tyres went down some more and we stopped every so often to let the shocks cool down a bit.

It all comes down to driving to the conditions, and also depends on when the grader was last through. In some sections the gravel is sharp, so you may get a puncture. Carry a second spare tyre, a good repair kit and compressor and you should be OK.

Cheers,
J and V
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:42

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:42
As John and Val say - June was pretty good last year. It gets bad very quickly when the July rush is on. We had no tyre problems at all; ran the lot on around 25 psi cold. We spent over three weeks enjoying the wonders.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Voxson - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:53

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 13:53
As already said tyre pressure as quite critical and also if you go through any DIPS - (SLOW DOWN)........
The weight of your car with the downward force definately helps the rocks pierce rubber....
Last year when we on the beginning of the walkers crossing road we slowed to 25kmh with 24psi.....
Who cares how slow you go (within reason)....
Nothing broke or wore out and no cans in the fridges wore through....

Sometimes people will get a puncture and blame tyres because they hadnt been speeding and they had the right pressures,,, but forgot to slow right down for dips....DOH......
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Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 16:39

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 16:39
As mentioned, the conditions on the Gibb road, and all gravel roads for that matter, vary considerably due to traffic, weather and road maintenance. So what is good now may not be 2 weeks later.
Driving on these types of roads just requires common sense and knowledge of where your wheels are. Keep a look out at the road surface, drive to the conditions and think ahead. Ex or current off road motorcyclists do this as a matter of survival so when they get into car they do it automatically.
As far as pressures go, that is a can of worms. Some say lower, some say higher, I just leave mine at about 40 rear/38 front. The last time I had a puncture was in 1992! I do however have decent tread depth at all times and have lugged the second spare around the country all the time. The rubber in the spares will deteriorate at this rate. Perhaps I have been lucky.
The most important thing as mentioned is to stay alert, look ahead and know where your wheels and this should help avoid tyre damage.
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Follow Up By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 20:27

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 20:27
Not 1992,I meant 2002!
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Reply By: Member - Kroozer (WA) - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 20:03

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 20:03
Did it last August, tyre pressures at 35psi all round, not a drama. Able to sit on 90km/h no problem but didnt, road was lovely. The road into Mitchell falls is the only bad part, other then that its fine. Actually there was a brand new Holden one ton ute who didi the trip at the same time as us. We seen it everyday and camped at the same places a couple of times. Completely standard and with 10,000kms on the clock, he had no trouble at all, even crossing the Pentecost was a breeze. Thoughg he didint go into Mitchell, but he did go to Kalumburu.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:18

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:18
There is a 80kmh speed limit on that road.
Jees I wish the cops had their radar there when you went through!!

With *sols like you no wonder the road is chopped up.

Obviously the road had not long been graded as there wern't any trenches on the approach to the creeks.

Tony
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Follow Up By: Maîneÿ . . .- Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:27

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:27
Some-one must have forgotten to advise the TRUCKIES of a speed limit

They were not worried about slowing down, admittedly we encountered most at night, they were all driving East, maybe they were empty and used the tar to travel West when loaded ???

Mainey . . .
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:43

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:43
Yes quite agree Mainy,

When it was a two wheeled track it used to be just road [cattle] trains that took care. Now it is graded alot of them tend to abuse it.
Most of the old drivers have now gone to pasture anyway.

Every one now is short on time.

Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - Kroozer (WA) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:52

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 00:52
Tony you are a turkey, read what i wrote. Did i say that i travelled at over 80km/h, wipe your glasses. I have travelled that road more times then you could ever imagine *shole and i can tell you now its never locals who cause the accidents. And please tell me where its sign posted at 80km/h on the Northern end. Absolute turkey
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 01:43

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 01:43
Kroozer

My appologies you are correct - my glasses are now clean.

I have travelled down there roughly 4 times in the last 6 years and overall about 20 in the last 30-35 years.[ Even when it was a two wheel track that only cattle trains and station people used it ] There have been signs down that road stating the speed limit of 80k. They were there approx 11 months ago. There were two on the northern end, cannot remember where they both were, however one was roughly 20 to 25 k before the turn off to Drysdale stn. Heading west. The other was not long after the turn-off to the El Questro that is all I can remember. I can remember though, the requests on the radio [ABC and the Aboriginal one] to reduce speeds.

Tony
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Follow Up By: Member - Kroozer (WA) - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:42

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 17:42
Tony sorry about the rather aggresive reply, i lost a friend as a kid on that road, not far from the El Questro turn off. Travelling at dusk with his family they were run off the road and rolled over killing the young boy. Other car didnt even stop and they were unable to even indentify other car as it was on a sharp bend and it was travelling so fast. It happened right at the turn off to a favourite camping spot of mine and still to this day i can remember seeing the accident site and the devastation left on the road, plus the vehicle and it is a horrible reminder of what can happen when you dont know what your doing.
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Reply By: Davo_60 - Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 22:27

Thursday, Apr 23, 2009 at 22:27
I am heading up there in three weeks, not that I'm counting. I expect that parts of it will be corrugated but as the above posts it will depend. One thing I find is that by letting tyre pressures down the whole trip is a hell of a lot smoother for me. I really don't know if it is better for the tyres or not but I am more interested in my comfort and the car not vibrating apart.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Smiley Bill - Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 12:25

Friday, Apr 24, 2009 at 12:25
Hi Davo_60,

Your comfort and not vibrating everything to pieces is one of the reasons for reducing tyre pressures.

Slowing down is a must because lower pressures allow the side walls of the tyres to flex more which in turn increases heat build up in the carcass of the tyre. Travelling fast with low pressures on the bitumen will shorten the life of the tyres and dramatically increase the tyres air pressure (you end up running on the centre portion of the tread) and travelling fast off road will lead to a loss of control.

Slow speeds off road keep this heat build up to a minimum. Going slower also allows the softer tyre to flex and roll over bumps and rocks and stay in contact with the road surface where as a stiffer tyre will hit obstructions and lose contact with the ground as it bounces or blows out because there is no give.

Lower pressures, with a lot of off road driving, probably reduces the life of the tyres a little but keep in mind the advantages of better control and comfort. Once a tyre has damage to the side wall it's buggered whether it's new or has done 40 000 k's.

SB

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