Cover image of 4x4 Earth - The 4WD, Camping, Fishing and Outdoors podcast.

4x4 Earth - The 4WD, Camping, Fishing and Outdoors podcast.

Join James from 4x4earth.com as he learns about 4 wheel driving, trucks, tracks, places to go and things to do when exploring the 4x4 Earth. He looks at driving and recovery techniques, trucks, mods, bush camping and cooking, fishing and generally enjoying the Great Outdoors.Learn tips and tricks to have a great time in the places that other people can't get to. Do all of this while being safe and looking after the environment.

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27 - Why Caravans Crash

We talk to Mike Clayton from Clayton's Towing. Started 45 years ago on the Sunshine Coast, Clayton's now has 15 depots and 100 staff.  Have a listen to this podcast if you ever tow a caravan, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider when planning your trip, and those factors can change between the start of your trip and the end, so knowing how to drive with a caravan is really important.  Please share with anyone who tows a caravan. Mike drives a FJ Cruiser, goes offroad and tows a caravan - on top of that, he and his crews have seen a lot of caravan crashes, they are often one of the first people that drivers get to talk to after having a crash while towing a caravan so he is uniquely place to talk about some of the reasons why caravans crash. Claytons Towing has seen a lot of unusual crashes, including a boat recovery off the beach, the sinkhole and aircraft crashes.  We talk about how they worked to move winch a boat of the beach and the technical difficulties they faced with that.  Caravan crashes create a lot of mayhem on the roads and tend to get more publicity, We discuss towball weight,the weight of vehicles, electric breaking, caravan wobbles. Towball weight can either be too light or too heavy and the weight on the towball can change during a trip, so a good understanding of what towball weight is and how it effects the towing performance is really important. Vehicle weight - just because a car or ute is rated to 2.5 ton, doesn't mean that you should.  Some vehicles, especially utes can be quite light when towing a large caravan. Electric brakes need to be adjusted for different driving.  Highway driving needs more brakes than city driving. A lot of people think that when the caravan starts to wobble you should speed up, but Mike has seen many people who have speed up and it has only made things worse.  You might be better off using the caravan brakes to straighten out the caravan and pull it straight, rather than speeding up. Be cautious on windy roads, especially when going downhill. Mike isn't an engineer, but his wisdom is based on years of experience in dealing with caravan crashes. Please share this podcast with anyone who tows a caravan so that we can help more people get to their holiday and return safe and sound. Keep an eye out on 7 Mate for their new TV Show - Towie's featuring the crew from Clayton's and some of the interesting people and jobs that they do.


3 Aug 2017

Rank #1

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4WD new car trends with Robert Pepper

New 4WD Trends with Robert Pepper First we talk Creek Crossings - I've had my issues with Creek Crossings, but check out the video of a FJ Cruiser having issues with a crossing at Sunny Corner in NSW. Sheep Yard Flats - 9th Annual Victorian Gathering.  This will be one of the best trips to go on for newbies to meet experienced 4 wheel drivers and get some great tracks under their belt.  It is Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel drive weekend away. We get Roberts view on the new Ford F250 and what he thinks it would be like offroad. The new Toyota Landcruiser 200 series, what is it like to drive and is the top of the line Sahara worth the extra money DCT (dual clutch transmission) vs CVT (continuous variable transmission) -  where are the manufacturers heading with them and what are the problems with them.  How did the new Suzuki fair with a new dual clutch transmission? Is the new worth the money?  What does Robert think of the add ons on the high end models. Usability in the 'cockpit' of modern 4WDs, what is driving the thinking behind the way that touch screens and controls are laid out. AWD - where are they heading? Safety aids.   What is AANCAP doing with the safety ratings.  Do we need 6 star ratings for safety? Autonomous emergency  braking and trailer sway control, blind spot warning.   (you tube video) We discuss the most effective safety solution for all drivers is. Is the Jeep Ute going to be the most iconic 4WD of 2017?   Mercedes ute?   Will Hyundai release a real 4WD next year? What about the new Defender and Discovery due out and possibly an Amarok refresh.


