There tends to be two methods for travelling in a group the we adopt and depending of the area of we are travelling as to which one suits the conditions best. One method is to keep the car behind visible at all times and if you can't see them you slow down or stop until they re-appear that tends to work best in built up areas like cities and suburbs. The second method is to have a Lead Vehicle and Tail Vehicle that don't change position while the all the vehicles between mark corners and progressively make their way to be behind the lead vehicle. In most cases the Lead/Tail method is used but occasionally may be replaced by the first method where marking corners are difficult.
CB/UHF radios are not a necessity for either method but can help keep things moving if people have them.
Lead/Tail Convoy Procedures
- The Lead Moke, normally the Trip Leader, is designated and no other Mokes should pass this car without prior arrangement, i.e. to take a photo of the group passing.
- The Tail Moke is designated and no Mokes should fall behind this Moke. The Tail Moke must not pass mobile or stranded Mokes.
- Radio contact or relay between the Lead and Tail is ideal but not essential.
- 'Marking the Corner' is the role of the First Moke behind the Lead Moke. 'Marking the Corner' happens when the Lead vehicle uses their indicator to turn off from the current road or in places where it may not be obvious where the Lead Moke has gone, think roundabouts.
- The Marking Moke should pull over in a safe legal manner before the turn or make itself visible on the intended route. This is not always as easy as it seems.
- The Marking Moke stays in position until all but the Tail Moke has passed and should be ready to slip back into the traffic in front of the Tail Moke. The Tail Moke may/should signal via flashing their lights or calling on radio that they have seen the Marking Moke so they can rejoin the convoy.
- The Marking Moke does not move or leave the corner until the see the tail Moke, no matter how long it takes, or the convoy can break.
- Where it is unsafe or difficult to Mark a corner and it is obvious the Tail Moke can see the lead Moke then no marking of corners is needed.
- For in town driving also keep an eye on the car in front and behind, but on open road and dirt spread yourselves out.
- On sealed roads ensure plenty of space to let faster traffic through.
- On the dirt avoid sucking up dust from the Moke in front, this may mean you could be out of sight or one or two Km's behind. A convoy of 8-10 Mokes could be 10-15km long.
Stopping in Convoy
If you need to stop urgently then pull over and the Tail Moke at least will stop with you and more likely every Moke behind you will also stop. Someone will radio the Lead Moke or the lack of Mokes behind them should make those ahead pull over and wait.
If you want to pull over to quickly check something without stopping the convoy let people know on the radio or pull over and wave on the Mokes behind to keep moving and the Tail Moke will stop and wait with you.
If you know you need to stop, however it is not urgent or going to be quick, then and give the Lead Moke a chance to find a safe area to stop the convoy by letting them know on the radio or by turning on your headlights and then the Moke ahead of you turns on their lights and this repeats it way to the Lead Moke to notify them to find somewhere to pull over.
Travelling 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. 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 your self space and lift the 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 4wdérs 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 own 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.