Worst 4WD Mag Article Ever..????

Submitted: Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:20
ThreadID: 68730 Views:3334 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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In the current Overlander is an article on Dirt Road Driving under the heading..4WD Techniques. The name of the article is "Safe
Dirt Driving". NO ITS NOT!!!!. It is called "Fast & Loose". Who in
their right mind calls an article on safe dirt driving that?? Anyway
the following are direct quotes from the article...
...special tyres are preferred. The best are All Terrain or Mud Tyres
...letting a little air- say 20% down from manufacturers recommended settings will pay dividends..... Part time 4wd should engage 4wd for dirt roads to reduce wheelspin & improve handling.
Unlike bitumen roads, dirt roads dont present a risk of transmission
wind up... Ok, those comments appear in the "Preparation" segment & are not taken out of context. So we have our part time 4by in 4wd with muddies on at probably about 25psi. OK
no real problems there, is there??. Hang on, being in 4wd will use
a heap more fuel & soon take those muddies to pieces if driven
on a dry hard dirt road. I suggest the majority of trips on average
dirt roads are done by 2wd anyway, & they dont use muddies,
air down or 4wd. But we must move on. Under the next segment
..Techniques, appears this gem...And you need to learn to do something you dont do on bitumen, which is to vary your speed to the conditions... I wont dignify that stupidity by commenting
further. Try this one... If you need to brake on a dirt road then
how you do it depends on whether you have ABS or not. With ABS just slam the brakes on as hard as you can. ... Or this classic
...On dirt roads there is no dividing lines, so you pick your own route... What about this?....On some wide, long roads you may
drive on the wrong side if there is visibility. ...
And yet again ...On the dirt, the safe speed could vary from 10 to 100 kph & back again.... would you drive your 4by from 10 to 100 kph with the 4wd engaged ?. Part time 4bys I mean.
And with about 25 psi under you.
To support the theories , a few pics are included. One shows a car going up to a blind crest in the middle with this caption...
Crests are dangerous, this driver will need to slow down & move off the best line over the top, just in case... How bloody stupid do they think those that drive dirt roads are ? Have you ever seen the best line, that is smooth wheeltracks, going over a blind crest
in the middle of the road ? Traffic will keep left & the best line will be on the safest side of the road, from either direction.
Ok, I've vented my spleen & feel better for it. Please read this article & tell me if I'm over the top. If this is the best we can expect from the 4wd print media, it is a sad, sad thing....oldbaz.
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Reply By: Member - Tony & Julie (FNQ) - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 18:37

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 18:37
:-) Not good advice to share with everyone. But to be honest based on what you have posted above, he is telling it as most people up here would drive it.

Typical day driving dirt roads looking for flood damage in a cruiser in high 4 x 4 after just crossing a washout. As follows:

Accelerate, bit bumpy on the left move to the right - good vision - now cruising at 100k all good - bleep big washout - slam on the brakes - stop just in time - take off - more back to the left then the right finding a smooth line - bit more heavy braking missing hazzards down to nil back up to 100 here and there - driving around inside corners as the top side is scoured out etc etc.

Unlike above, when I was the usually the first to travel a damaged road, You will find that after a bit of traffic the most popular route is already worn into the road for you and what is explained above is how a lot of people drive it.

:-) Sad but true. Cheers Tony

AnswerID: 364344

Follow Up By: Member - Tony & Julie (FNQ) - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 18:51

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 18:51
Just though of a funny situation that happened up North of Laura on a sharp hairpin.

Everyone knows that the corrugations are always better on the wrong side of the road. This year they were particularly bad and I hit the hairpin on the wrong side of the road thinking I will just have to dive over quickly if anyone came (you can see far enough). Someone did but he was doing the same thing so we just stayed on our own lines and did an American and waved each other good bye.

Glad he did not put that driving technique in the article :-).

Same corner each year used to catch out a lot of drivers, they would hit it at speed on the correct side of the road and then the corrugations would get them and you would seem them in the rear vision mirror, in a full drift heading to the wrong side of the road. The cape road can get corrugations that you either do at 20k or find the speed to sit on top and that is usually 90 - 100k. Mostly you had to do that corner at the 20k. Cheers tony

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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 00:47

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 00:47
Totally agree with your points Tony, If I'm leading a trip I would advise the same techniques. Of course any situation can be read differently and we all have our own personal styles of driving.

If I had stuck with what I was taught years ago I wouldn't drive like I do today, but vehicles and tyres etc.. change and you have to change with them.

FollowupID: 632105

Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 19:39

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 19:39
"Worst 4WD article ever".

Old Baz, that's a big claim. There is so much crap to choose from, so many inane, shallow articles, that you may be challenged on this one.

AnswerID: 364361

Reply By: OzTroopy - Monday, May 11, 2009 at 20:11

Monday, May 11, 2009 at 20:11
The problem with most of these articles is that the minority of readers aill be seasoned enough to pick any faults in the stories .... while the majority of readers will accept it all as gospel and suffer the consequences.
AnswerID: 364369

Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 00:38

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 00:38
To much to comment on all your remarks.