17 Oct 2016

Rank #2

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23 - Jason Lock and Sema 2016 - What new products and trends caught his eye

SEMA, Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association, is the largest trade only automotive show in the world.  Held in Las Vegas, there was 40 kilometers of displays. ARB and TJM attended with great stands, Harrop Industries. Bubarope has a greatnew product to help kep 5 wraps of cable on your winch, the Grabber. We talk about some new Cummins diesel engines that will be coming out the Australia.  We also talk about the differences between the modification legislation in the United States and Australia.  We talk about a Jeep with an Electric engine! We also talk about the price of Utes and the difference between Australia and the United States. There is also a really interesting story about how the US protects the intellectual property of their companies - Jason talks about the actions of the US Marshalls and some of the dodgy knock offs that were at the show. We talk about the new Pressure Perfect tyre pressure management system.  This allows you to air down or air up automatically.  They have done this by designing the Pressure Perfect module to automatically stopping the compressor or airing down once the required pressure has been reached.


18 Dec 2016

Rank #3

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28 - Is Diesel Dead?

We talk to Robert Pepper about the future of Diesel engines in 4 wheel drives.  My last 3 4WDs have had diesel engines and I have loved the economy and reliability of diesels. Vehicle emissions have become increasingly under the microscope as people become more aware of the effects on the environment.  Whilst the fuel economy of diesel has been great (my old Patriot was getting 6.5 liters / 100km) the emissions are a lot dirtier. The United States has never really embraced diesels, nor has the Middle East, but diesels are very popular in Europe. We talk about the Common Rail Diesel design, and how that works. We look at some of the ways that engine designers have tried to make diesel engines more environmentally friendly. Exhaust Gas Recirculation, whereby some of the exhaust gas and how it works to decrease Nitrogen Oxide emissions. Diesel Particulate Filters and how they work. AdBlue, one type of Selective Catalytics Reduction.  We look at how this works, and more importantly, what happens if you run out of Ad Blue when you are out bush. We talk about Dieselgate, where VW and a number of other vehicle manufacturers built software to decrease performance What will the introduction of Euro 6 mean for Australian vehicles?  New cars sold in Australia after July 2018 will have to meet Euro 6 and the Ford Explorer already has AdBlue fitted. There have been a lot of developments with petrol engines, although petrol is probably on the way out as well. In the UK, they are banning the sale of new petrol cars in 2040 and Volvo will drop Petrol and Diesel cars after 2019, so the writing is on the wall. This is a sad development for fans of the big oiler engines, it will be interesting to see what an electric 4 wheel drive will be like off road.


13 Aug 2017

Rank #4

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24 - Exploring the Aberfeldy Track with Rudy Paoletti

We talk to Rudy Paoletti, organiser of Navruns, map and book publisher, explorer and champion of the history of the Aberfeldy Track. We are discussing the future of 4x4earth, so please have your say on the forum. We are also looking at a new slogan for the website.  "Looking for a good route" has done us well for the first 10 years of the site, but as we look to work more closely with Corporates. Check out the 4x4earth store.   There are T-Shirts, Caps and stubby holders in the store.  This is partially about you getting some 4x4earth swag, but more so about supporting the website and helping to keep it free for everyone to enjoy. We talk to Rudy Paoletti about the Walhalla - Woods Point Gold Belt. We talk about the work that he has done preserving the history of the Aberfeldy Track.  He has done a great job of putting signs in the area and maintaining them.  He has also done a huge amount of work in identifying grave sites, mines and townships that the bush has retaken. Check out the Aberfeldy Track Facebook Page  and the Aberfeldy Track website or more info on the Aberfeldy Track project.  Check out the Aberfeldy Track website to download the maps for the area. We talk about the burial grounds around Store Point. We also talk about the effects of bushfire in the area, some of which had a massive impact on the past, including the 1851 Black Thursday fire, which burnt out 5 million hectares (12 deaths) and the 1939 Black Friday fire which burnt out 2 million hectares and had 71 deaths.   By comparison, Black Saturday burnt out 450,000 hectares, but had 173 deaths.  We talk about some of the walks that can be done in the area. Donate to the project to join up to help preserve the history that Rudi and his group is preserving. 

