4WD track challenge vs risk of damage

I love 4WD tracks, and 4WDing, and over the years I’ve spent hundreds of hours doing 4WD tracks all over Australia. For me, every track and obstacle though, is a calculated decision, and if I feel the juice isn’t worth the squeeze, I’ll bypass it, or turn around.

However, not everyone thinks like this, and I’ve seen some seriously expensive 4WD’s damaged to such an extent that they no longer drive, and I’m fascinated by the intent, and understanding by those who own 4WDs.

Hardcore 4WD tracks in the Cape
We love a good 4WD track, but at what point is it too much risk?

Nothing tells this story better than Cape York, which is a mecca for 4WD owners for months at a time every year, and I’m positive hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and insurance claims are done in this small part of the world.

Sure, there’s easy tracks to do, but its also the place to go if you want to tackle some of the countries most extreme 4WD tracks, and with that comes a substantial amount of risk for things to go badly wrong.

Big GQ at Palm Creek in Cape York
Is the juice worth the squeeze?

We’re on the road full time

We’ve been travelling Australia for about 12 months now, and living out of our 2016 Isuzu Dmax, and Reconn R2. We’ve done a heap of 4WD tracks with, and without the camper, and touch wood, there’s been no show stoppers (except for our cracked inner guard).

Heading up to Cape York, I knew there would be potential to do major damage to our setup, and we decided fairly early on that we wouldn’t be doing the insane parts of the Old Telegraph Track. This was decided on for a number of reasons, but the primary one was simple; extensive damage to our Dmax would destroy, or greatly hinder our lap of Australia, and our financial position.

To me, I don’t see the point of driving my vehicle through Nolans Brook and risking it getting stuck, and doing extensive damage. For starters, if I damage the vehicle in a water crossing I have to pay an additional excess through Club 4×4, and that’s without the hassle of trying to dry things out, and get it running to drive home again.

Sure, it’d be amazing to drive through it, and to conquer the obstacle, but the benefit of this over not damaging my 4WD just doesn’t even come close in comparison.

4WD tracks in Cape York
I thought long and hard about doing more of the Old Telegraph Track, but decided against it

We drove parts of the Old Telegraph Track, and had a heap of fun doing so (it actually made me want to drive more of it!), but when there’s giant mud runs, huge vertical climbs or water crossings that are well over bonnet height, is the juice really worth the squeeze? At the time, it wasn’t, but I reckon if we went back I’d do it with another vehicle, carefully. What about you?

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