Getting to know you ...

Ian Miles
Q: What 4WD do you own? A: 1991 Toyota 80 series turbo diesel. Started with a 60 series. Q: How long have you been wheeling? A: About 20 years Q: What’s the best place you have been? A: Vic high country, Flinders Ranges. (We won’t mention Lower Light) Q: What mods are on your wish list? A: Rear locker would be nice. Pipe dreamportal axles.

Q: What is it that attracted you to CORE 4x4? A:Not being forced to do anything, but encouraged to try. Q: What has been your scariest moment when wheeling? A: I chicken out before then. Q: If you could have any 4WD what would it be? A: Unimog Q: What do you love about 4WDriving. A: Doing things that you don’t think you can and the feeling after you’ve done it. Q: What other things are you interested in? A: Anything with an engine. Love the sound of a Merlin piston engine from a Spitfire plane. Q: If you could be anyone in the world who would you be? A: Anybody who doesn’t own a Patrol.

Been there ...
The Grampians trip, well where do we start? What a trip this was. We had a great turn out with a total of six 4wds all up, with the BIGGEST group of children we've had on one of our trips, and everything went fantastic! Upon arrival everyone set up camp however, The 'Moonraker' clan were about 8 hours behind due to a sick wife, well once the handbrake came good and gave me the all clear we were off and we arrived at about dinner time. Well we're still not sure if it was us or just a coincidence that the days to follow was something unexplainable when like clockwork one person after the next, including most of the children, fell crook with the 24hr bug that Rachel had, and only a few survived the trip without needing to spend a day in bed with there head in a bucket! At least everyone got over it very quickly.

Sunday we decided to explore the “Hungry Ranges” however we had to wait for After the “test track”. I made ranger of another 4WD group so we spent some time onarranging to meet the local a point down at the info had claimed two other vehicles avoiding the ‘bottomless’ puddle which apparentlycentre we were able to find out which tracks were closed and which ones from different 4Wd groups over the weekend.
were still open and that crossed a lot of tracks off our list (most of the good ones of course) but that didn't stop us, there were still plenty of tracks around, so off we many We followed the Ridge Track over the Hungry Ranges which had went!! of the ve-

hicles lifting wheels whilst coming down a particularly steep section. Then we Words can't describe the amount of fun we followed an easy track around the base of thewith some very long and some quite deep had mountain before heading up the Billy Goat Track. This was the hardest track in the area deepsucceed that 'Black the water crossings, and enough in raising Baron' in his Jeep took a nice gulp of water Approximately halfway up on nice wash, heart beat of many drivers in the group. big enough that his air filter got a a very luckily no of the track, a Just steep partserious damage. rock step and loose gravel made for a challenging obstagoes cle. to show that we should
always remember the basics!!

Followed by some nice wet muddy tracks were a few more trucks managed to create some havoc and get stuck needing the snatch strap, Max Trax and even the winch was used. One incident that happened and again highlights the need for safety was when Bubbles was stuck in the mud and after a few goes with the snatch strap led to his factory rated recovery hook at the front of his rig to break off and set a new air speed record flying straight over the top of my car and the snatch itself leaving a nice dent in my back door! Thankfully no one was in the way. Obviously God isn’t finished with us yet! Well what else happened ... Oh Yeah 'Blue Thunder' staked a tyre leading to a rather expensive upgrade with some nice new MTZ's, bugger hey!! The Halls Gap caravan park had some nice fire pits, an there was plenty of fire wood around, this provided us with a great fire every night for the kids to melt there marsh mellows in before bed, and for the rest of us to sit around till all hours and tell some good stories, and some not so good ones, with plenty of laughs, a few coldies and even a few reds while we get to know each other a whole lot better. There really was some great fellowship and great fun. If you want to know some more well just have a look at the photos or catch up with one of us who went. See you on the tracks, Moonraker out.