1hr 13mins

2 Feb 2017

Rank #5

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Track 2 - Snatch Strap Recoveries

In this episode we interview Jason Lock from TJM to learn how to properly and safely use a Snatch Strap.  Used poorly, Snatch Straps can kill, so it is really important that you know exactly what you are doing to avoid killing or injuring yourself or someone else, as well as avoiding damage to your vehicle. We also look at what to look at in a snatch strap and what brands to avoid.


19 Aug 2015

Rank #6

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31 - The new 2018 Ford Ranger Raptor - What have they done??

This was going to be my new Ute.  The rumours were that it was going to have a new 3.6 litre Petrol engine with a lot more power.  The Ecoboost engine was meant to have 336kW and 690Nm.  The new diesel has 147kW and 470Nm.  We discuss with Robert Pepper, renowned 4WD journalist about - What has Ford done? Why has Ford done it? What is the Raptor all about? Should I by it? We also look at the shocks, gearbox and the tyres.  At least with BF Goodrich tyres is a serious statement from Ford that the Raptor is meant to go offroad. When first announced, people were putting deposits down on the Raptor without knowing the price, which is pretty amazing.  How will the reaction be once people know what the specs are going to be. It will be interesting to see how the Baja mode works, it does sound like it will be a bit of fun to drive offroad, but the other question is where can we take one of these to really give it a good go and drive it to it's full potential. We also talk about how some of the pressures of modern vehicle design are shaping what is possible for vehicle designers.  The smaller engine is part of a trend.  It is a bit of a surprise that it is a diesel.  We've spoken before about the death of diesel. The reaction to the engine size has not been great, it will be interesting to see what the final price for the Raptor ends up as.  It will be more expensive than the Wildtrak, but just how much will be interesting to see.   Robert gives an example of how the comparing engine and gearbox pairings and how the performance of the new 10 speed gearbox in the Raptor will be really important to how powerful the Raptor feels.  The bi-turbo will also assist with off the line performance.  What is the future of big engine 4WDs and cars in general?


11 Feb 2018

Rank #7

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Track 4 - The day I killed my Jeep

Talbotville Campground was the site for the 6th Annual 4x4earth Victorian Gathering.  Home of some of Australia's iconic tracks, including Blue Rag and Billy Goat's Bluff, there is plenty of amazing 4 wheel driving to be had in this beautiful part of the world.  Find out what went tragically wrong on this trip and the mistakes that James made that resulted in him destroying his Jeep Wrangler. This is a tragic story, and a fate that has occurred to many other 4 wheel drivers.  Please have a listen and learn from James' mistakes and share the story so we can make sure that more people have a great time out in the bush and go 4 wheel driving without any damage to their vehicles. We discuss the driving technique that was wrong (a lot of people do this - James wasn't the only one that day with this nasty habit) We discuss the one accessory that could of saved him. We discuss some what to do when caught in this situation. Big shout out to Davids and Mandy for helping us get home! Have a listen and please share with a mate so we can see less vehicles getting busted like this.


2 Sep 2015

Rank #8

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32 - Tips for driving the Canning Stock Route

What sort of vehicle should you have? What sort of mods do you need? What is a medical envelope and why do you need one? What effect do the dunes have? What are some of the common mistakes people make? Camper Trailer - Yes or No? How much drinking water do you need? Where is fuel available? How often does the Canning get graded? What causes the Canning? What are the entry and exit points of the Canning? When is the best time to travel? What advice is there for first timers? What are the top 3 things to see on the Canning Stock Route? Where are the big sand dunes? Are there many abandoned vehicles on the track? A massive thanks to Phil for sharing all of his great advice on the history and how to drive this amazing Australian track.


