Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Beach Driving All about Fun ... and Safety

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Beach Driving All about Fun ... and Safety

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Hamilton Gladstone Regional Recreational 4x4 Group

always carry

Water

Long-handle shovel

UHF radio

Tyre pressure gauge

First aid kit

Know your rated recovery points

Maxtrax or simular

G'DAY 4x4 enthusiasts.

This week I would like to get a bit of information out about beach and sand driving.

Driving on sand requires a unique skill set.

If you expect your four-wheel drive to drive the same on sand as it does on a firm hard surface, you're in for a surprise.

Driving on the beach is a lot of fun but knowing the basic essential skills of beach driving will help to ensure you enjoy your trip.

Queensland has some of the best beach driving tracks in the world.

If you are heading out for a trip on Fraser, Curtis, or Facing Island, knowing these basic tips can help keep you from getting stuck.

The first step to avoid getting into trouble while driving on sand, is to be continually conscious of your safety and the safety of your passengers.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN OFF-ROAD DRIVING:

DON'T overload or make the 4wd top heavy.

Don't make sudden turns, rollovers are not uncommon.

Stay on the tracks to avoid damage to the ecosystem and the vehicle

Stay alert; be mindful of other vehicles, pedestrians and wildlife. Remember, due to the sound of the surf, pedestrians may not be able to hear an approaching vehicle. Keep your distance and be aware of them.

Drive on the left side of approaching vehicles. (Road rules apply to beach driving)

Indicate when overtaking.

Washouts can cause serious accidents, damage to 4WDs. Walk around the washout if you are unsure of its depth to make sure it is safe to cross.

Stick to speed limits and drive slower if you need too.

Before entering soft sand, engage four-wheel drive and lock in the 4wd hubs if applicable.

Keep your momentum when driving on soft sand.

Use low range gears when driving on dry, soft sand.

You may lower tyre pressure when driving on sand; 18psi is the general pressure used for sand/beach driving. However, keep within manufacturer's specification. …

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