Expedition and Wilderness Medicine recently ran it first highly successful Desert Medicine course in Namibia and it was highlighted on the course that one of biggest dangers facing you in remote locations is actually the travel there and back in local transport.
Below Faan Oesthuizen of Kaurimbi Expeditions gives his top tips for defensive four wheel driving.
- Only place light bulky cargo on roof racks or high on vehicles in order to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible.
- Place heavy cargo low in vehicle load beds and as far as possible forward in order to distribute more weight onto the front wheels and avoid uncontrollably light steering response.
- Ensure that luggage is stowed where no damage to property may ensue.
- Ensure that all cargo is thoroughly secured in load bins or tied down to prevent loss of equipment and luggage while vehicle is moving or stationery.
- Driving on Gravel and Dirt Roads: It is of critical importance that a speed of 80 km per hour is never exceeded whilst driving on gravel or dirt roads. Speed will be further reduced when approaching curves or blind rises in the road, or when approaching oncoming traffic.
- Overtaking should be kept to a minimum whilst driving on gravel or dirt roads. Following distances will be kept sufficiently long as to ensure that driving in the front vehicle’s dust is avoided at all costs.
- Great care will be taken by all drivers to sufficiently reduce speed prior to entering bends or curves in the road, and that extreme control is maintained to prevent the vehicle from losing its traction whilst negotiating the bend.
- You should at all times ensure that you have as the absolute minimum 2 x 25 litre containers of water, a jack, spare tire, tow rope and jump leads