15 Feb 2018

Rank #9

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Track 3 - How we built a Gazebo at O'Tooles Campground

We talk to Ian Smith, Grumpy on 4x4earth, and discuss the amazing work that he has led with members of Earth to put in bollards, fire pits and to build a Gazebo at O'Tooles Campground, a favorite camping spot for 4 wheel drivers in the region.  In danger of being closed because of hoons wrecking the grounds, Grumpy and team have made a huge contribution for all 4x4 drivers and campers using the area. Grumpy organised for the materials to be donated, worked with DEPI, and run the working bees to get the work done that has made O'Tooles a much better place and ensured that these campgrounds will be kept open. This is a fantastic model for 4 wheel drivers looking to keep infrastructure available for all of us to enjoy.  Have a listen, have a think and hopefully do the same thing in your back yard to keep open the tracks and campgrounds that we all love.


28 Aug 2015

Rank #10

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Track 5 - How be a 4x4 Trip Leader

Every weekend hundreds of people all over Australia set out as leaders of a 4WD Trip.  Whether it is just you and a couple of mates or an organised trip with 10 newbies, we discuss with NickJ the things that you should think about before, during and after your big trip out.  Being a great trip leader is really important because it helps people get out and explore the great outdoors that we have and also introduces new people to 4 wheel driving.  NickJ was the trip leader for the first 4x4earth trip in Victoria all those years ago, so sit back and listen to all of Nicks awesome experiences as a trip leader so we can all go out this weekend and have a great 4WD trip.


17 Sep 2015

Rank #11

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36 - Beach 4x4 Carnage at Robe - Part II

We continue our discussion with Brian, one of the 4x4earth moderators. We discuss tyre pressures.  Too many people don't deflate or they deflate enough.  What is the right tyre pressure?  How often should you check the tyre pressure? What equipment do you need?  People see a lot of ads on TV about 4WDs driving along the sand at high speed with sand going everywhere.  Is this realistic?  Should you drive like that? What factors contribute to rollovers? What time of day is the best for 4 wheel driving down on the beach? What about gears?  High or Low?  Second or Third?  How should you be thinking about the gears as you drive through the sand? Don't forget your sand flag! We finish up with a discussion about the importance of trip leaders.  They are fundamental in helping new owners of 4 wheel drives to help them get off road and have a great time and make sure that they go out offroad for a second time. Also the Granites.  Have you ever driven up onto the Granites and taken a photo? Someone had when we went there.  The track marks are fresh.  Could this be one of the most iconic 4 wheel drive photos that you can get with your 4 wheel drive? Join the conversation about  the 4x4earth podcast on the 4x4earth forum.  www.4x4earth.com is Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel driving website with over 200,000 visits per month.


17 Jun 2018

Rank #12

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38 - Driving really, really fast with Bruce Garlard, 4WD and Dakar Rally Driver

We look at the number of people who don't finish the Dakar Rally.  It is a very tough course, expensive to compete in and there is some unforgiving terrain, so the failure rate is very high. The vehicles aren't stock, so they are heavily modified to make them capable of surviving the terrain at speed, whilst trying to keep the weight as low as possible.  There are some fundamental changes to the vehicle, including moving the radiator to behind the cabin.  There is nothing in the car that doesn't need to be there. Recovery is another issue.  You have to be able to self recover, so vehicle design is done with recovery as a big issue. Bruce talks about how the change in temperature in the sand dunes can make a big difference in how hard the driving is.  We talk about the mental preparation that you need to be a Dakar Rally driver.  How can you prepare to do some epic Big Dune driving. We look at the technique required to drive down Big Dunes.  It is not as easy as it looks and getting the technique correct is really important. Bruce talks about the Australian Safaris, which was a smaller version of the Rally.  It no longer runs because of the cost to run the event, which is sad.  The Redex trials were a precursor to all of this and gave a big boost to the Australian 4 wheel drive industry.  The Rallies are a big bart of 4WD tourism, and in countries like Chile, hundreds of thousands of tourists go to Chile to visit some of the places that are highlighted by the Dakar Rally and the Desert Challenge. We discuss Bruce's experience as a mechanic and the kinds of things that he learnt that helped him with his Rally driving. We talk about some of his driving in Asian countries. Join the conversation about  the 4x4earth podcast on the 4x4earth forum.  www.4x4earth.com is Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel driving website with over 200,000 visits per month. If you are loving 4x4earth.com, check out the 4x4earth Merch.  The sales help to keep Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel drive website and the largest Australian 4x4 Podcast!  It helps us to keep on doing the work to keep tracks open.


