4WDing; when it’s all gone wrong

4WDing is a sport, a hobby and a way of life that allows you to see so much that many people don’t ever get to see. Like everything in life though, there is an element of risk, and things do go wrong from time to time. Over the years we’ve had our fair share of things go wrong, and come across plenty of others who have too. Below are some of the photos we’ve captured.

Nearly rolling the Suzuki
You couldn’t get much closer to rolling the poor Suzuki Sierra at Mundaring!
Suzuki close call
A big hill below. A quick winch and it was out of trouble again
Nearly rolling the Lux
As close as I ever came to rolling the old Hilux at Mundaring Powerlines

The old Hilux’s have a pretty high centre of gravity, and a line I thought it would make didn’t turn out so well. We used a snatch strap tied to the bull bar with a few people hanging off it, unlocked one of the front hubs and spun the rear around until it was in a better position!

Rear bar straight into the big rock
At the top of the same hill the Hilux swung around and smashed the Kaymar rear bar into the rock. No damage, asides from paint!
Stuck near the ocean
We came across this bloke on the way to Wedge Island. We jumped in along with others to help
Salt water over the Range Rover
It was too late to avoid some salt water damage though
Ranger Rover recovery
Maxtrax and a pull from another 4WD had him up on safer ground
The Holland Track
The Holland Track is pretty narrow and windy, and this old Defender clipped a tree
Tree vs car
After some panel beating (moving the bumper off the front wheel) we continued
Yeah lets not stick to the track
That’s what you get when you drive off the main track!
Serious driveline damage
This was one of the more serious incidents we came across, at Yeagarup’s Warren River

We heard 4WD’s driving around at night, and a bang later on, and the following morning came across this Land Cruiser, which had hit the bank of the Warren River at high speed and completely ruined the front of his 4WD. A few good blokes jumped in and pulled it away from the incoming tide.

Winching a dead cruiser
Winching over a spare tyre with an anchor vehicle
Solid sand wall
This was the bank he had hit, which was probably 50cm tall
Warren River to the ocean
The last 48 hours had completely opened the Warren River, from a little stream to a full on flowing river
Landcruiser damage
Major damage
Cracked windscreen
The passenger wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and hit his head on the windscreen
Badly damaged Landcruiser
Whilst the owner went for help, it was the local attraction throughout the day
70 Series Landcruiser damage
The owner paid a local to bring his tractor down and skull drag it out
Hilux stuck in mud
After a little too much fun on the Brunswick 4WD Tracks the old Hilux ended up in a rather nasty position
Nearly rolling it
Surprisingly we got it out with zero damage
Some minor panel damage
On another trip I was a bit lazy entering a set of ruts and managed to dent and scrape the front quarter panel!
Damaged studs
With mud unbalancing the tyres a mate didn’t realise his wheel nuts had come loose. The result
Chopped out rims
A badly chopped out rim too
GQ Rollover
The first (and hopefully last) vehicle roll-over of a good mate’s Patrol on a gravel road near Logue Brook
GQ Patrol rollover at Logue Brook
We hadn’t even made it to the 4WD tracks yet; and their young boy was quite traumatised
Gravel road rollover
The vehicle was winched back onto all 4 wheels, and then towed to the Logue Brook Caravan park
Recovering a rolled 4WD
One tyre had rolled off the bead
Rolled 4WD recovery
Pretty serious damage done; look how close the roof would have been to the driver

On this particular day, we had about 5 vehicles travelling in convoy along a reasonably well maintained gravel road. We were sitting at about 50 – 60km/h, taking it easy. The Patrol was the last vehicle in line, and moved over slightly to allow more room for an oncoming vehicle. It started to slide, and despite efforts to bring it back in line swung around, hit the bank and rolled right over. No one was hurt (thankfully!), but the vehicle was a write off for sure.

Broken camper trailer
This poor bloke snapped a shackle on his camper trailer near Cape Leveque. We helped get it back to camp, and new springs were ordered soon after
Use your shovel first
Seriously bogged east of Esperance, about 40 metres into a salt lake
ELockers bogged in a salt lake
Not a very good position to be in after around 12 hours behind the wheel!
In serious trouble down south
Shovel, Maxtrax, lots of snatch straps and we were out (finally!)
4WD footwear
Cam rolled a tyre off his Lexus down at Brunswick; fun times changing the wheel!
Leaking front diff
Oil leaking from the pinion flange after the nuts rattled loose
Tightening the diff bolts up
Tightened them up again and back to normal
Albany bogged 4wd
The wrong place to turn around; this poor bloke was stuck as
Bogged GU Patrol at Mundaring
This Patrol had driven into a seriously deep bog hole at Mundaring, and the recovery had begun when we arrived
Mundaring 4WD recovery
After the two winching vehicles were getting pulled forward, 2 more 4WD’s were attached as anchored
Lots of cars anchored
When that failed, another two were brought in

I was pretty concerned with this recovery; there was a huge amount of force, and a lot of it was pulling the back of the Patrol down into the dirt, and not up and out. Luckily nothing broke!

Bogged at Lake Jasper
Not long after getting the ELockers, I pushed through a water crossing at Lake Jasper that caught me out badly
Lake Jasper 4WD recovery
After sitting in the water for a few minutes while recovery gear was set up the 80 started to fill up with water. I was very glad to be out!

There’s been plenty of other occasions where things have gone wrong, that were not captured on camera. There are times when things don’t go to plan, and you’ve just got to roll with it. Of course, always reduce the risk where possible, and make the best of a bad situation.

When have things gone wrong for you?

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