What's Coming Up
DECEMBER '10 – JANUARY '11: 27/7/10 – 7/01/11 Grampians

FEBRUARY: 19/2/11 Kadina Quarry

MARCH: 12/3 - 14/3/11 LOVEDAY 4WD PARK

APRIL: 2/4/11 Spalding

MAY: 14/5/11 Pt Hughes

JUNE: 10/6 – 13/6/11 Langkoop

What's Coming Up
JULY: 23/7/11 Spear Creek

AUGUST: 13/8/11 Quiz Night

SEPTEMBER: 10/9/11 Training Day and Articulation Ramp Flex Test

OCTOBER: 1/10 – 15/10/11 Alice Springs

NOVEMBER: 19/11/10 Gawler

DECEMBER: 10/12 Morgan & Christmas Break-up

What is a ‘recovery point’ ?


A recovery point is a convenient attachment point on a vehicle for connecting recovery equipment such as ‘snatch straps’, winch ropes, chains , cables, etc for purpose of removing a ‘stuck’ vehicle. This ‘recovery point ‘ must be sufficiently strong to handle the high loads encountered during a ‘recovery’ without failure. Every vehicle should have at least one recovery point at the front & one at the rear before venturing off-road. If you don’t have a recovery point on your vehicle & you need recovering you may find that no one wants to connect their vehicle to recover you as the risk is extremely high. There have been quite a few fatalities , not to mention near misses & vehicle damage, caused by inappropriate recovery points being used so its of the highest importance that you ensure your vehicle has recovery points up to the job. If you find yourself in the position of recovering somebody else, make sure the recovery point is up to standard before continuing because you ,your vehicle & bystanders that are in the firing line should something fail.

‘Rated recover points’
If you hang around off-roaders enough sooner or later you will hear talk about ‘rated recovery points’. When we talk about ‘rated’ recovery equipment ,we mean that it has been tested to Australian standards & can be ensured to handle the load stamped on it under conditions set out in those standards. The problem with ‘rated recovery points ‘ is that only the actual hook or eye is rated & even then only in a straight line situation. Unfortunately recoveries aren’t always in a straight line , recovery points are only as strong as the mounting system & what they are mounted to.

This being the case the only way a recovery point could be rated is if an engineer (or company) was to be willing to rate the entire assembly, as a whole, for each particular model of vehicle & assume responsibility if it failed. For this reason none of the major vehicle or aftermarket parts manufactures are prepared to rate their recovery points once fitted.

Recovery points vs tie down or tow points
Adding further confusion to the whole situation is that vehicle manufacturers have to fit tie down points to comply with Australian design rules & may also choose to fit tow points. Tie down points usually are light weight pressed sheet steel or steel loops and are there to secure the vehicle during transport (on truck ,ship ,rail, etc). They are not strong enough to perform a recovery with. The other, even more dangerous, device is the tow point. These are designed by the manufacturer for flat towing (towing vehicle with all wheels on the ground) for break down situations ,etc. Many people mistakenly think these are factory recovery points as they are often fairly strong looking but they are not up to the extremely high (many times vehicles own weight) forces involved in some recoveries.

How strong?
One off the favourite recovery tools to the offroader is the ‘snatch strap’. This device is similar in operation to an elastic band , it allows the momentum (speed x weight) of a tow vehicle to be transferred into pulling power at the ‘stuck’ vehicle. Consider a 2.5 ton Landcruiser going 30km/h before the strap goes tight, that means the force exerted on the recovery point is equivalent to that same Landcruiser hitting a brick wall at 30km/h. This is why ‘snatch straps’ are often rated at 8 tons or 12 tons for a heavy duty strap. If the snatch strap breaks during a recovery it will spring back just like an elastic band , fortunately straps are fairly light & this limits the potential damage should it hit something. If ,however ,the recovery point breaks , you’ve now got a heavy metal bracket ( & maybe) a shackle springing back with tremendous energy. So the answer to how strong is ,stronger than any recovery straps ,chains ,shackles, etc that you may attached to it. In most cases this will be 8 tons. Note that a shackle rated at 4.5 t will have a breaking strength greater than 18.0 t.

