Thousands of Aussies with ‘all the gear and no idea’ getting bogged in 4WD

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Aussie blokes have been buying up kitted out 4WDs in the hope of exploring the country.

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But their adventures into the wild are turning into a nightmare, with many getting bogged on beaches, grasslands and muddy bushland surfaces.

Tow truck drivers have been making a fortune rescuing Aussie blokes ‘with all the gear and no idea’ and have issued a blunt warning to drivers with ‘no skill level’.

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Many are unaware of how to safely operate these vehicles on surfaces other than tarmac, before they get stuck or break down hundreds of kilometres from help.

One Queensland company reported 11 rescues of bogged vehicles over the Easter long weekend.

A number of inexperienced drivers who are buying kitted out 4WD's and other expensive vehicles are getting bogged on beaches and other surfaces

A number of inexperienced drivers who are buying kitted out 4WD’s and other expensive vehicles are getting bogged on beaches and other surfaces

Tow truck drivers have been making a fortune rescuing Aussie blokes 'with all the gear and no idea'

Tow truck drivers have been making a fortune rescuing Aussie blokes ‘with all the gear and no idea’

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Many who have opted to spend their weekends taking their new 4WD's out onto to the beach, desert or grasslands are usually unaware on how to safely operate these vehicles on these surfaces before they get stuck or break down

Many who have opted to spend their weekends taking their new 4WD’s out onto to the beach, desert or grasslands are usually unaware on how to safely operate these vehicles on these surfaces before they get stuck or break down

James Stewart, director of Driving Solutions, told Daily Mail Australia  that more drivers purchased expensive off-road vehicles to travel around and see Australia during the coronavirus pandemic while international borders were closed. 

‘There’s more people travelling around Australia so the number of bogged vehicles is more visible,’ he said.

‘The cars [4WD’s] are more compatible [with off-road terrain] now and it makes drivers more comfortable and overconfident. Eventually conditions are catching people out.’

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‘They [drivers] then usually give us a call and think, ‘Oh s**t, I wish I had done this course’.  

Stewart’s company runs a specialised 4WD course that helps Aussies develop developing safer off-road driving skills.  

Stewart says he only ‘wishes’ his business could reach new 4WD drivers before they make their ‘first mistake’. 

‘Four wheel driving is the most dangerous driving,’ he continued. ‘The tracks are a living organism and forever changing due to the weather conditions.’

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‘It’s important to get an understanding of what your car can do and what the driver can do.’  

Queensland towing company Clayton's Towing reported 11 rescues of bogged vehicles over the Easter long weekend on beaches north of Noosa and along Fraser Island. (Pictured: One of the bogged vehicles)

Queensland towing company Clayton’s Towing reported 11 rescues of bogged vehicles over the Easter long weekend on beaches north of Noosa and along Fraser Island. (Pictured: One of the bogged vehicles)

Driving Solutions director James Stewart (pictured) says many new drivers are taking newly purchased 4WD's out onto different terrain for the first time with 'no skill level'

Driving Solutions director James Stewart (pictured) says many new drivers are taking newly purchased 4WD’s out onto different terrain for the first time with ‘no skill level’

James (pictured) heads Driving Solutions which offers event and drive team services along with extensive driving training courses in Sydney. One of the main training courses at Driving Solutions is 4WD driving training

James (pictured) heads Driving Solutions which offers event and drive team services along with extensive driving training courses in Sydney. One of the main training courses at Driving Solutions is 4WD driving training

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Andrew Boyd from Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia believes many Aussies are buying 4WD’s without being properly informed by dealers on how to safely operate them.

‘They [buyers] take them out of the showrooms. The dealers would not tell these people the different buttons to press,’ Boyd said.

‘They then take them out to the beaches and get into all sorts of trouble.’

Boyd recalled a time he had just purchased a new 4WD when he was in his 20s and took it out to a beach for the first time.

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He soon found himself bogged in the sand but was fortunately helped by a driver passing by who informed Boyd that his tyre pressure was the reason he was stuck.

‘Someone drove up to me and told me,’ Have you let your tyres down?” Boyd recounted.

‘When I got home my brother told me to join this club. It taught me how to drive these vehicles,’ he added.

Many who have opted to spend their weekends taking their new 4WD's out onto different terrain are usually unaware on how to safely operate these vehicles on new surfaces before they get stuck or break down

Many who have opted to spend their weekends taking their new 4WD’s out onto different terrain are usually unaware on how to safely operate these vehicles on new surfaces before they get stuck or break down

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Andrew Boyd (pictured) from Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia told Daily Mail Australia that many Aussies buying 4WD's are not being properly informed by dealers on how to safely operate them

Andrew Boyd (pictured) from Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia told Daily Mail Australia that many Aussies buying 4WD’s are not being properly informed by dealers on how to safely operate them

David Wilson from Adventure 4WD explained that crashing down or getting bogged while driving on new terrain can be an 'expensive exercise' and driver training can help mitigate the chances of a breakdown occurring

David Wilson from Adventure 4WD explained that crashing down or getting bogged while driving on new terrain can be an ‘expensive exercise’ and driver training can help mitigate the chances of a breakdown occurring

David Wilson from Adventure 4WD agreed with the point that there are now more drivers than ever off road after the pandemic – hence a higher number of incidents.

