More Good News for Cooper Ferry Users with Trailers

Submitted: Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 13:25
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Hi All
It was reported here yesterday by Teraa that she had heard that some very ingenious person has found a way of making money and of taking trailers onto the Cooper Creek Ferry. I said I would give my contacts a call this morning and have had it confirmed. The same chap is also taking cruises on the lake. For a $50 fee, he will tow your camper or trailer onto the ferry using his quad and get it to the other side, so you are able to complete a full Birdsville Track Crossing.

So for all those people out there that have tossed the idea of seeing the Cooper in Flood over the Birdsville Track, but have put it off because you were not able to get you trailer from one side to the other.

Like all information here on the forum, I would still give Patsy or Jason a call (08 - 8675 8308) to make sure that the chap is still there making his money before getting there.

Have a Great Weekend.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: SimonW - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 13:51

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 13:51
This is great news, thank you for following up Stephen.
regards Simon.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 19:43

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 19:43
Hi Simon
When Teraa asked if I could confirm it, I felt obliged to get the correct details as it seems that once I have started collecting information on the Cooper Floods and the Birdsville Track crossing, I will keep supplying information that people ask for. It helps knowing people right there on the scene to get the accurate information.

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Follow Up By: SimonW - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 21:48

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 21:48
Stephen your information is very welcome thankyou. There is a serious need for a solution to the current outdated infrastructure in place. I take my hat off to the person that is delivering a service that addresses the limitation, in out of ordinary circumstances.

regards Simon.
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Reply By: Marion - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 13:58

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 13:58
Thanks a million for all the postings Stephen, cheers Marion
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 19:50

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 19:50
Hi Marion
It has been one question that has been asked to me many times and the answers has always been "NO, you are not able to get your camper from one side to the other".

This chat has jumped at the opportunity of earning a few extra dollars and in return making many people happy that they can continue their journey's along the Birdsville Track.


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Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 15:11

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 15:11
Hmm .... most quads have a MAX towing capacity of about 500kgs. So insurance cover might well be an issue - no good checking up about that AFTER your trailer is in the drink! I also seem to recall there are minimum mass requirements for the towing vehicle vis a vis the trailer mass on a public road (which this is)
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Me me - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 16:11

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 16:11
Andrew, everything you have just said is 100% right. As i work for a Govt department with in this area I will certainly be following it through and taking the right action to have this stopped if needs be. It can be done the right way only, I will follow it up on Monday morning 9am.
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 16:49

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 16:49
Just had a bulletin from SA roads & they have said that as the ferry access track is a public road, all vehicles using it must conform to regulations & a quad towing a trailer doesn't!

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Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 17:41

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 17:41
I guess the moral of the story is to not pass on helpful info.

The little men in their big uniforms and plastic sherrif badges will come out and get you.

Where would Australia be if these worriers were around 200 years ago!
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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 18:45

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 18:45
At first blush, agree. It is terrific when all goes well - turn th eblind eye and let's have a go!
Then, when it goes pear shaped, I guess it is a question of whether you are prepared to find yourself in the coroners court and/or finding your insurance claim null and void.
Unfortunately, we live in a litigious society. So, for example, what was the Roads Dept doing letting an illegal movement take place - howls from the press, public execution of poor PS, operator, etc.
Rgds
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:04

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:04
Hi All of the above
I was asked a question and have only passed on the information that was given to me from people that I know there.

I would like to make it very clear that in no way are the people from Etadunna Station, being the owners, managers and the workers are associated in this venture that is helping traveller complete a journey that they long to undertake.

Those that have been out there know first hand that many people feel very frustrated that they are not able to take their camper on the ferry. I am in no way having a shot at the ferry operators, as those guys are doing a fantastic job under some very trying times.

One would think that the person that is doing this service would be aware of the legal ramification's if things did go pear shape.

It would be very interesting to hear from anyone that has used this service and their thoughts on what has been said.

