4WD TIPS

Travel Tips

What to Pack

what to pack
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Accessories

Researching accessories for your 4wd is essential before planning any trips.
Here is a list of item we think deserve consideration before travelling.

Bull Bar
Side Bars & Steps
Snorkel
Roof Rack
Cargo Barrier
Suspension
Tyres

Drawer System
Winch
Driving Lights
Dual Battery System
Long Range Fuel Tank

Water Tank
Recovery Equipment

UHF Radio
Fridge
GPS
Towbar
Diff Breathers
Air Compressor
Sand Flag

Bull Bars

A bull bar should be fitted for safety while travelling. The bull bar saves many vehicles from major damage during a collision. Whilst it provides protection and enhances the vehicles appearance it also provides mounting points for driving lights, winch, and aerials.

Driving Lights

The first question you should ask yourself is “how much night driving will I do?”
Make your purchase based on the answer to this question.
As driving lights can be expensive, it is a smart idea to invest in a set of protective covers.

Fuel Efficiency

Regular service of your vehicle is a must. Part of this service should include the changing of oil and fuel filters. Ensure that you have clean filters on hand as spares, as the dust in the outback can cause problems.
Accelerate gradually when driving, quick acceleration uses a lot more fuel.
The general rule of thumb,:when in 4WD your fuel economy is 20% less.

Recovery Equipment

Purchase the correct equipment for the terrain type you will be traversing.
A kit should include the basic items, but we have put the following comprehensive list together –

Tow Hook; Front & Rear
Shackles; Small & Large
Tree Truck Protector
Winch
Winch Extension Strap
Hand Winch
Hi Lift Jack

Drag Chain
Snatch Strap
Leather Gloves
Winch Dampener
Equalizer Strap
Ground Anchor
Jack Base

Snatch Block
Vehicle Recovery Point
Tyre Deflator
Mud & Snow Chains
Maxtrax
Puncture Repair Kit
Shovel

Axe
Saw

Note: Do not confuse a vehicle tie down point with a recovery point. A tie down point is not strong enough to be used for recovery.

Rubbish

It is disappointing these days to see some of the great places we can travel to littered by previous visitors. Just think, to setup camp, you will have to spend a considerable amount of your time cleaning up before you can start. Anything that is recyclable should be taken to the next town and processed. Burying rubbish is not adequate, as the local wild life will only dig this up. Ensure that you always carry enough bags to take your rubbish with you.

Spare Parts

Carrying things such as fan belts, hoses, fuses and parts for small repairs can save lives and reduce expenses in the outback.
Another good idea is to replace some of the parts before heading off and carrying the old parts as the spares, but make sure you check the condition of the old parts before deciding.
Knowing the vehicle and parts properly, means you will know what tools you will need to carry for the trip.

Survival Kit

First Aid Manual
Fire Extinguisher
UHF Radio
Tool Kit
Knife
Spare Blanket
Shovel

Matches
Water
First Aid Kit
Spare Parts
Compass
Torch

 

 

Suspension

Shock absorbers and springs take a beating in our great land and should be checked thoroughly before departure. As suspension is the load bearing product of the vehicle, especially if many accessories have been fitted to the vehicle it is important to get the correct suspension fitted.
If you anticipate travelling on many corrugated roads during a trip it would be wise to carry a spare front and rear shock absorber.

Tyres & Pressures

On bitumen the tyre pressure should be to manufactures specifications.
On rocky roads it is best to reduce pressure to avoid punctures.
On sand it is best to reduce the pressure to make the tyre footprint increase, thereby reducing sinking. And even though it sounds crazy if the tyres are relatively bald they perform better on this surface, as there is nothing to dig into the sand.
If you are towing a trailer it is a good idea to make sure the wheels and tyres match those on your vehicle.
Do not forget, tyres are a major player on your vehicle, they carry all the weight and are the contact point for all driving.
So choose well, we suggest that you speak to as many experts as possible.
And always carry a puncture repair kit.

Beach Access

Always access a beach by an approved trail and stay off vegetated sand dunes at all times.
Immediately hose down your vehicle when returning from beach driving to remove all corrosive salt.
Make sure you have tide information for the beach you are travelling and always travel at low tide.
If travelling in dunes do not forget to use a sand flag.

General Driving

When travelling outback it is recommended to keep headlights on. Due to the high dust clouds it is easier for vehicles to see you.
Be particularly careful when passing road trains. Due to the length of a road train, make certain you have enough clearance to pass.
When travelling narrow tracks, blind corners and overgrown areas, to avoid accidents sound horn at intervals, have lights on, and broadcast on an all stations call.
Dawn and dusk would have to be the most dangerous times for driving, so it would be wise to avoid travel and have a break instead.

Mud Driving

Remember spinning wheels loose traction and once there is no traction in mud it is a loosing battle not to get bogged. Low range 2nd or 3rd gears do prevent the wheels from spinning excessively. It is always wise to check the depth, so grab a stick and start poking around.

Water Crossings

Never enter a crossing without knowing the depth. This is possibly the most important tip. Most people who have been doing these crossings for sometime will often walk the crossing themselves (where safe) to ensure not only depth but also the base type (sand, rock and mud). Do not change gears while crossing and if the vehicle stops DO NOT attempt to restart it. Always try to enter slightly against the current and exit slightly with the current. Diff breathers and snorkels are an important accessory for water crossings. Also, a car bra is a great idea.