So, your next four-wheel drive adventure is fast approaching and it seems like there’s far too much to do. Don’t fear – we’ve broken the preparation down into bite-sized chunks for you so you’ll be trip-ready in no time!
Step one: get organised
Like any good holiday, a four-wheel driving trip requires some preparation. Despite this, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming, and you can tailor it to your specific trip and time frame. The first step is to create a to-do list and save it on multiple devices (it never hurts to have a backup!). Whether it’s a checklist of things to do before you leave, or a spreadsheet with a separate sheet for each planning area, you can tailor this list to suit you. You can then re-use this for future expeditions, modifying where necessary.
Step two: servicing and checks
This one may seem obvious, but before you’ve even considered going on your next four-wheel driving expedition, ensure you have kept up with regular servicing of your vehicle so that it’s safe to drive.
On top of routine servicing, it’s great to have a check done by a specialised four-wheel drive mechanic if your usual mechanic doesn’t normally deal with four-wheel drives. It’s also advisable to have your electrics looked at by an auto-electrician – you don’t want any issues popping up while you’re hundreds of kilometres from civilisation! Start checking your four-wheel drive and booking in for a service a few weeks before your trip begins, which should give you enough time for any repairs to be completed or parts to be ordered.
Step three: packing for efficiency and safety
One of the most important things to pack is recovery gear, which will help you if your four-wheel drive becomes stuck. This should include:
- an emergency kit and first-aid kit
- a personal locator beacon (you will need to register this)
- a torch and extension cords
- a shovel, screwdriver and lug wrench
- a winch, snatch block, recovery hooks and tow straps.
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Pictured: Nettleton’s First Shaft Lookout, Lightning Ridge. Image courtesy of Destination NSW