The recent soaking rains have brought a new lease of life to the flora and fauna in our National Park and have firmed up the inland track considerably. The storm birds (shortbilled Curlew) and Ibis are out in force at Poverty Creek. The Westaway Creek catchment wetlands are now reinvigorated with approximately half a metre of water, the water lilies are now an absolute spectacle. Whatever you do don’t forget to bring your insect repellent as the mosquitoes are out and about.
We continue our session on the use of snatch straps, a piece of equipment that most 4WD enthusiasts already have. To start with let’s look at the recovery points on your vehicle. Don’t trust bullbars, towbars or recovery points without checking the mounting bolts these can be rusted making them lethal projectiles. If there is any uncertainty, attach around the chassis rail of the vehicle.
With respect to towbars, if you are sure the bolts are sound, these make a reasonable recovery point however don’t use the tongue or ball, these can fail. We recently did a recovery wrapping around the shank of a solid steel Toyota tow hitch, these are rated at eight tonnes and can be used, alternatively purchase a towbar recovery hitch. Remember, keep everyone well clear whilst effecting a recovery as the kinetic energy in that snatch strap is lethal.
Fort Bribie fallen mine control hut fell two weeks ago
If you need to use more than one strap or as points to attach to the vehicles we recommend Dimenia rope shackles (pictured). These are not expensive but if something goes wrong it’s not a metal object flying through the air. We recommend the use of dampeners and if you don’t have one drop a wet towel or jacket over the snatch strap. Most people have 8 or 9-tonne snatch straps and we recommend 15-tonne snatch straps, discard straps immediately if damaged.
Pick the direction which you are going to effect the recovery. Look for the hard surface to end the recovery. Reverse your recovery vehicle to 1.5 metres away from the bogged vehicle and drive forward towards the hard area or at least 30 metres. Driving back and forward several times over this area to pack the sand down for better traction. Ensure that there are no passengers in either vehicle, ensure everyone is at a safe distance, lay the strap out, attach to your recovery points, if possible passenger side to passenger side, should anything go wrong the strap will recoil to the passenger side of the vehicle and not to the driver’s side.
Next, drive off as you were heading off down the highway (no wheel spin) the strap will stretch and kinetic energy will cause the bogged vehicle to pop up on top of the sand, keep driving to clear the soft section. Remember to check everyone’s tyres are at 18 to 20 PSI, if towing a trailer ensure it has the same track width as the tow vehicle. Holidays mean kids on the beach and campsites, remember 30km speed limits.
As winter approaches sand disappears from the beach making it like riding a rollercoaster, simply slow down there is no other answer. When parking on the beach at high tide consider other vehicles who want to pass, they don’t want to have to drive in the salt water. Fishing in the gutters will deliver whiting, dart 30cm, queenfish 50cm, mackerel 60cm.
This Week’s Reader Question
How did our lagoons get named?
Answer in next issues Bribie Beach report.