‘Post-Covid there’s been a massive spike in interest in Aussies wanting to travel around the country and plenty have bought new or second-hand vehicles to do just that,’ he said. 

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Wilson explained that crashing down or getting bogged while driving on new terrain can be an ‘expensive exercise’ and driver training can help mitigate the chances of a breakdown occurring.

‘Budding travellers can reference plenty of sites that are helpful to offer pointers to vehicle operation and management. That’s good and so too experience sourced from a practical course, the sort of thing we do here at Adventure 4WD.’

It comes as another driver earlier this week walked for nine hours for help after their 4WD became bogged in black soil in outback Queensland. 

A 24-year-old man became stuck in the black soil on Tuesday night after his vehicle veered off road near the outback town of Aramac, according to the ABC.

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The man, who was not from the area, ended up walking nine hours in the pitch black along Torrens Creek Road to find help and was eventually found by a local resident who contacted police on Wednesday.

The conditions in the area had recently changed from dry to soft and muddy due to heavy rainfall.

Police reported that the man had been located about 30 kilometres from his vehicle and was ‘travelling from Townsville’ without ‘any knowledge of the area itself’.

It’s not only inexperienced or novice 4WD drivers getting stuck off road.

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Last year, one driver became stuck when they took their $150,000 Maserati Levante SUV out onto Stockton Beach in northern New South Wales.

A photo surfaced online showing the bogged luxury vehicle, with a Land Rover Discovery behind it.

Locals from Newcastle, north of Sydney, said the tourists should have known that the Maserati was not equipped for driving on deep sand.

‘This is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in my life,’ one person commented.

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‘Money doesn’t buy brains.’ 

A 24-year-old man became stuck in the black soil on Tuesday night after his 4WD veered off road near the outback town of Aramac. The man, who was not from the area, ended up walking nine hours in the pitch black along Torrens Creek Road

A 24-year-old man became stuck in the black soil on Tuesday night after his 4WD veered off road near the outback town of Aramac. The man, who was not from the area, ended up walking nine hours in the pitch black along Torrens Creek Road

A group of travellers have been slammed for driving their Maseratis worth upwards of $150,000 onto a popular beach - only for the luxury cars to get bogged in the sand dunes

A group of travellers have been slammed for driving their Maseratis worth upwards of $150,000 onto a popular beach – only for the luxury cars to get bogged in the sand dunes

A stock image of a Maserati Levante, which has been available on international markets since 2016. The vehicle is an all-wheel drive, but is not designed for challenging off-road conditions, as it does not have the ability to provide high torque separately to the two axles to get out of situations like bogging.

A stock image of a Maserati Levante, which has been available on international markets since 2016. The vehicle is an all-wheel drive, but is not designed for challenging off-road conditions, as it does not have the ability to provide high torque separately to the two axles to get out of situations like bogging.

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 The luxury Maserati Levante SUV has an ‘all-wheel drive’ system – but is not a proper 4WD with low and high range and the ability to lock the differential between the vehicle’s two axles.

Such vehicles do not have the capacity to apply high torque to one set of wheels to pull the car forward while the other wheels are bogged.

‘Anyone taking a Maserati onto a beach deserves to get bogged,’ one person said after a photo of a young couple struggling in the sand dunes was shared online.

Others joked that at least the stranded drivers should be able to afford the fees to hire a tow driver if they can pay $150,000 for a car.

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The luxury cars are not designed to be driven on rough terrain and sand dunes, despite their appearance.

Permit holders at the Stockton Beach are able to travel along the sand dunes in a 4WD, but require a particular permit to ensure they are eligible to travel in the conditions.

Where to take a 4WD course 

Australians are being urged to take a 4WD course before going off road.

Courses cover all the basics of 4WDing including an understanding of the 4WD system, buttons, maintenance, fault checking, identifying the smoothest routes and travelling on different types of terrain.

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New South Wales

Driving Solutions 4WD Driver Training – Eastern Creek – one day course – $305

Great Divide Tours 4WD Training – Eleanora Heights – two day course- $690  

Getabout Training Services Off Road Skills – multiple locations – one day course – $425

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Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia 4WD Training – Yagoona & Willowglen – 1 evening & two day course – membership fee (varies) 

Queensland

Australian Offroad Academy Offroad Fraser Island – Sunshine Coast – one day course – $995

Australian 4WD Sand Course – Bribie Island – one day course – unknown

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4WD Adventures 4WD Introductory – Morayfield – one day course – $230

Brisbane Hinterland Introductory Off Road – Brisbane – one day course – $300 

Driven Training Recreational 4WD Course – Yatala – one day course – enquire

ACT

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4WD Training Services – Canberra – unknown – enquire

Victoria 

Mountain Top Experience 4WD Training – Rawson – two day course – $340 

Safetrek Basic 4WD Course – Melbourne – two day course – $370 

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Tasmania

Tasmanian Offroad Adventures ‘Sand’ and ‘Bush’ Course – Launceston – one day course – $250 

4WD Tasmania Basic 4WD Course – southern Tasmania – two day course – $220 per person 

South Australia 

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Adventure 4WD 4WD Training Introductory Course – Lyndoch – one day course – $485 

Pindan Tours 4WD Courses – Flinders Ranges – various – enquire

Western Australia 

Western Wilderness Bush & Sand course – Pinjar – one day course – $365

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Eureka 4WD Introductory 4WD Course –  Bellevue – one day course – $275

 

 

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