Skytrek-What do you do with a flat half way up a steep hill?

Got some advice to share or a question to ask? Heres the place to do it!
nao
Avid Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:09 pm
Location: Sunbury, VIC

Skytrek-What do you do with a flat half way up a steep hill?

Unread post by nao » March 27th, 2012, 9:36 pm

Hey guys I'm an experienced tourer and sand/desert driver but haven't done much bush and hill
work. Did skytrek on Sunday and had a blast but curious how difficult it is considered and also wondered what is the right course of action is if u get a flat tyre half way up a steep hill that's beyond the reach/safety of a winch.
Cheers. Nic

Peter Aawen
Admin
Posts: 20799
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: Skytrek-What do you do with a flat half way up a steep h

Unread post by Peter Aawen » March 28th, 2012, 5:44 am

As far as 4Wheeling in SA goes, Skytrek is up there with the steep stuff; but when it comes to comparing it to what's out there elsewhere, it's really just middle of the road stuff, but it does focus your attention if you aren't used to short steepish pinches with rocks & loose scree. ;)

As for the flat tyre scenario, if you can't safely drive to a level spot, then you are left with the need to securely chock the vehicle on the hillside and change the tyre there - one of the things the Nationally Accredited Training you can get thru 4WD Clubs should teach you, it's in the curriculum! You really don't want to winch or drive too far on a flat anyway, so it's often safest just to stop where you get the flat and then chock &/or restrain the vehicle (another vehicle in front hooked up to it with a strap or winch as well as big rocks etc behind all the other wheels and then jack the flat wheel up very carefully, making sure at every step of the way that the vehicle is stable & won't fall off. A Hi-Lift jack can come in very handy here, not necessarily to jack up the flat tyre, but to aid in making sure the vehicle is stable and that you can safely put your vehicle jack under the axle/jacking point & lift without the vehicle trying to slide off down the hill or topple over the edge.

And yet another reason for making sure that you get some training and that you try to avoid travelling alone. You'll know the hill you got a flat on is steep when the m/bikes just can't ride up it, and when you get a flat half way up you hafta tie the flat tyre & the spare to the vehicle so they don't slide/roll off down the hill whenever you let them go - even more so when if you do let them go, the very next place they will touch down is on the bonnet/windscreen of the vehicle that's 20m behind on the last anti-erosion hump cos you are on the next anti-erosion hump up as it's the nearest to level spot & from there back down it's pretty much just straight down onto their bonnet!! :eek:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

nao
Avid Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:09 pm
Location: Sunbury, VIC

Re: Skytrek-What do you do with a flat half way up a steep h

Unread post by nao » March 28th, 2012, 10:37 am

Thanks Peter, Kinda figured your advice would be the way to go but always good to hear other thoughts. Dont think id like the prospect of actually having to do it though! Cheers

Peter Aawen
Admin
Posts: 20799
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: Skytrek-What do you do with a flat half way up a steep h

Unread post by Peter Aawen » March 28th, 2012, 12:20 pm

You know that you are most likely to get a flat when you are working the vehicle hard on a steep & sharp rocky hill, so it really does pay to 1). Learn to drive with the absolute minimum wheel spin; & 2). Get some training and practice doing it before you find out how difficult it is the hard way! The very worst time ever to learn how to change a tyre on a steep hill like that is when you get stuck going half-way up a really steep hill, there's nothing at all to winch off within more than 100m, the hill is too steep for any other vehicle to act as an anchor for you, and one of your rear wheels has dropped into a rut & ripped the inside sidewall out so that the other side front wheel is in the air so high that an adult can stand underneath it leaving the vehicle is just teetering on 'roll-over & play dead-ants' off the side of the hill & into the 90m drop all the way down onto the tree tops below! It's usually about then that find out you can't let the nav get out of the LH front seat of the vehicle cos that's the only weight that's actually keeping the thing from rolling sideways off the hill; and cos the RH rear tyre is absolutely flat sitting on the rim & it's jammed in the rut so not only can't you reverse down the hill to a better spot, but you also can't get the tyre changing jack under anything to lift that wheel up enough to change it & there's no room in the rut to do that anyway! And you can see the remnants of the last vehicle that got to exactly that spot & DID roll off the side of the hill, and that was without having the downhill rear tyre ripped out & dropped into a rut! :eek:

It's moments like that you'll be SOOOO Glad that you practiced earlier and that you decided to carry a Hi-Lift jack & you bothered to make sure you've got good Hi-lift jacking points on each end, corner, & side of the vehicle! The Hi-Lift will let you lift the back RH corner enough to pack rocks & stuff under that wheel/side, enough so that you can get the axle jack underneath & therefore get the wheel high enough & clear of the rut so you can change the wheel; then once that's done you just drive out of what looks like an impossible situation. :D Focuses the attention for a bit, I can assure you!

That's why I think it's a fantastic idea to get some training or at the very least find a 'not so steep' hill and actually (I mean really 'take a wheel off' type actually!) change a wheel on a hill & uneven surface so that you can learn to manage the issues this sort of thing brings with it & develop your skills in overcoming them; but do start easy on a gentle slope and do it a few times so you can work your way up to something a little steeper until you are comfortable with the process & problems - we used to do that sort of training at Warren Gorge before taking 'new to 4Wheeling' people up to SkyTrek, the terrain is gentle enough that you won't lose anyone if it goes wrong & steep enough so that it's a good introduction to changing tyres on sloping/loose terrain, but don't forget that there are hills quite a bit longer and steeper than anything SkyTrek has to offer in the other states - just about every hill in the Vic High Country makes that grade. ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

nao
Avid Poster
Posts: 529
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:09 pm
Location: Sunbury, VIC

Re: Skytrek-What do you do with a flat half way up a steep h

Unread post by nao » March 28th, 2012, 10:08 pm

Was lots of shale on skytrek so figured no wheel spin to save tyres, funny how u build up skills in area but realize your a novice in other aspects. Good training course counts for lot !

Return to “Driving Tips and Techniques”