LISTENING TO OTHERS ON WHAT SPEED TO TRAVEL ON TRACKS..

 
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: LISTENING TO OTHERS ON WHAT SPEED TO TRAVEL ON TRACKS.. Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

A lot of you Newbies ask what speed to travel in the corrugation or dirt tracks, and I can see your idea in asking this, but to propose to get answers in numbers that are applicable to you is outside of the realm of possibility.. For instance, and here is what I mean, corrugation could easily be put into about ten different categories from mild and irritating to extreme and dangerous... Secondly: Potholed dirt tracks could be put into the same category, good stretches maintained and then some horrible deep ruts and bogs where trucks have been stuck into... Thirdly the answers will VARY tow vehicle to tow vehicle in about five different classes, and in size of van from medium to light to heavy and large... And Degree of Road Train or other truck traffic and VISIBILITY... And of course BULL DUST PANS that can be as slick as ..... Shocked

Now in all fairness, my advice would be to gauge it for yourself, and NOT BY HOW YOU FEEL IN THE TOW VEHICLE.. Exclamation But by how the van and contents are travelling. A track that has mild corrugation, can even get out of hand on the curves where you are travelling too fast on the "peaks" of the corrugation, and you can get sideways drift. I mean that you, YOU are going to have to gauge how YOUR OWN VAN is travelling. It is almost as if (and I cannot suggest you do this as it would be illegal) but it is almost as if you have to ride in the van on some corrugation to get the feel for how the van is travelling... Now since you cannot do this, you are going to have to gauge it by your contents and how they are travelling as well. And one more thing, MORE THAN SPEED is the importance of letting tyre pressure down for a first step...

Now, someone suggested an idea of 20 kph, but that is a bit extreme.... It would only be that way on the worst of deep corrugation and ruts where trucks were bogging through and it has dried to leave deep tyre tracks, or deep washout corrugation.. For most light corrugation you might be able to travel at say 40 to 60 kph, with tyre pressure reduced. Mild gravel corrugation of fair trucking roads, maybe even 70-80... But again, YOU have to gauge this for yourself... REALLY, don't listen to how anyone else is saying they go.. A very light van my tell you way too much speed, because they are not really driving in the corrugation, they might get enough speed up to SKIM OVER THE TOP and you try and keep up with them weighing a ton more AND YOU WILL BE IN TROUBLE and start breaking things..

Understand? Battery chargers shaken to pieces, Inverters getting components rattled off the IC boards, cabinet catches breaking, thermostats on stoves broken, these are all warning signs you are going too fast or too high of tyre pressure on the corrugation... Don't pay attention? The next level can be high pressure lines on refrigerators and air conditioning breaking, and serious things that can be inconvenient and expensive.. Slow down, take it easy, you might get there a little later but you won't have scrambled eggs and things broken to fix....

Newbies often ask the question of how fast to travel, BUT you cannot use other peoples answer for it... No Offence here, but you, YOU have to gauge it for YOUR van. So, start out slow, and lower tyre pressure, and slowly pick up speed to probably the ranges I pointed out above... You will know in 500 kms of varying conditions... Most of time it will be in the 40-60 kph range.. Smooth corrugated Outback highway of gravel and light corrugation and you might go 80 kph, but only with good visibility and no curves to do it safely..

One last MAJOR WARNING.... CURVES: On corrugated roads, you might be OK at a speed on the straight away, but it could be a DISASTER on the curves.. Particularly on the blue grey gravel of bauxite roads, as the van could FLOAT on the corrugation in the curves... Brakes are worthless, you need to let off the GO PEDAL before the curves and coast through gently.

Get there safely and without breaking things. It might be slower, but I gaurantee it will be happier in the long run... For an example go to the TIPS ON OFF-ROAD CAMPING, and read the new topic there about DRIVING TO THE TRACK CONDITIONS, there is a case history there. And breaking things is your warning signs...

Take care, arrive safely, enjoy the trip, leave the City pressure and scheduling, goal oriented lifestyle behind... Croooooze along..