Thanks for your replies.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:39

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:39
Stephen, you have done nothing wrong, just passing on helpful information,,, but there is always someone out there with little feet with the need for a big pair of shoes... I would take my chances and pay to get my trailer across..my risk although small i would think, Me Me is aptly named... it's all about him!!!! regards Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:44

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:44
Thanks for that Michael.

Have a great weekend

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Follow Up By: 3GoBush - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 23:13

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 23:13
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Follow Up By: Roach"ee" - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 09:02

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 09:02
Given that there is almost always (apparently) a queue of 4x4s waiting to cross, why couldn't an enterprising trailer owner, simply get the next available 4x4 which is fitted with a winch, to "sling-shot" the camper onto the ferry?

Quite simply to do I would have thought.... here's how it would work....

4x4 with trailer prepares to drive onto the ferry. It drops off it's trailer just far enough back from the ferry to allow the next vehicle to come back that way, to get past. The 4x4 then crosses on the ferry without trailer. The ferry returns with next 4x4 (heading in the opposite direction). The trailer sits there forlornly with no means of getting itself onto the ferry. Owner of the trailer would return on the ferry as a passenger.

The vehicle behind the trailer (with winch preferrably.....but see another option later to overcome lacl of winch), then unspools it's winch cable, passes it underneath the camper and to an anchor point on the ferry. (NOTE: I am assuming there is at least one tie down point on the floor of the ferry).

4x4 operator then reels in his winch, dragging the trailer onto the ferry where it is secured in place.

Ferry crosses with trailer and trailer owner accompanies it and hooks up his 4x4 to his trailer and continues on his journey.

No doubt those who have concerns about insurance and coronors courts etc will be reaching for a Valium at this stage; if they haven't already passed out onto the floor....hahahaha

Now, if the assisting 4x4 doesn't have a winch, the anser is to "simply" attach a rope instead of a winch rope and the assisting 4x4 would need to reverse....having the same net effect.

Where would we be if Tom Kruse had had the same thoughts about insurance and litigation....Blood hell we have gone totally soft!!! hahaha
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 16:18

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 16:18
er...... are not all ferry operators in SA certified road traffic inspectors ? (as I recall reading in a gazette or official advisory somewhere)....... surely they wouldn't allow any illegal traffic on that or any other ferry.
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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 17:10

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 17:10
You are right wrt the ferries across the R Murray
However, I doubt this applies to the Cooper Crossing guys :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:10

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:10
Hi Darian and Andrew
What you have said seems correct, as it could then come down to these poor operators could have there jobs on the line, which no one would like to see happen. I hope that I have not opened a can of worms, as the last thing that anyone would like to see happen if trouble out there on the Cooper Crossing.

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Reply By: Mike DiD - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 19:53

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 19:53
Conditional Registration is issued for "unroadworthy " vehicles to travel on public roads under restrictions - e.g. farm tractors, forklifts, snowcats.

If you want to help road users, you find a way to permit a vehicle to travel at less than 10km/hr to pull a trailer onto a ferry.

If you want to think like a "public servant", you look at abusing the few powers that you have to make life more difficult for road users.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:20

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:20
Hi Mike
Very well said. I have been into many caravan parks where they have used unregistered and very old tractors to tow caravans onto sites, yet no one has complained about that.

I feel like you that this is a service that has been started that many road travellers would be prepared to use. Many people have been complaining that they are not able to take their campers over, now that the service has started, some people that will never even get out there want it stopped.


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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:21

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:21
Or you factor in how an insurance company thinks when faced with a claim - they will weasle out of anything they can to avoid paying out.
I know many hundreads of public sevants - most want to be helpful. Most are also wary of "bending" the rules because, when the s... hits the fan, they cop it!
Farm tractors, forklifts, snowcats, etc fit in nationally recognised categories and do not, generally, contravene basic design parameters re braking capacity, trailer/tow veh mass ratios, etc
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:35

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 20:35
Hi Andrew
One factor that you have missed here is speed. The above mentioned vehicles can move very fast when breaking is very critical. The speed at which you get onto the ferry is less that walking speed. There surely must be some legal way to help out the many hundreds of travellers at the crossing.