Some common recovery points
Many offroaders will utilise a strong towbar as a rear recovery point either by attaching the strap with the tongue receiver mounting pin directly through the loop or with an aftermarket recovery point that goes into the receiver. Both off these methods are generally considered good practice since heavy duty towbars are well made & mounted. Do not ever use the towball as a recovery point as they can (& do) fail & you have essentially a cannonball flying through the air. If the vehicle hasn’t got a removable hitch type of towbar, its acceptable to remove the towball & use a rated bow shackle (3.25t minimum) to attach the recovery strap. For the front recovery points be careful using eyes provided by ‘bull bars’, often these will be adequate, but only when mounted suitably & using high tensile (grade 8 or better ) mounting bolts. Its always better when doing a heavy recovery to use two recovery points to equalize the strain on both sides of the chassis & reduce the strain on just one point.

This is achieved using a bridal or equalizing strap, don’t attach snatch strap to it with shackle, but rather feed loop of snatch strap through bridal strap.

Recovery point hooks vs eyes
Both are acceptable with pros & cons. Eyes will require a shackle for attachment which means an additional missile should it fail but it has the advantage of nothing can slip. They are usually fabricated from mild steel which means they will bend & stretch a long way before failure. Hooks are much quicker to connect & no additional missiles in a failure, but straps can slip off. Also, they thin toward the end so if the pull is in this direction they are considerably weaker than their rating. They are usually made from hot forged steel so they will tend to be more brittle & will break suddenly with little deformation. An equally important point is the angle or orientation that a recovery point is mounted on, this could make the difference between a good recovery point & a poor one.

So how do I make sure my recovery point is safe?
As mentioned above its very hard to categorically state if a recovery point is safe or not, but there are things we can do. You can consult your owners manual to find out what points are fitted so you know what not to use ,talk to aftermarket parts suppliers, your trusted 4wd mechanic,4wd clubs ,model specific forums & websites.

CLUB Photos

Cool Pics

We have some changes as a committee to announce that may upset a few and make others breath with a sigh of relief. As a committee we have discussed the safety issue when we are out and about on our CORE trips and have decided to make mandatory the following changes which need to be followed on our trips. 1. Seatbelts must be worn by ALL occupants of your vehicle both on and off-road as required by the Australian road rules at all times whilst vehicle is in motion or on route to destination. This includes both children and adults. No children are allowed to sit on the laps of parents whilst on CORE trips whilst four wheel driving or on route to destination. Only licensed drivers to drive the four wheel drives on trips and if you hold a learner's permit then a fully licensed passenger must be present in the vehicle. During a recovery only the designated people (usually trip leader) must coordinate the recover and ensure safety is maintained prior and during the recovery and his instructions must be followed as the third person of the recovery (being the recoverer, the recoveree and the recovery coordinator) As per our constitution and the excellent write up within by Marty (AKA Knight Rider) you must have a recovery point on your vehicle, ideally two at the front and one in the rear. Otherwise you risk no-one snatching you from your situation which I will enforce should you not have a recovery point. Only the people who need to be in a vehicle should be within the vehicle during a recovery, should there be an unfortunate accident where a recovery point breaks (as it did at the Grampians) we will be minimising the risk of unnecessary injury to persons.

2. 3. 4.



I hope you all understand the reasons why we must put this into practice and be proactive in what we do regarding this as your safety is of our concern and the last thing we want is to have to call your next of kin explaining what happened. You may think this is unlikely and wont happen and you may very well be right but there have been many examples of deaths by people not doing the right thing like in the above points. If you have any concerns in the above matter please feel free to speak to me ( Ben) or any of the committee and we will be happy to answer your questions. Thanks in advance for your understanding in this matter Ben Top Dog