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General 4x4 Rules

4x4 Trail Requirements






A.    General requirements:

B.     Preferred equipment

C.    General Notes

D.     Recoveries

E.      Radio communication

F.      Convoy rules



A.     General requirements:

1.    Anyone behind the wheel must have a Driver’s License, and the drivers licence must be with you on the day. 

2.    Your vehicle must be roadworthy, and for the most part mechanically sound. If deemed unsafe, then you will NOT be allowed to participate, so please make sure. We have passengers along, let’s look after them. 

3.    Low Range capable; there are a number of areas we will be going at regular 4x2 or High Range may experience difficulties. Please engage LOW RANGE as we do not want to spend unnecessary time recovering vehicles.

4.    Camera/Video Camera. OK, The more pictures we can choose from the better. Teach your passengers to use your camera, get them involved too. Remember extra batteries, don’t run out halfway through. If you have more than one camera bring it along, and encourage your passengers to use their cell phones too


B.     Preferred equipment

1.    Basic recovery gear. If you don’t have your own, for example snatch straps, your vehicle should at least have decent recovery point’s front and back. 

2.    Compressor to re-inflate tyres after the drive, and tyre pressure gauge

3.    Spare wheel and jack!

4.    Fire Extinguisher – you never know.

5.    Basic First Aid kit.


C.    General Notes:

1.    The trail leader has the ultimate authority on decisions

2.    Obey the Safety Officer/Safety Marshals’ instructions AT ALL TIMES

3.    PLEASE, NO IRRESPONSIBLE DRIVING. Anything which is considered by the Safety Officer/marshals to be detrimental to the safety of your passengers, or may cause unnecessary harm to the venue, will be deemed irresponsible.

4.    Safety Officer/Safety Marshals may, at their discretion, instruct certain vehicles to bypass an obstacle. This is not meant as criticism, but is done in the interests of safety as well as speed to keep the group moving.

5.    Entry and use of route and facilities strictly at own risk.

6.    Stay on the route\track and follow the route direction at all times. 

7.    Closed gates must be closed after passing.

8.    No fires except in the designated area – please extinguish fire completely before leaving

9.    Do not discard cigarette butts: bush fires are a major hazard and concern!

10.  Leave only your tracks behind. Keep all refuse in your vehicle and dispose in the designated refuse bins are provided at the lapa/area where you stay.

11.  Designated Recovery Advisors and/or Safety Officer in case anyone experiences difficulties. This will limit the number of people needing to be out of vehicles. See specific recovery info below

12.  Passengers will be briefed to stay with their drivers/vehicles.

13.  Seatbelts to be worn, EXCEPT with water crossings.

14.  For water crossings, Seatbelts off and windows open.

15.  Maintain a safe following distance.

16.  Allow the vehicle in front of you to clear an obstacle before you make an attempt. Once you are through, call the obstacle clear.

17.  No driver is to feel at all pressured into attempting any obstacle he/she feels uncomfortable in negotiating

18.  No Flower Picking

19.  Observe 25 KM/H Speed limits past houses

20.  Driving up dam walls and similar is NOT permitted.

21.  No loose objects will be allowed inside or on the back of the vehicle.

22.  All drivers must wear lace up / closed shoes.

23.  Be on the lookout for tortoises - they have the right of way.

24.  Beware of snakes in summer. 


D.   Recoveries

1.    Safety First!!

2.    The trail leader, recovery advisors or Safety Officer will determine who will be responsible for a recovery and may also appoint assistants to execute specific tasks.

3.    ONLY the designated recovery official will be allowed to give instructions to the two vehicle drivers on the recovery sight.

4.    When tow ropes, winches and snatch straps are being used all persons must stand clear of such winch cables and snatch straps (at least one and a half lengths in all directions). There should preferably be no spectators

5.    Straps and cables MUST be weighted with blankets/similar

6.    Standard tow hitches do NOT constitute recovery points and will not be used

7.    If vehicle doesn’t have any recovery points, the driver of the stricken vehicle will hook the recovery belt. All vehicle damage will be the drivers own responsibility

8.    If recovery equipment is borrowed from another driver, the borrower is obliged to offer to buy such equipment from its owner at a price determined by the latter on the spot.


E.    Radio communication

1.    Radios are a critical component of safety and must be treated as such.

2.    All vehicle on the trail MUST have radio communication. In exceptional cases, drivers of vehicles without radios must make arrangements, in conjunction with the Trail Leader, with those that do have radios.

3.    The Trail Leader will determine the radio channel to be used and will inform every one of possible changes.

4.    Informal but proper radio procedures must be maintained and bad language or haggling is not allowed.

5.    It is the drivers’ responsibility to keep passengers OFF the radios unless they are specifically acting as “Radio Officers” and communicating trail info. This is especially important as the day wears on.

6.    In the event of the Trail Leader asking a general question to the whole convoy (e.g.: fuel or toilet stop), the replies should start from the number 2 position working to the rear.


F.     Convoy rules

1.    The Tail End Charlie/Rear Gunner is the designated member who will drive at the end of the convoy and will notify the Trail leader of convoy progress, including passing information regarding the convoy’s progress around obstacles and turns etc.

2.    The order in which vehicles start the trip must be kept for the duration of the trip.

3.    Road rules shall be observed at all times.

4.    The speed at which you drive is determined by the vehicle behind you. 

5.    The convoy will travel at the speed of the SLOWEST vehicles

6.    If the convoy is split, e.g. due to traffic lights, the following will apply:

o   If the forward part of the convoy is able to safely stop at the side of the road to wait for the remainder, then do so  

o   If not, the forward half of the convoy will reduce driving speed to as low as feasible (e.g. 60 on highway, 45 on a standard road) to allow the remainder to catch up.

7.    Ensure that there is adequate space for other road users to overtake one vehicle at a time.

8.    Each driver shall assume responsibility for the vehicle behind him, and must wait at turn-offs, corners, deviations or obstacles etc. to ensure that the following vehicle knows where to turn, where to drive or how to pass an obstacle.

9.    The Trail Leader may appoint any vehicle to take over his position as leading driver and to lead the convoy for a specific reason or time.


10.  Vehicles carrying first aid / recovery equipment and/or medical personnel and/or Safety Officer will be classified as emergency vehicles and as such must be given clear passage and right of way.

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