2 Aug 2018

Rank #13

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37 - Rally Driving with Bruce Garland

If you are loving 4x4earth.com, check out the 4x4earth Merch.  The sales help to keep Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel drive website and the largest Australian 4x4 Podcast!  It helps us to keep on doing the work to keep tracks open. We talk with Bruce Garland who has a huge amount of experience in 4WD rally driving.  He has done some awesome rallies and we look at how he got started and why and what adventures he has had.  Bruce shares his experiences doing the Dakar rally.  He talks about driving some of the huge dunes. What does it talk to do a Dakar rally?  What kind of driving is it?  What do you have to do to be in the Dakar?  How much does it cost?  What is the role of the rally support team?   How do you navigate in a race where there are no roads and you are travelling at 150 km / h? How dangerous is the Dakar rally?  Dehydration and fatigue can create significant problems for drivers and navigators? Bruce has done 5 Dakars and is one of Australia's most experienced rally drivers and has some amazing stories to share. We talk about the accident that broke Bruce's back and how he recovered from it. 


9 Jul 2018

Rank #14

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35 - A weekend of 4WD carnage at Robe

We talk to Brian, one of the 4x4earth moderators about a long weekend away at Robe where 5 4WDs rolled over.  What happened?  Why? We also talk about the Granites.  Have you been to the Granites?  Have you driven up there?  Is a 4WD up on the rock one of the most iconic 4 wheel drive selfy shots? Brian talks about the 32 mile crossing and then on to 42 mile crossing for lunch. On the way back there is a vehicle stuck with a tyre rolled off the rim and the vehicle was bogged well down in the sand near the water's end, forcing the convoy to take a high line around the bogged truck.  Trev hits a tuft of weed and has a slow rollover.  Brian talks about how they recover Trev's car and the vehicle that was originally bogged. Why didn't they try to start the vehicle?  How did they get him off the beach?  Brian talks about the recoveries and how no one gets left behind.  There were 5 rollovers in 1 weekend at Robe.  Brian talks about his favourite track, around Arkaroola, which is an amazing part of Australia.  I had never heard of it, it is definitely a hidden gem in Australia.


27 May 2018

Rank #15

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29 - The History of the Canning Stock Route with Phil Bianchi

Phil Bianchi is a historian and 4 wheel driver who has documented a lot of history of the Canning Stock Route and he has driven the route many times.  From Wiluna to Halls Creek, it runs 1850 kms and was first surveyed in 1906. We discuss Alfred Canning and his initial trip to survey the Canning Stock Route and the expedition to build the stock route. The history of the Canning Stock Route is fascinating, with murders, sabotage,Beef barons and a Royal Commission.  We talk about the initial survey and the Royal Commission that followed.  Some of the documents from these early times are still locked up in Government Departments. In 1908, Canning started construction creating a lot of issues with the local Aboriginals.  This is a fascinating discussion about the history of this iconic 4 wheel drive track.


1 Feb 2018

Rank #16

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40 - 4WD Q+A with Robert Pepper

We discuss with Robert Pepper the new towing laws that are being bought in.  How do the GCM and GVM impact the caravan towers? We talk about one of the things that Russell Coight  did on one of his episodes.  Should you use a tow ball for snatching?  Russell did.  What could possibly go wrong? Should you put nitrogen in your tyres? What about snatchblocks? Where is the new 4WD design concepts going?  We discuss the new Mercedes Utes and the Suzuki Jimny and the Wrangler.  Are the older vehicles going to become classics becasue of the way that they drive? Join the conversation about  the 4x4earth podcast on the 4x4earth forum.  www.4x4earth.com is Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel driving website with over 200,000 visits per month. If you are loving 4x4earth.com, check out the 4x4earth Merch.  The sales help to keep Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel drive website and the largest Australian 4x4 Podcast!  It helps us to keep on doing the work to keep tracks open.


