Fording rivers & creeks

Four wheel driving. Vehicle modifications. Off road driving and recovery techniques. Towing and miscellaneous vehicle topics.

Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Gaznazdiak » 01 Jun 2018, 11:42 am

No matter your vehicle or experience, ALWAYS walk the crossing as many times as it takes to determine the footing, particularly if the water is murky.
No matter how good you and your vehicle may be, if there is a hole or obstruction hiding under the water you are in strife.
I learned this with my 1st Land Rover. Walked the crossing only once and missed a deep hole that I subsequently found with my right front wheel.
I was stuck there with the river running through the cab for nearly 2hrs before someone came along and dragged me out.
Thankfully the old Series 2A was as basic as they come and the only damage was to my ego.
fideles usque ad mortem
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Homer » 01 Jun 2018, 5:59 pm

Daddybang wrote:
Homer wrote:G'Day Fella's,

Winton, the best advice I can give you, is to walk thru any water crossing, prior to driving thru it.


Hope that helps

Avagreatweekendeh!
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Not quite ANY water crossing!!! :lol: :lol: :sarcasm: :drinks:

8975390-3x2-460x307.jpg


D'oh!
Sorry, I believe I need to clarify my previous advice a little..............
Also carry a 12 Gauge Seedgun for support and for defending you position, in know Croc country!

Thanks for the correction there Daddybang and thats a big Lizard LOL!

Avagreatweekendeh!
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by wanneroo » 02 Jun 2018, 12:33 am

For those of you that want to walk through creeks and streams without wet boots but want to protect your feet, do what us kayakers do and get a pair of water shoes. It looks like a sneaker but has a mesh top and drainage holes in the sole.

http://nymag.com/strategist/article/bes ... women.html
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by winton » 02 Jun 2018, 4:05 pm

Thanks guys
I'm sticking to the marked fording routes on the map. I know rooftop maps are generally good. (anyone have experience with Victorian topo maps?) Are most trouble often with unmarked fording or are marked fording on maps just as susceptible to trouble?

@Homer, great idea those Crocs. Already thinking about making it standard carry on my backpack.

I'd probably get a mob to install those piranha breather kits for my ute at a later date.

@tracks, Waders are another good idea. A bit heavy to carry though. I heard about an alosack waterproof zip log bag for rifle.

@Gaznazdiak, how deep did you expect the fording to be when you got stuck?
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by tracks » 03 Jun 2018, 5:46 am

Yeah mate only carry waders in the 4x4 a favourite camp site I have is next to the Taponga river up Big River way, the track on the other side is totally rooted so I ford the river by foot and leave the waders there for my return, there are a couple of other small creeks I cross while hunting and that's where the garbage bags come into play, light to carry too, can't stand having wet bloody feet!
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Lorgar » 08 Jun 2018, 3:55 pm

winton wrote:would I be better off keeping it in low range 4x4 and in first gear? OK someone just wrote about 2nd. Thats good to know.


As a rule of thumb low-range second is almost always best.

You want to maintain a bit of momentum going in, and LR first is too slow. LR second makes for a good speed while still having plenty of torque.

You'd only want to use LR first if you were going over significant obstacles in the water, but it doesn't sound like that's on the cards for you.

winton wrote:Is it a good idea to put car in reverse if you decide not to go any further?


Ideally, you want to avoid changing gear while in water.

Determine your path, pick one gear for the job and complete the crossing in a single push.

The risk when changing gear mid crossing is water getting into flywheel/clutch, causing it to slip, and then you're going nowhere. You won't be able to get it to bite again while submerged and will need to be recovered and left to dry before you go anywhere. This isn't an everyday occurrence, but it can happen.

Obviously, common sense should prevail though. If the choice is between driving forward into a watery abyss or changing into reverse, then yeah, change into reverse :lol:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Bourt » 08 Jun 2018, 5:04 pm

Just to clarify what Lorgar said, that's all for deeper waters where your trans is started to get submerged.

If you're splashing around and the water level is below the chassis it's pretty fool proof.

Don't have a heart attack about getting stuck every time you go through a bit of water, that's all I'm saying :lol:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by grandadbushy » 08 Jun 2018, 10:16 pm

All creek crossings can be a little tricky at times that 300-350 can turn into 500- 800 quiet fast if the bottom of the creek is soft
so take all the good advice on here and keep your wits about you when crossing and when coming back to cross it again on the way home
recheck the creek to see that nothing has changed from the last crossing

I don't know much about the rise and fall of the creeks down there but up here you can have rain 25 miles away from you and the creek can
raise 1m easily just after you cross it and your return crossing can be quiet different
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 09 Jun 2018, 7:38 am

Bourt wrote:
If you're splashing around and the water level is below the chassis it's pretty fool proof.