But I run MTR's at around 26 to 28psi on tracks like Oodnadatta etc and I always enguage 4X4 high range, travelling most times on this track at a maximum of 80k's per hr and I brake to avoid rough patches to whatever speed needed, if this is 10klm per hr so be it.

All top class rally cars run constant 4X4 and most new fourbys are coming constant as its the safest for control, as for using more fuel I agree with you but better control IMHO outways the cost.

Just my thoughts.

AnswerID: 364413

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 06:19

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 06:19
"All top class rally cars run constant 4X4 " Blaze, all top class cars do, no need to put the qualifier in there of the word "rally".

I agree with you about tyre pressures incidently, even lower pressures than the 26psi but not so much up to the 100kph. Much better control with the longer tread contact footprint.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 07:53

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 07:53
Hi John

I pretty well agree with your constant 4wd comment however there is an exception, which may be why Blaze has a qualifier.

I bet you can't guess what car that is.

Ok, if you insist I will tell you.

In about 2002 when the 4800 patrol came out in was obviously compared to the landcruiser.

And in a wonderful article (which I can't find) the review described in glowing terms how the petrol Patrol outhandled the cruiser on dirt and bitumen.
They went on to say that this wasn't the way it normally happens of course but the combination of balance , long wheelbase and good LSD actually worked better than cruiser constant 4wd.

Now its just possible that if you read that bit , that you might
challenge old Baz as which article is now the worst, but I probably wouldn't.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:54

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:54
Why wouldn't you engage 4wd on gravel roads, I always do, also run around 28psi, & after a little rain, plenty of people have been very happy that they chose mud tyres!

Worst article ever ... I think not!
AnswerID: 364459

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 14:24

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 14:24
Here HereI dthe same.
I even lower tyre pressures on the van when off the black top.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 16:58

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 16:58
I also agree with Shaker. On a loose surface the front drive will tend to pull the back of the vehicle into line if the back starts to step out. Having 4wd engaged is far safer on gravel roads or any slippery surface, that's what it is designed for !

FollowupID: 632160

Reply By: Nargun51 - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 12:50

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 12:50
Of course, you could write your own article based on your knowledge and experience and submit it to the magazine.

Magazines survive by contributions from freelancers. Check on the contents or editorial pages for the submission guidelines.

If the articles are interesting, erudite, reasonably literate and easy to read they may even publish and pay you a pittance for the honour

I admit that some of the articles that are published in these are a bit like prime time commercial TV; superficial, dumbed down and aimed at the lowest common denominator. Writers write like that because it’s what the magazine wants; the magazine wants this because that is what sells in the market place.

By the content of your articles, you could start a popular ground swell of opinion amongst readers demanding articles that show a catholic knowledge of the subject matter
AnswerID: 364463

Reply By: joff1 - Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 16:32

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 16:32
I haven't read the article but if that is the worst of it then I can't see what the fuss is all about.

Just for the record, I've driven for miles and miles on the 'wrong' side of a dirt road because my side was potholed or rutted up worse. I've had road trains that I was following cross to the wrong side of the road to let me pass up the left because the wind was coming from the left side.

These aricles are written mostly for lounge lizards that have a romantic dream of getting out there. Everyone knows that when you do actually 'get out there' all this detailed theory is just hot air and waffle. Those with an ability to think for themselves enjoy their time and those that don't go home wondering why the mag never told them about the dust up ya nose, the midgee itch, the BO smell after 3 days without a shower and water that tastes like a camel has taken a bath in it.

If ya BMW x5 is hiding curled up in the carpark beneath ya city office block then this article will sell you a mag and that is what it is meant to do. Don't get so worked up about it.
AnswerID: 364490

Reply By: Flywest - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 14:46

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 14:46
It's Olander for goodness sakes - their idea of offroad is their driveway in Toorak.

Just the state of their forum of late, should be enough to convince anyone that there are no real offroaders ether on staff or the forums.

The sad reality is the mag is so poor in content these days I won't even stoop to browse it for free at the newsagents anymore.

Nobody reads it so they can publish whateer they want without fear of ridicule.

Its only O/lander - just suck it up princess and build a bridge and get over it. ;o)


AnswerID: 364662

Reply By: rapid80 - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 02:10

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 02:10
C'mon flywest,no bitter feelings after being banned! Personally I don't find an issue with their recommendations as they sound a lot like what I did during my recent Pilbara visit.Muddies at 25psi,wrong side of the road when it was safe and the track was smoother.My car is constant 4wd and i was comfortable with its benefits despite the slight increase in economy over a part time 4wd.I did many km off the main roads and some very rough tracks and didn't have a puncture.I would think most cars wouldn't have wind up issues on dirt even at 100kph.Experience and common sense can't be taught through a magazine but the general ideas they preach are correct,or certainly worked for me on that and every remote trip I've done over the last 10 years.
AnswerID: 365153

Reply By: Patrolman Pat - Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 06:07

Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 06:07
Most of that seems fair advice to me and should be taken in the context of general advice only and not regarded as gospel depending on conditions. I use 4Wd 90% of the time on fast dirt roads and 28-30 psi and speeds upro 100 km/hr on whichever side of the road I deem to be the safest.
AnswerID: 365158

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