We all leave and we all come home, nobody gets left behind.
This is the most important statement regarding the trip and that is people will sacrifice some personal freedoms for the good of the group and that may sometimes work against you and sometimes it will work for you. A group trip in 50 year old Mokes can throw up all sorts of issues and circumstances and people need to appreciate that the interests of the group are more important than their own to ensure everyone's safety and safe arrival home. It might sound aggressive but experience has shown if people aren't prepared to be part of the group, whatever that may entail, then they are putting other people at risk as well as themselves and there is no second invites for people that abuse this.
In a worst case scenario it could be all Mokes leave the planned trip to ensure a dead Moke gets back to civilisation or within recovery distance of home.
Nobody Travels Alone
The more remote the area the more this rule is adhered too purely for peoples own safety and those in the group. The remoteness of the places being travelled and the limited capacity of fuel a Moke can carry means that unnecessary travel looking for lost people or back tracking large distances for broken down Vehicles is not really a desirable option. If a Moke has to travel away from the group then it will have at least one, preferably two other Mokes travel with it. Around built up areas and towns obviously this is relaxed as people have the freedom to do what they want but away from the towns and we stay together as best we can.
Always have two plans.
Relating to the above, if the group does break into smaller groups then there should always be two plans to be agreed upon to ensure the best chance of meeting up again but it should also be backed up with a contingency in case confusion or delays causes misunderstandings. So plan A maybe to meet at point A at this time while the contingency is move to point B if something goes wrong and not to proceed any further until everyone is back together again. Leaving markings or notes are also an option but it is best if the group stays as one as often as possible.
Only one Trip Leader
In practice most of the decision making is pretty democratic and everyone is heard but when the going gets rough and the pressure is on then the trip leader has the final say on what should be the best course of action for the group, which may or may not suit everyone. If you struggle with this concept then consider staying home. You don't have to agree with all decisions all the time, but accept the decision when it is made for the benefit of the group. Again it may sound harsh but it can make or break a group when travelling if people put their themselves above what is best for the group.
No Pressure Breakdowns
A strange phenomenon occurs when someone has a breakdown when travelling with a group and that is they get all anxious because they feel they are holding up the group, feel like everyone is staring at them, they feel embarrassed and they rush to try and fix the problem or try to encourage the trip to move on without them. In all my travels it still happens to me. What everyone else is really thinking is "how unfortunate for the person and I am really glad it isn't happening to me". Unless of course it is a regular type event from a Moke that is really under prepared for the trip then the thoughts may be different. :)
Some suggestions for when a breakdown happens is for people to stay in their Mokes for about 30 seconds to give the person who has stopped a chance to jump out and see if it is a quick fix and jump back in. With people staying in the Mokes it makes a minor stops just that, minor. More time can be lost by people jumping out and "having a chat'" and delaying a restart than the problem itself .
If things aren't fixed quickly, just look at where we are stopped and make sure it is a safe place to park and leave the vehicles or move before getting out to see what is going on. Give the person space and make it a relaxed environment and not pressure the person and in the words of Gene in the white waistcoat from the Moon Missions, "People, lets work the problem."
For more serious stoppages then the trip leader takes input and decides the best option for the group and the plan for moving on or setting up camp. The weather, the schedule, the time of day, the road conditions and the location can all play important roles in the decision making for the group.
Total Care Package
These days most state motoring associations provide a Total Care type package where they will look after you and your car to get you home in the case of major problems or get you to a repair shop in smaller issues. Event though they aren't going to help you out on the dirt in most cases, you can be towed to a comfortable stretch of sealed road which is conveniently close to amenities where you just happened to breakdown. :) Its add piece of mind for the travel alone you may have before and after you are traveling in the group.
Arriving in Town
When arriving into a town as a group it is bad form to peel off to the first fuel stop, toilet or store and break up the group. Stay with the trip leader where you will probably be lead through town to see what is available where in the town and then the group will probably stop near a public park with toilets and the trip leader can inform everyone of the departure time, fuel requirements, points of interest and a meeting point. Then people can duck off to do what they need to do and everyone can be ready to go fairly easily. Trying to find peoiple all over a small town can be quite difficult and unnecessary. Sometimes the first option you see for Fuel or accommodation on the edge of town isn't always the only or best.
Traveling in Dust
First up is to try and avoid driving in dusty conditions, especially if it is coming up from our own Convoy, adjust your speed to increase the gap to allow the wind or breeze to clear the road of the dust ahead. When approach cars and trucks are causing the dust then have your headlights on and move over towards the edge of the road to give yourself space and lift your foot off the accelerator until you clear the dust. Always expect to see an idiot trying to overtake in the dust of a truck and be prepared to avoid a collision. As stupid as it sounds it still happens out there and some 4wd'ers don't have a clue about outback travel and will not give your safety a second thought. If you see something like a road train coming along with its weather pattern don't be afraid to pull up and wait for it to pass.
UHF Radios Channels
The following list is taken from www.explorOz.com.au website
Below you will find a list of UHF Radio channel allocations. There are many channels that have been established by law including the Emergency channel 5 and the data transmission channels 22 and 23.
- 1 to 8 - These channels, which are established by law, can be used when sending a signal to a repeater which will help increase the communication distance
- 5 - This channel, which is established by law, can be used by anyone but only in an emergency situation
- 9 - Used for conversations
- 10 - Used by 4WD enthusiasts, clubs, convoys and in national parks
- 11 - Calling channel. This channel, which is established by law, is used to call or locate another station. Parties will then switch to another channel to continue with their conversation
- 12 to 17 - Used for conversations
- 18 - Holiday maker’s communication channel (e.g. when in a convoy)
- 19 to 21 - Used for conversations
- 22 and 23 - These two channels are used for data transmissions and is established by law. Voice transmissions are not allowed on these two channels
- 24 to 30 - Used for conversations
- 29 - Highway Communications which are mainly used by truck drivers and other highway users
- 31 to 38 - These channels, which are established by law, are received by a repeater and re-transmitted on channels 1 to 8 to help increase the communication distance
- 35 - Can be used in case of Emergencies also
- 39 - Used for conversations
- 40 - Highway Communications which are mainly used by truck drivers and other highway users.