PS On another matter, I posted the latest ferry numbers last week that were given to me by Transport SA. On of my replies posted a picture on some brainless driver who thought that his four wheel drive was a moto cross bike. This driver should have been charged under the "Hoon" laws, as he was a reel threat to the public's safety and the damage that he could have caused to the ferry cables, that stopped his vehicle from completely disappearing into the depths of the Cooper. It is this type of person that should be stopped and fined.

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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 21:49

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 21:49
Stephen
I do not have any specific details re these vehicles. Most do not tow trailers, especially those trailers that might weigh 6 or more x their own weight. I agree that speed is not a great factor in this case - what might be a factor is the shear weight of what is being pulled acting on the relatively light towing vehicle on a wet steel deck. Accidents happen and believe me, a coroners court is a place to avoid if at all possible. Common sense is not a recognised factor to be taken into account. What you often have are lawyers who are hellbent on scoring points and boosting their egos. [Hind sight is a wonderful thing - it just comes too late!]
You made a reference in a post above to old tractors in caravan parks: the big difference is that they are on private property. But even then, if negligence can be proved (eg, non functioning brakes), they are for it if an accident happens. Another example is an organisatiuon that supplies a tractor for members to launch their boats down a ramp - there is a duty of care aspect here.
Rgds
Andrew
BTW, who are these people who want it stopped that will never even get out there? Sounds to me like another gross assertion based on zero data!
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Reply By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 00:35

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 00:35
Simple.
The people who want their campers on the ferry sign a waiver for the quad bike operator that they accept all risk and damages and are aware of the risks.
The people above (Im pretty sure they are just throwing you guys a line and reeling you all in now, as surely no-one is that pathetic?) dont abuse information given out in good faith, and turn their attention to granny's speeding on their gophers instead.

sorted-no need for any aggro!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 08:11

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 08:11
Hi fisho64
I personally know many people that would do as you have said, as they have put off of heading there for the very reason that they are not able to get their camper over.

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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 06:46

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 06:46
Game over..

From Transport SA's road conditions web siie as of today.

# COOPER CREEK FERRY INFORMATION
# The department has become aware of illegal activity at the ferry crossing.
# The use of a quad bike to load / unload trailers is NOT ALLOWED
# **The ferry will be closed for general maintenance between the hours of 10.00am and 2.30pm on Wednesday 21 July and Thursday 22 July 2010.**
# Signs displaying condition of use of the ferry are installed at Marree, Birdsville, Mungeranie and at the ferry crossing.
# Conditions of use of the ferry:
# Maximum load for vehicles - 10t gross
# Maximum load for cattle on hoof - 8t gross
# Maximum length of vehicles is 7.8m - Trailers are permitted providing the total length of towing vehicle and trailer does not exceed 7.8m
# CARAVANS ARE NOT PERMITTED
# TRAILERS CANNOT BE TRANSPORTED SEPARATE TO TOWING VEHICLE
# TRAILERS MUST REMAIN HITCHED TO TOWING VEHICLE WHILST ON FERRY
# Persons use the ferry at own risk
# No more than 6 passengers permitted on ferry at the one time
# No persons permitted in vehicles during crossing
# Lifejackets must be worn
# The ferry will operate during daylight hours only 7 days per week weather permitting
# All persons must follow instructions and conditions in loading as directed by the ferry operator.
# Further ferry information is available at www.sa.gov.au/ferryservices

SA Transport Roads conditions site

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 08:17

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 08:17
Hi Boobook
Thanks for the web site update. From what I am told, the chap has been there for about 2 weeks, but looks like this time is now over. He will just have to stick to his river cruises instead.

