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Trip gradings

A minimum of a first aid kit, 2kg fire extinguisher (or 2 x 1kg), recovery strap and a spade are to be carried on all trips. It is useful to have a suitably sized block of wood to place under your jack to prevent it sinking in soft ground when changing tyres. If your spare tyre is under your vehicle it may be handy to secure it safely in the back as you often can’t get it from underneath in 4x4 track conditions.

Important note: when making ‘snatch recoveries’ ensure you use a ‘snatch strap’ with some stretch and not a ‘tow strap’ with no stretch and use suitable rated recovery points! Never recover using a tow ball, remove it and attach strap with a rated shackle, (Shackle to be 3.2 tonne or better, recovery hook to be fastened with 2x 12mm bolts, grade 8.8 or imperial equivalent).

Please note that the grade shown for a track may vary and be slightly easier or harder than description, due to changes in weather and track conditions since last visited. To avoid disappointment on the day, it is advised that you talk with the trip leader beforehand to get the latest track update and discuss your vehicle and capabilities.

Grade 1 - Easy

(Scenic/social/touring)

  • Novice drivers with little or no four wheel driving experience required.
  • Easy driving on sealed and unsealed roads, no rough tracks and road or all terrain tyres.
  • Minimal chance of paint scratching.
  • Good family outing for people wanting to ease their way into four-wheel driving (more of a touring style of driving with a destination in mind).

Grade 2 - Intermediate

  • Drivers with some 4wding experience, that have driven off-road on farms, beaches, etc.
  • Easy off-road tracks, some mud, all-terrain tyres or better, Hi and Low range 4wd,rated front and rear recovery points, basic recovery gear (snatch strap, 2 rated shackles,gloves and spade) and appropriate driver knowledge,as snatch strap recovery may be necessary. Most obstacles are able to be by-passed if drivers wish too.
  • A small chance of light paint scratching.
  • These are the tracks all standard 4wd’s should be capable of and why you own a 4wd.

Grade 3 - Medium

  • Drivers with moderate and sound 4wding knowledge and experience, who are comfortable with slippery driving conditions.
  • Steeper terrain, rutted tracks, with close obstacles to manoeuver around. Snatch recovery is likely to be required.
  • Mud terrain tyres preferred, road tires are not acceptable (mud terrain tyres for wet weather conditions).
  • Rated front and rear recovery points, basic recovery gear (snatch strap, 2 rated shackles, gloves and spade), and appropriate driver knowledge.
  • Some scratching or minor scrapes possible.
  • These tracks are ideally suited to those who enjoy 4wding in most conditions, don’t mind the odd scratch and have fitted mud terrain tyres.
  • Winches are not necessary on all vehicles; this will be at the trip leader’s discretion depending on weather conditions.

Grade 4 - Hard

  • Confident, experienced drivers in all aspects of 4wding.
  • Rough tracks, muddy, steepand slippery terrain, rocks, deep water, snatch and winch recovery likely. Rated recovery points front and rear, mud terrain tyres or better, and a winch along with relevant recovery gear (snatch strap, rated shackles, tree trunk protector, winch rope dampener, gloves and spade).
  • Some vehicle damage may be likely.
  • These trips are great for experienced drivers with well-equipped 4wd’sthat have increased ground clearance and vehicle protection, capable of self-recovery if necessary.

Grade 5 - Extreme

  • Very experienced drivers able to handle self-recovery and the harshest conditions, where anything may arise.
  • Very steep, deeply rutted tracks or rock hopping will be encountered. Front and rear recovery points (rated), full recovery gear (snatch strap, rated shackles, tree trunk protector, winch extension, winch rope dampener, drag chain, gloves, spade and spares), and appropriate driver knowledge.
  • Winching will be expected and an electric or motorised winch is compulsory on all vehicles.
  • Aggressive mud terrain or Simex style tyres are essential.
  • Warning: Vehicle damage is likely to occur.
  • These trips are for heavily modified 4wd’s and experienced drivers only. This category describes trips that are at competition level.


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