Regards, Ranger


Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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galapagos



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Everbody, Steve is correct, there is no "correct" speed on the dirt, you can not define a dirt road as "corrugated", "mildy corrugated", "smooth" etc., they are like the weather in the Snowies, perfect on metre then all hell breaks loose the next. However I will pass on some of my advise from having learnt and driven extensivly on dirt roads in Queensland since I was 10 years old.
If you are travelling faster than 80k then you are probably going too fast.
Dirt roads generaly develope into a series of twin wheel tracks either one, two even three sets, - ALWAYS keep to the hard left - most fatal accidents on dirt roads are headons.
When approaching the top of a rise observe the condition of the road and GET TO THE LEFT then you have a chance of missing the idiot coming the other way in the middle of the road.
When the road turns to the left there may only be one set of tracks which are on your side, slow down, observe the left edge of the road and get over or be prepared to go there.
When the road turns to the right and has only one set of tracks on the right hand side of the road (which you have been following down the middle of the road), SLOW DOWN, move out of the tracks to the left BUT REMEMBER the surface WILL BE LOOSE and CORRUGATED so SLOW DOWN, I mean to maybe 5-10 kph.
When you see a big cloud of dust in the distance coming towards you, immediatly find a spot to GET OFF THE ROAD Safely and stop - it is probably a road train.
If you catch up to a large cloud of dust travelling in your direction, pull up and have smoko - you are probably going too fast.
On single lane bitumen roads if you think the approaching vehicle is a road train, slow down and get off the road if practiable, stop and call the driver to give him the road, that way the train will stay on the bitumen and not give you a free rock shower. HOWEVER, BE WARNED, - SLOW DOWN FIRST, the dirt surface beside the bitumen may be covered in weeds concealing a whole series of small water runoff channels which, with the camber of the road, will cause your vehicle to roll over.
The above advise is for any vehicle but with a three tonne BT in tow it is tripply so vital that you SLOW DOWN and always read the road as far as possible in front, KNOW what speed you are travelling at and keep an eye out on what is happening behind.

Hope the above helps

Graham P
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Mobi Condo



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got to agree with the Slow Down School of driving here. We have 'done' several tracks/roads very easily when others reported via radio to clubs that evening they had experienced a terrible road etc, when we were also on it and had a beautiful drive.
Some where on a forum some had a signature along the lines of "Its not the destination, but the journey that counts" and we reckon thats a good idea. Smell the roses and enjoy the scenery as you 'potter' along safely! Even if you have to wander about looking for a smoother bit of track to drive.
Mind you one MUST keep an eye out for oncoming from front & rear and be ready to exit the carriage way so as to give them the room to travel past at their speed!
Roll on the day when we are retired and have NO time limits to keep to!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Grumblebum and the Dragon



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, the biggest trap of all for those not used to the dirt roads roads is.... "Ah beaut - this road is in really good nick" speed increases and suddenly "Oh Shit" as you hit a wash out or a really bad section where the roo's are sleeping in the shade of the corrugations.

It is then that they can suddenly find that the road surface with lots of loose stuff provides a really poor driving surface....... the car drifts around and get all loose and ugly.

It is amazing how quickly a good road can deteriorate in a matter of metres and then come good again a few metres further down the road. Corners are usually a lot more corrugated that the staright sections.

If in doubt chill out and arrive safe

John
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galapagos



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of washouts, beware the gutter at the bottom of the slope on the beautiful gravel road. A lot of dirt roads do not have drains under them with the result that the water cuts a little gully across the road. The gutter will be say 300mm wide and a meter deep and the rest of the road will be perfect - of course you have wound the old girl up to 100k and suddenly in front of the bonnet appears this gutter DONT slam the brakes on just ride it - if you slam the brakes on and hit the gutter lockedup all the weight of the vehicle is on the front wheels and you bury them in the gutter. What you can try is brake before the gutter but release and accelerate just as the gutter disappers under the vehicle - this provides minimum weight on the on the front suspension BUT requires perfect timming. In either event if you were doing 100k hang onto your hats!!


Graham P
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aubs



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent 4hrs towing a boat across the Battle Camp Road out from Cooktown, the bad stretch was only 30kms near Laura Station, my knuckles were white, face red, heart in over drive, and I spent most of that 4 hours driving in the paddock off the side of the road as it was in better condition,

If you want to come out the other end intact then as frustrating as it may be, just take your time, I was in a Pathfinder and idled for hundreds of meters at a time.

Strange how we passed a F100 with half his rear end missing, thought they were a tougher vehicle,

If you are in a hurry then you are not on holiday or retired.
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very SERIOUS WARNING here from the lone Ranger......



At least one Bushtracker has been turned over, hitting a bull dust deep pan too hard and too fast. It is like driving onto deep slick snow or skating on a frozen mud puddle or something... Shocked

This one may have been done for fun, staged for the picture, but in real travel:
You do not want to hit it too hard as you can LOSE IT....

Cheers, but seriously....... Wink
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