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Follow Up By: Roach"ee" - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 09:09

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 09:09
Okay, I know when I'm beat!!! Scrap the idea I just posted above about sling-shotting the trailer onto the ferry..... trailers not permitted without a towing vehicle attached apparantly... AUSTRALIA: What A Place!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 10:11

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 10:11
Hi Bill
There must surely be lots of good little Suzuki 4X4 out there fitted with tow bars, that are legal to drive on our roads and small enough to low a trailer onto the ferry?????

Here one for you to try.

Take care

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Reply By: 78OLL - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 06:58

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 06:58
Do you really think that the cops or SA transport mob are going to drive up to the Cooper and put a stop to some one towing trailers with a quad. Come on guys use a bit of common sense. The amount of tourist dollars places like birdsville and Marree would loose because no one towing a trailer can do the full trip would be through the roof, especially this year due to the water. Why drive away people (including myself) because of someone useing abit of Aussie inginuity and then being dobbed in by some gov dept worker trying to make a name for himself.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 08:31

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 08:31
Hi 78OLL
Government agencies will head to the Cooper to do their job. From one of my other contacts, I was told that just very recently around 40 people have appeared in the Port Augusta Magistrates Court for offences committed with water craft up there, which is fair enough, as just because you are on the Cooper, the same water regulations including safety still apply.

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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 14:38

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 14:38
what sort of offenses are being committed?
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Follow Up By: Teraa - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 14:40

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 14:40
Well this is it the wowsers are either non trailer people, missed out and definitley don't own a buisiness on the otherside that relies on tourism. On the other hand as a local trapped on the other side while 10 trailers are taken accross I might get sick of waiting. But that's life get over it. This is apprently why it was canned because someone had to wait poor soul.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 15:42

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 15:42
Hi fisho64
I have asked my contact for examples of what people have been charged for and she will find out for me. She said that one boat on the water was checked, the operator was well over the legal limit and he was then very abusive to the officer that was checking him out. Likewise he had his boat impounded so she tells me.

The motto of this story is just because you are miles from anywhere, you must always be aware of the law and be aware that you can be checked anywhere and any time.

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Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 10:23

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 10:23
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Reply By: Teraa - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 14:32

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 14:32
Well enough people complained and the quad bike is now canned, great stuff by the wowsers. Stephen we might need to do another thread for all those now expecting to get accross with camper.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 15:34

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 15:34
Hi Tess
When I first put it up and had it confirmed, I thought that there would have been many grateful people and was surprised by the "Anti Brigade". It make me wonder that I should have never put this post up.

There surely must be some good little Suzuki 4X4 with a tow bar up on the stations somewhere. This would then not fall into the quad category and a good little spinner for a station owner. You can see that from a few of the above replies, there are lots of travellers out there that would gladly pay a fee to get their trailers over.

All the Best and Take Care.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Teraa - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 16:26

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 16:26
Yeah, I haven't seen a Suzuki anywhere you would think someone would have one. I thought maybe it should have stayed a secret squriel on my post the other day I didn't think there would be so many wowsers either I still can't get my head around how your trailer would end up in the creek via quad. Maybe instead of defeating all that is good, come up with something positive and at least someone made a effort to lift a bad situation made by the Gov. supplying a inadequate ferry which was told to them from the very beginning. I hope there is as many complaints going in about the out dated ferry. If I had a buisiness relying on the traffic I'd be sueing. I just hope the guys on the ferry didn't get any strife and don't told me the bossess didn't know they would have heard about it before me. I am glad I am out of the area for a while it is hard to watch the local buisiness people suffer.
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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 17:27

