The purpose of traveling in convoy is to improve your safety in transit. Travelling in a group will always be safer than travelling 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.
These rules are quite common among convoy protocol and applies to all drivers during any of the GONE Offroad 4WD Tours:
The GONE Offroad Lead Vehicle ("Lead Vehicle" or "Trip Leader") 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 on the trip 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 “car 3 copies” and then the message.
The convoy's designated UHF channel is 18 or if there is too much traffic an alternate channel can be designated by the trip leader.
Keep your radio messages brief and to the point.
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 and in sight!
On difficult terrain allow the vehicle in front of you to negotiate and complete the obstacle before attempting it with your vehicle.
If you loose sight of the vehicle behind you call them 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 advice.
Pay attention to all directions from the Lead Vehicle particularly when given over the radio as this Vehicle will be in a position to advise of potential hazards and how to avoid them. This can include but not limited to rutted out tracks, steep cliff faces and water crossings etc
There can only be one person in charge of our 4WD tours! You need to keep the Lead Vehicle 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 role at this point 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 if an incident were to happen or has happened.
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.
Watch out for your travel companions as you will expect them to look out for you. This is a common courtesy, builds a sense of rapport and camaraderie.
See and be SEEN!
In recovery, the Trip Leader (the Lead Vehicle) or a person nominated by him/her should oversee any winching, snatching or towing and all bystanders should adhere to any directions issued by that person in the interest of personal safety.
All vehicles on trips must be roadworthy and registered.
It is also suggested that enough food, drink and clothing is carried for emergency supplies. GONE Offroad does not supply food or water.
When encountering GATES, ensure that they are left as they are found at all times. The trip leader must relay to the sweep as to whether the gate remains open or closed.
Drivers are responsible for the behaviour of their passengers.
The Trip Leader, if necessary, will determine vehicle positions in the convoy.
No vehicle will leave or change position in the convoy without informing the trip leader. This is for safety and basic convoy protocol.
In hazardous areas it is the responsibility of each driver to ensure that the previous vehicle has passed the hazard before they commence.
Always maintain allocated position within the convoy except in unavoidable circumstances.
There will be no intended reckless driving. To do so, puts other drivers and passengers in danger and you will be disbanded from the convoy.
In the interest of environmental conservation, whilst in bush areas, vehicles are to keep to tracks that are already made. The Trip Leader will decide if necessary to leave the track in order to bypass a hazard.
Reasonable attempts should be made to clear obstacles from the tracks. The Trip Leader shall decide if it is necessary to leave the track in order to bypass an obstacle.
In the event of a recovery or accident, the trip leader or his nominee is in charge of the recovery.
If you require the vehicle in front to stop, either flash your headlights on high beam or use the UHF if the vehicle is out of sight. Should this occur, the Lead Vehicle is to be advised to keep the convoy together.
Guiding of 4WD’s when required is to be done by the Trip Leader or his nominee only. With respect, we ask that you do not interfere unless you are asked to do so. The Trip Leader will act on the concurrence of the driver of the vehicle they are to guide.