The purpose of traveling in convoy is to improve your safety in transit. Traveling in a group will always be safer than traveling on your own. However as a group of individuals we need some guidelines to follow so that we are able to expect standard responses to common situations.
4wd convoy procedures are a set of procedures that are intended to reduce risks and stress. Please keep this in mind at all times.
Road rules and courtesy to others at all times will make for a memorable trip for all.
The lead vehicle will have direct radio contact with the sweep most of the time. With dusty roads radio messages need to be relayed due to the extended gap between each vehicle.
Each vehicle has the responsibility to look after the vehicle behind. Always check by radio or visual to confirm that your travel companion is on the same track.
On the highway 500mts
On dirt roads 800-1000mts
On bush tracks 50-100mts
Avoid travelling in the dust of the vehicle in front. When the dust cloud is visible slow down if the dust is still heavy call up the vehicle In front and compare your speed. The other vehicles may be slowing for rough terrain.
On difficult terrain allow the vehicle in front of you to negotiate the obstacle before attempting it with your vehicle.
If you loose sight of the vehicle behind you call up on the UHF, if no response call the lead vehicle advising your intention to stop to wait for the vehicle behind. All vehicles in front of you will slow or stop depending the lead vehicles advise.
Each vehicle. on the expedition has a number and all communications from a vehicle need to have its source clearly identified. For example “car 3 this is car 4~ do you copy”, response “3 copies” and then the message.
When an oncoming or ongoing vehicle passes a vehicle. in a our convoy, a report such as the following should be delivered “oncoming passed car 3” this informs all in the convoy as to the position of the other vehicle.
If you have to stop always advise the lead vehicle of your intentions before stopping as the following vehicles could run into you in heavy dust, a corner or a crest.
When dealing with gates the convoy will close up and lead vehicle will make the decision as to how the gates will be handled. If the convoy is “closed up” then all closures will be handled by the sweep. If the convoy is “open” then each vehicle will have to close the gate after passing through.
When parking up at a designated stop such as morning tea or lunch, position your vehicle so you are able to drive off in a forward direction. If reversing in to park visually check the area for people, trees , stumps, holes, washouts or rocks etc,
Be alert for bystanders and children when moving vehicles about at designated stop points.
Pay attention to all directions from the Tour leader particularly when given over the radio as this vehicle will be in a position to advise of potential hazards and how to avoid them.
There can only be one person in charge of a Australian 4WD Tour! You need to keep the Tour leader informed of relevant information which will allow for decisions to be made efficiently and in the best interest of the Tour participants.
If your communication is out flash your lights at the vehicle in front and this vehicle will be able to contact the Lead vehicle by radio to stop the convoy.
As sweep your roll is to keep in contact with the lead vehicle when possible or the vehicle nearest to the lead vehicle so that your communication can be relayed to the lead vehicle.
Children should not be involved in convoy procedures as lives could be put at risk.
All vehicles should have head lights on. The vehicle in front will then be able to see your vehicle from a greater distance and be sure that the vehicle following is part of our convoy.
When all is under control we are there to enjoy
Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance or advice if you feel unsure.
Keep your radio messages brief and to the point.
Watch out for your travel companions as you will expect them to look out for you.
See and be SEEN