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 17:27
Stephen
My broad understanding is that the issues with using the quad were recognised well before you posted and action was already in the pipe line. So the "debate" in this thread were incidental.
My own personal opinion is that it would be good to have a suitable tug available, be it a small tractor (Kuboto?) or maybe a Soozy, one that could legally handle the loads involved. However, overall delays could increase at times as the tug/CT combination would require an extra crossing.
At first blush the idea of using a quad was worth considering but the analysis was not well thought through, as there are clearly risks associated with using a (unregistered?) 300kg vehicle to handle a 1500 kg trailer, particularly when the drawbar weight may be getting up to 200kg (as mine is) - way in excess of spec.
One suggestion was to sign a waiver - well, you can't sign away your basic legal rights associated with, for example, acts of negligence. If the tug is not registered there is no compulsary third party cover and if it does not comply with minimum requirements under the Vehicles Act, property cover may well be void as well.
Accidents do happen, sometimes despite our best intentions! So your trailer is damaged - you will be faced with paying, or recovering, the cost - maybe minor. But what if someone is injured? That's when the costs can go through the roof and people seriously start considering sueing for damages and costs :-(
Finally, IMHO, labelling people as wowsers, or whatever, is not helpful in generating constructive discussion on a forum.
Regards
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Jon W (Toowoomba QLD) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 17:57

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 17:57
Well said Andrew and I agree completely. All is good until the first time that something goes pear shaped and a trailer or person is damaged. Then the poor quad owner becomes a target.
Jon W
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 18:16

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 18:16
Hi Andrew
A good debate is always good. I have not labelled anyone a wowser, only the anti brigade. Have you been up to the ferry site and witnessed the delays in person yourself, or are you taking what has been said by some people??

The extra delays would be very minimal, the only times that it would be extended would be times like school holidays. As this is a Public service for a public road, why should people with camper trailers be discriminated against. I personally hope that some bright person does come up with a small registered vehicle to help those out in need and in the process make themselves a few dollars on the side.

Accidents do happen for sure. If an injury did occur, it would only be to the driver of the towing vehicle, as where you have to stand as a passenger is well out of the way of where vehicles drive. As for not generating constructive discussion on the forum, what can I say, take a drive up there and see the site first hand and then you can make a statement like that.

I personally think this forum is great and does create constructive debates, and if you are so concerned, instead of being a lurker, why not join as a member...food for thought.

Cheers

Stephen

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Follow Up By: Me me - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 18:43

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 18:43
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 18:46

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 18:46
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Follow Up By: Member - John B2 (VIC) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 19:32

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 19:32
I would like to put a new perspective on this.

My wife (61) & I (62) had one the greatest experiences on 1 June 2010, when we crossed Cooper Creek as the waters crossed the Birdsville Track with our camper trailer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P96vVXRcDJM

We have lived in and travelled in many other countries, but nothing compares to our love of Australia.

We left in May to do the Mitchell Falls, but rain stopped that, so we travelled 9000k's in 4 weeks but guess what we saw other parts of this great country.

Mother nature can ruin our best laid plans but can also create new adventures.

We plan to cross Cooper Creek this time by ferry in September without our campertrailer.

And I can tell you I would be p$$$ed off having to wait twice the time for trailers to be transported across when the rules have been laid down and I had left mine home.

Cheers,
John
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 19:48

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 19:48
Hi John
Providing that you are not travelling during the school holidays, the wait is not as long as you would expect. I have heard of long delays during the Regatta and the School Holidays, which was to be expected with the large increase of traffic to the area.

The official figures from Transport SA for the first 3 weeks showed that the longest wait in that period was 8 vehicles and 1.5 hours to cross. We have crossed it 4 times and when there were no vehicles in front of us, it was only about 10 minutes wait for the ferry to travel from the other side. Another time when there were 6 vehicles in front of us, it was only just over an hours wait.

The time goes very fast, when you are mingling with others there and it seems no time when it is your time to drive on. It would have been great to be there on the 1st June and your video was great.

When you head back, the better camping sites are on the northern side of the crossing.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - John B2 (VIC) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:00

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:00
Hi Stephen,

I think you missed my point.

You were very instrumental early on to get the ferry up and running, you also made me very aware to be at Cooper Creek in June, which I thank you for.

But what I am saying now, is leave your camper trailer home if you need to cross, but go and see this fantastic event.