12 Sep 2018

Rank #17

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30 - The history and access to the Canning Stock Route

Between 1,500 and 2,000 a year do the Canning Stock Route.  What is there to see and what is there to do when travelling the CSR. We talk with Canning Stock Route expert, Phil Binachi about the activities and attractions on the stock route. The dune systems are an amazing site and an amazing driving experience.  There is a large amount of aboriginal art some of which is incredibly old.  There are of course, the wells and a number of graves. We discuss the work of Track Care and how they are working to maintain the tracks.  Phil talks about how the 4 wheel drivers are working together with conservationalists to ensure ongoing access to the tracks.  We discuss the concept of 4WD Tourism and the effect that it has on the economy of Australia as a whole and for rural towns in particular.  We talk about the access to the Canning Stock Route.  What parts are open and which parts are effected by the weather.  We answer the big question - how long should you take to do the Canning Stock Route and which way should you travel the Canning? North to South or South to North, which way should you go?  Phil talks about where you can get your repairs done, which is a bit factor in travelling the Canning.  It is 1,800kms and there is a high chance of vehicle damage, so thinking about repairs is an important part of doing the Canning.


9 Feb 2018

Rank #18

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39 - New 4WDs and Utes coming out with Robert Pepper

Robert recently drove the new Ford Raptor recently and he gives us his opinion on what it is like to drive.  We talk about the engine and where you could drive the Raptor.  What would it be like towing?  Would Robert buy one? Jeep Wrangler Ute!  This will be due out next year and looks really interesting.  A ute will fix one of the big problems with the Jeep - lack of space in the cabin, so it will be very popular.  I am pretty keen on checking it out. What does Robert think about the Colorado ZR1?  Is it something that is worth a look or is it a skip? What is it that is causing the recent spate of utes that snap their chassis?  Is it related to overloading? We also discuss tyre pressure management systems.  TPMS are becoming increasingly popular - are they worth the money.  Navarra D40s - is there an issue with the automatic transmission on them when you take them offroad? Lastly, we bid farewell to Pete Brett, AKA Mr Rum, a regular around a lot of campfires around NSW, Victoria and South Australia.  Mr Rum was out driving through the Victorian High Country when he went around a blind corner and there was a tree across the road.  Despite traveling very slowly, the icy road meant he slid of the side of the road and down the gully.  Our condolences to Jen and Steve and the rest of his family and friends. Join the conversation about  the 4x4earth podcast on the 4x4earth forum.  www.4x4earth.com is Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel driving website with over 200,000 visits per month. If you are loving 4x4earth.com, check out the 4x4earth Merch.  The sales help to keep Australia's largest free and independent 4 wheel drive website and the largest Australian 4x4 Podcast!  It helps us to keep on doing the work to keep tracks open.


29 Aug 2018

Rank #19

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19 - 4WD tips for driving in the snow

We talk about how to prepare for a trip out into the Snow.  Snow driving is a lot of fun, but the conditions are very different to other types of 4 wheel driving. Snow driving is usually done in very cold environments, so preparation is a lot more important.  Spending a night out in the snow can be life threatening if you are not prepared for it. What equipment should you think about taking out on a snow trip. We talk tyres, what type and what pressure you should be running. Alpine Diesel fuel - what is it and when you should use it. When you should carry chains. How conditions change when driving in snow and on icy roads. We also talk about the upcoming 9th Annual Victorian gathering in November 2016 at Sheepyard Flat. This is a great opportunity for people new to 4 wheel driving and camping to get together with other 4x4earth members.  There will be a lot of 4x4 tracks to be done and a lot of people who can make your first or second time out a nice and easy trip out.  Sheepyard's is a gateway to some amazing tracks and huts.  This is Australia's largest free 4 wheel drive weekend away, so check out the details and come along!


15 Aug 2016

Rank #20