Convoy Procedure and Code of Ethics
While this procedure follows generally accepted 4WD convoy practices, this document has been written to
specifically encompass West Coast 4x4 practices and traditions.
- Trip planning shall be carried out by the Trip Leader.
The minimum requirement, the trip shall be added to the website
using the members tools.
However, the nature of the trip and the Trip Leader's familiarity with the terrain may
require more planning and research to be carried out.
If the Trip Leader is in doubt about the level of preparation and planning required for a
trip, contacting a Track Marshall for advice and/or assistance is recommended.
Additional information that is relevant to trip preparation should also be added to the trip
information on the website, or otherwise communicated to club members and trip visitors.
- The Trip Leader must find out if visitors have the appropriate skills and a suitably equipped vehicle for the trip.
Vehicle inspections prior to the commencement of the trip may be required to ensure all vehicles (in particular
visitors) have appropriate recovery points and other appropriate equipment for the type of trip being undertaken.
The Trip Leader has the right to deny any member or visitor participation in a trip, if they consider them or their
vehicle an unacceptable risk to the safe and successful execution of the trip.
The Trip Leader shall confirm the number of vehicles in the convoy. A periodic vehicle count should be taken during the trip.
The Trip Leader shall appoint a "Tail-End Charlie" and assign other functions (i.e. radio relay, etc.) as required,
to Track Marshalls or other members of the convoy, where a Track Marshall is not available to fulfil the function.
- The Trip Leader shall call a driver's meeting prior to the start of the trip. The meeting should include:
- A trip outline.
Significant risks and hazards that may be encountered based on terrain, weather/environmental conditions, group
capability/dynamics (i.e. novice drivers, vehicle limitations etc.) or other factors.
- Other information relevant to the trip.
Radio equipment should be fitted to or carried by every vehicle within the convoy.
Radio communication within the convoy shall use UHF Channel 10, unless another channel is specified by the trip Leader.
Radio communications between Trip Leader and "Tail-End Charlie" shall be maintained at all times. Radio
relay methods should be used if communications, throughout the convoy, become intermittent or indecipherable.
It is the responsibility of all drivers within the convoy to ensure they remain behind the Trip Leader and in
front of the "Tail-End Charlie", except under exceptional conditions, where the Trip Leader gives
permission for the convoy to break formation. Consideration must be given to vehicles assigned a Shepherd, so
that they can continue following the Shepherd in all circumstances.
- All members of the convoy shall observe road rules at all times.
When travelling on public roads, highways and freeways all vehicles must switch on their headlights and keep
them on while travelling in the convoy.
Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle you are following at all times, to facilitate other road users who wish to
overtake, allow for speed variations of the vehicle in front, and to allow a safe stopping distance between vehicles.
Vehicles leaving convoy for any reason, shall inform the Trip Leader and "Tail-End Charlie" of their intention
and wave on the remainder of the convoy, as necessary.
The Trip Leader shall announce over the radio, each turn the convoy will make. The "Tail-End Charlie" shall
acknowledge receipt of all directives from the Trip Leader.
Each vehicle shall stop and wait for the following vehicle at any intersection or turn off at which doubt may exist to
the correct direction. It will wait for the next vehicle before moving of in the correct direction.
On arrival at an intersection where no vehicle is waiting and the driver is in doubt as to the correct direction, they
shall attempt to contact another member of the convoy (preferably the Trip Leader) and confirm the direction they should
take. If attempts to contact the convoy fail, they should back track to a point they are confident was on the route taken
by the convoy and stop to wait for the convoy to return.
Vehicles not fitted with radio communications shall be kept in sight by the preceding vehicle (i.e. the Shepherd vehicle).
Nominated "Track Marshalls" will regulate traffic on or near obstacles (i.e. hill climbs, river crossings,
slurry mud hills, trenches and ruts, tight beach crossings, river mouth crossings, etc) nominated by the Trip Leader.
All radio communication while an obstacle is being encountered should be directed to the Trip Leader, the nominated
Track Marshall or "Tail end Charlie". Radio communications not directly related to negotiating the obstacle
shall be taken to another channel.
When an obstacle is being negotiated, each driver should wait at a safe distance to render assistance, if needed, to the
- Each vehicle, once they have cleared an obstacle shall announce the way clear for the following vehicle.
During Vehicle Recovery and Other Incidents
Vehicles carrying equipment and personnel, (i.e.: winches, first aid officer, first aid equipment, Doctors, beds,
recovery gear) will be classified as emergency vehicles, and as such must be given clear passage and right of way.
- In the event of winching being necessary, the winch operator will control and coordinate the recovery.
When winches and snatch straps are being used all persons are to stand clear of winch cables and snatch straps
(at least one and a half lengths in all directions).
Convoy Ethics, Etiquette and Other Common Sense Stuff
It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner and driver to ensure their vehicle is of sound mechanical
condition and that an adequate supply of water, food, fuel and spares are carried on trips.
- Vehicles should be fitted with recovery points at the rear and front of their vehicles.
Each Vehicle should carry a first aid kit suitable for the activities to be performed on the trip, the
number of people relying on the kit and the expected time required to obtain medical care. First aid training
is also a desirable asset to the convoy.
- No firearms shall be present or carried in any vehicles on the trip.
Gates shall be left in the state in which they were found, unless otherwise specified by the Trip Leader.
Assume the presence of a gate also means the presence of livestock. Keep an eye out for livestock movingn toward the gate and ensure they don't pass through while the convoy has the gate open.
- What is carried in, must be carried out - i.e. rubbish.
Hygiene stops; at the side of the road where terrain allows, the women and children shall adjourn to the left
and the gentleman and young men to the right.
- Respect our wildlife. Stop and look, but never disturb or chase animals. It can affect their survival.
It shall be ascertained that no vehicles or persons shall be left in difficulty. To signal that assistance is
required, raise the bonnet of your vehicle.
Any inbound vehicles encountered by the convoy while off road, should be provided with the number of vehicles in
convoy, to reduce the likelihood of "surprises" as the vehicles pass by. The "Tail-End Charlie"
may also communicate to the passing vehicles that the road ahead of them should be clear.
Pay attention to fire restrictions. Extinguish your fire before leaving. Don't let your exhaust emit sparks. Every
care should be exercised in the art of lighting fires and the control of fires.
Keep to restrictions on the side of public land. Respect national parks and their conservation areas, especially
with relation to die-back.