We will be in a tent

And I would still be P$$$ed OFf if the rules were disobeyed for a minority
as usual

Cheers,
John

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:18

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:18
Hi John
I know from what you are saying. Again it does not effect me one way or the other, as I only use a tent or swag. The point that I was raising is the sign only mentions that caravans are not permitted and the maximum length of any other vehicle is 7.8 metres.

There are lots of people out there that for some reason, that do not like camping in tents or the like and only feel happy in their campers and would love to get up and that their home on wheels over on the ferry.

If I had to wait a little longer to make them feel happy, so be it. After all, even if it was a 2 hour wait, it is not long compared to the many hours that people have travelled from all over Australia to see this fantastic sight.

As you can see from the picture below, there is no mention anywhere that camper trailers and not allowed on the ferry providing that the maximum length of towing vehicle/trailer does not exceed 7.8 metres.

Cheers

Stephen

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Follow Up By: Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:35

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:35
Stephen
Could I suggest you carefully reread my last post to you, as I get the impression you have not comprehended some parts of what I have written.


As to whether I have yet been to the site, the short answer is no: I am, however, planning to go there in mid August. In the mean time, I have taken note of the information supplied in this forum, including from you. Are you suggesting that you are not reliable? I hope not. I agree that for much of the time, the additional delays would (hopefully) not be large. That is why I stated “overall delays could increase at times”.


I can not see a causal link between visiting the site and the ability to contribute constructively to a conversation. If this was the case, contributions to the forum overall would be cut to about 15% of the existing numbers!


I agree that this is by and large an excellent site with a wealth of useful information and opinion. That is why, when I joined as a visitor a few months ago to try it out, I said to Damian Baker that I intended to become a member in due course.


BTW, far from being a "lurker" I have made many contributions over the short time I have been a visitor.


Regards Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - John B2 (VIC) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:38

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:38
Hi Stephen,

You play with words, I never said campertrailers were not allowed.

What I was saying is that why should people who have followed the rules and left their campertrailers home be inconvenieced by those that dont.

I have read these from day one, lets respect and not circumvent these rules

# COOPER CREEK FERRY INFORMATION
# The department has become aware of illegal activity at the ferry crossing.
# The use of a quad bike to load / unload trailers is NOT ALLOWED
# **The ferry will be closed for general maintenance between the hours of 10.00am and 2.30pm on Wednesday 21 July and Thursday 22 July 2010.**
# Signs displaying condition of use of the ferry are installed at Marree, Birdsville, Mungeranie and at the ferry crossing.
# Conditions of use of the ferry:
# Maximum load for vehicles - 10t gross
# Maximum load for cattle on hoof - 8t gross
# Maximum length of vehicles is 7.8m - Trailers are permitted providing the total length of towing vehicle and trailer does not exceed 7.8m
# CARAVANS ARE NOT PERMITTED
# TRAILERS CANNOT BE TRANSPORTED SEPARATE TO TOWING VEHICLE
# TRAILERS MUST REMAIN HITCHED TO TOWING VEHICLE WHILST ON FERRY
# Persons use the ferry at own risk
# No more than 6 passengers permitted on ferry at the one time
# No persons permitted in vehicles during crossing
# Lifejackets must be worn
# The ferry will operate during daylight hours only 7 days per week weather permitting
# All persons must follow instructions and conditions in loading as directed by the ferry operator.
# Further ferry information is available at www.sa.gov.au/ferryservices

Also if it was permitted legally I would have no hesitation in paying an authorised contractor

Cheers,
John
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:54

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 20:54
Hi Andrew and John

Andrew

Point taken and when you get there, you will not believe your eyes. Like I have mentioned many times the better camping locations are on the northern side of the crossing. Keep a look out for me when you are there, as we will also be back there around the same time.

John
You are speaking like a man on a mission when you trying to make deadlines. Go with the flow, as you will not be inconvenienced, as I could not think of a better place to wind down and take in the serenity of the Cooper flowing by.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - John B2 (VIC) - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 19:30

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 19:30
Hi Stephen,

I thank you for your psychoanalysis, as I am 62 years young, have no deadlines I better learn to break the rules and fit in with your thinking.