Don't have a heart attack about getting stuck every time you go through a bit of water, that's all I'm saying :lol:


Until ya get bogged in about 10cm of water that hides a quick sand hole in the bottom of a Creek bed takin three hours to dig and winch out!!(my missus still won't let me forget about it) :lol: :lol: :lol: :drinks:
This hard living ain't as easy as it used to be!!!
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by magnum56 » 11 Jun 2018, 6:54 pm

winton wrote:I've got a stock standard diesel 4x4 ute with all terrain tyres and nothing else and no experience fording creeks and rivers.

I don't intend on going any deeper than 300-350mm in the water with the vehicle and am relying on the Rooftop maps I have that have fording locations marked on them.

I'm just wondering if its generally pretty safe to do so with the kit that I've got in the Victorian Eastern Ranges?

Of course, I'd get out and check to see the water height. I only intend on going during winter or hunting season in Victoria.


Apart from all the other good advice already posted by others, you need to be careful of the electrics on your vehicle, the older ones are not to bad, but later models with computerised systems don't handle getting submersed to well, if you happen to inadvertently drop into a hole, things can get costly, the best advice is, if you don't absolutely have to go there, don't.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by tracks » 12 Jun 2018, 6:20 am

"the best advice is, if you don't absolutely have to go there, don't" bloody good advice there guys take note.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Antie » 12 Jun 2018, 11:26 am

tracks wrote:"the best advice is, if you don't absolutely have to go there, don't" bloody good advice there guys take note.


Where's the fun in that?

Live a little ;)
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Tmb99 » 22 Jun 2018, 10:04 pm

Check wading depth. Manufacturers of newish 4x4's quote a safe wading depth that has some leeway to cover them. Quick google said 450mm for the nav, but that wasn't official stuff so do your own research.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by winton » 26 Jun 2018, 4:13 pm

Thanks for the info everyone.

I'm not keen in getting stuck, so its 300-350mm as my limit.

One thing that came to mind is tire pressure. I usually run my AT on 38-40psi on road and drop that to 34-36 on unsealed roads if I know I'm gonna go far, but most times, I don't bother if its dry.

Is there a optimum tire pressure for fording?
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 26 Jun 2018, 6:22 pm

winton wrote:Thanks for the info everyone.

I'm not keen in getting stuck, so its 300-350mm as my limit.

One thing that came to mind is tire pressure. I usually run my AT on 38-40psi on road and drop that to 34-36 on unsealed roads if I know I'm gonna go far, but most times, I don't bother if its dry.

Is there a optimum tire pressure for fording?


Not really. ..It will all depend on the creek bed ie soft sand versus rock vs pebbles. Usually I'll leave them at whatever they're set at for the track I'm driving at the time :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Smiley » 26 Jun 2018, 6:29 pm

As has already been said, when in the water, don't touch the clutch.
Also I keep the windows down and seatbelts off, incase I need to bail out in a hurry.
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by Daddybang » 26 Jun 2018, 6:35 pm

Smiley wrote:Also I keep the windows down and seatbelts off, incase I need to bail out in a hurry.


Yep +1 :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: Fording rivers & creeks

Post by FuzzyM » 01 Jul 2018, 10:22 pm

winton wrote:Thanks guys
I'm sticking to the marked fording routes on the map. I know rooftop maps are generally good. (anyone have experience with Victorian topo maps?) Are most trouble often with unmarked fording or are marked fording on maps just as susceptible to trouble?

@Homer, great idea those Crocs. Already thinking about making it standard carry on my backpack.

I'd probably get a mob to install those piranha breather kits for my ute at a later date.

@tracks, Waders are another good idea. A bit heavy to carry though. I heard about an alosack waterproof zip log bag for rifle.

@Gaznazdiak, how deep did you expect the fording to be when you got stuck?


If you don't have breathers, you can let the diffs etc cool down while you walk the crossing, look around etc. The main issue is the cold water hitting your hot diff, gearbox etc, causing the air inside to cool rapidly, sucking water in as it contracts.

If you have no recovery gear, at least bring a long handle shovel.
I was stuck in the snow a couple of weeks ago, shovel came in handy.
Could have used the winch, but would have taken longer.

I recommend getting at least a basic recovery kit, if you are stuck and need help from a passer by, I consider it polite to use your own gear as snatch straps have a finite life.
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