Got yourself a 4WD…. now what?

Ok, after watching endless new 4WD / SUV commercials on TV, you made the decision, taken the leap and now there is a nice shiny 4WD parked in your driveway. Now what?

While I’m thinking of TV commercials, I despair at some of the claims made on TV. One car brand recently had the slogan “go anywhere”…. Really? If that was a weight loss commercial saying “lose as much as you want”, or a pill claiming some miracle cure, the manufacturer would be up for false and misleading advertising.

Back to your 4WD.  What’s next?

I always think getting to know what your car can and can’t do along with what you can and can’t do is really important.

Tag-Along Tours

These are a great way to get started in 4WDing. Taking a tour with someone who knows what they are doing, under guidance so you won’t get lost or stuck and knowing you’ll get home safely makes for a great day out.

BUT, you must research the companies promoting tag-along tours, call the operator and discuss you and your 4WD and see which operator fits your needs. Not all tag-along tours are created equally.

While out in the bush, I’ve seen Tag-along tours that resembles a traveling car-park.

If the Tag-along tour consists of more than 4-5 cars, you just won’t have as much fun. I’ve seen tours with up to 8-10 cars in a procession. It’s like a slow moving traffic jam. Isn’t escaping the city traffic congestion is what it’s all about?

Some of the issues are; lots of people to consider; differing needs and expectations; vehicle  delays and interruptions are the norm. And if you are new to it, you’ll likely to get lost in amongst it all. Not only that, fewer cars means less environmental damage on the day.

I’ve seen Tag-along tours with highly modified Nissan Patrols and Land Cruisers (which are very capable off-road vehicles) on the same tour as  Nissan X-trails and other soft roaders (which really aren’t designed for proper off-roading). It’s just not fair to both ends of the spectrum of vehicles nor participants.

I run regular tag-along tours with Detour Adventures and do it completely differently. Here’s a few questions you can ask a prospective Tag-along tour company before you agree to go on tour?

  1. How many vehicles will be on the proposed tour?
  2. What is the mix of vehicles going?
  3. Are 2-way radios provided (in case you don’t have one in your car)
  4. Where are you going to go and what is the terrain like?
  5. what safety and recovery items does the operator have?

You’ll soon get to know if you’re dealing with a professional Tag-Along tour company or a cowboy operator.

No-one likes damage

There is no worse feeling than bending your new 4WD out in the bush. Here is a recent tag-along tour with a guy and his new Colorado having a great day out.

We took in some great tracks, saw some amazing things and he learned so much about what his car can do. He later said he felt safe and happy about his tag-along tour. No damage, lots of fun and a whole lot of experience gained on the day. A great family day out. Read is his story TripAdvisor review

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Crossing the Kowmung River on a Tag-Along tour with Detour Adventures.

Bring a Friend

If you’ve got a friend with a 4WD, bring them along too. Tag-along tours are great to share with someone you see regularly. You can share stories, swap photos and build your knowledge together. 4WDing is great for bringing families together too.

I did a Tag-along tour recently for two families who owned SUV’s rather than 4WD’s. A Mazda CX7 and an Audi Q7. So we ran with just the two cars. Even though we went on more mild tracks, we still saw some amazing bush and surprised the guys with how capable their cars actually are. A great confidence building day for these men and their cars.

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If you’ve just bought your new 4WD, congratulations. Look forward to getting out and about this weekend.

And remember………… if you go into the bush, please take away all your rubbish with you. It’s simple and it’s respectful to the great country we live in.

Cheers, Ian

* You can enjoy a day of adventure with Detour Adventures. visit www.detouradventures.com.au. OR www.facebook.com/4WDetour OR www.instagram.com/4WDetour. OR you can call me on 1300 4 DETOUR (that’s 1300 433 868). email tours@detouradventures.com.au Follow me on twitter of you like @4WDetour

 

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