Have a nice day

Cheers,
John

PS: please be less emotive, read and comprehend what others have written before being condescending ( You are speaking like a man on a mission when you trying to make deadlines. I am a paid up member
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Reply By: Member - Duncs - Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 22:49

Saturday, Jul 17, 2010 at 22:49
This comment is too late to make any difference to the outcome of the debate but I believe it has relevance for such future debates.

In late April 1999 we set off for Cape York unfortunately for us the northern cape had the biggest wet season in 43 years with the majority of the rain falling in March. When we arrived in Cairns we got news that the Archer and Wenlock rivers were still in flood. The Archer dropped quite quickly and in mid May we crossed it easily but the Wenlock drains a large wetland. When in Weipa the river level was at a persistent 4m above the causeway.

We had heard that the tour operators had organised for a barge to transport vehicles across the river and that they would allow the general public to use it. The advice given in Weipa was that the barge was unsafe and that we would be fools to risk our vehicles on this vessel which was not built to survey and therefore would void our insurance.

Hundreds of people turned south from Weipa disappointed at missing out on their once in a lifetime chance to the tip. I went and had a look.

I did the maths and worked out that the barge had enough capacity to carry twice the weight of my vehicle. Without hesitation I loaded my car and camper onto the barge. It has become the stuff of legends and is a story, like many others, that is improving with age.

As for the legalities. The tour operators who owned the barge refused to accept payment for its use. Their legal advice was that in accepting payment they accepted liability. By allowing people free use they were transferring liability to the vehicle owner, me. Because the operator spent a considerable amount of his own time helping me use the barge that he had built I bought him a beer, actually I bought him a carton.

Surely if the operator of the quad was charging for the service he was accepting liability for any loss or legal action that arose from his service. The reason Transport SA stopped it was surely because by allowing an unregistered quad towing what would be an overweight trailer onto the barge they were condoning the action and accepting at least some of the liability.

Duncs
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 09:58

Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 09:58
Hi Duncs
Very good comments.
From what I understand, the actions to stop the quad were only put in place after I put up the post confirming that it was possible to take your camper over through the actions of someone with a way to beating the 7.8 metre length limit. Since then it was all gone pear shape. From details that I have heard from friends that have been up there recently, it was taking place for nearly 2 weeks.
Like I have said above I hope that the ferry operators do not cop any flack from the bosses.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Black Cobra (WA) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 18:53

Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 18:53
Boy so much for free enterprise, will be up the mid augsust myself.

Can anybody tell me the legalities of if I rig a scuba regulator to the snorkle of my truck so that it can breath from an air cylinder then I can drive along the original track without having to go on the ferry.

Now you say I will drown but I will use the buddy regulator to breath and as I am towing a camper trailer we can share the reg to get to the other side.

Sorry just a bit of humour LOL!
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Follow Up By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 20:24

Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 20:24
Hi BC, SWMBO and I did the ferry both ways on June 30 and the thought has crossed my mind, who will be first to drive the flooded track? Two canoeists were on the northern end when we arrived and said that the depth gauge was at 1.2m. Most of the way the white roadside marker posts are visible. An authoritative source says that the roadbase is gibbers and they should provide a solid support. So if you are driving a diesel with a a lift and a snorkel your chance will soon arrive. It should make for a great You tube..... W
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Follow Up By: Muddy doe (SA) - Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 21:56

Sunday, Jul 18, 2010 at 21:56
I do hear from a good source that is 5 kilometres of water crossing on the original track. 5000 metres is a long way to drive through water with chances of washouts, boulders and logs impeding progress!

It's about 900 metres at the ferry crossing.

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Follow Up By: Teraa - Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 20:14

Monday, Jul 19, 2010 at 20:14
Yeah there's some deep channels in there but the gauges are below the road you'd be mad. It is going to be a grey area as the ferry stops running when the Cooper goes under 3m and then how long before the road is operational anyone got some history on this one ?
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