Convoy Procedure

PREAMBLE

Cockburn 4WD Club recognises that:

  • convoys are necessary to conduct trips.
  • convoys of more than three vehicles on major roads are inherently hazardous and therefore does not advocate them.
  • turning right when in convoy on a major, high speed road is inherently hazardous.
  • entering a major, high speed road and leaving that road within a short distance is inherently hazardous.
  • driving in a convoy in dust or other conditions of reduced visibility is inherently hazardous.
  • carefully planned and stringently followed procedures will reduce risk to members of a convoy and other road users.

CONVOY PROCEDURE

Observe road rules at all times.

The Trip Leader will call a driver meeting prior to the start of the trip and at any time required during a trip.

The Trip Leader shall appoint a ‘Sweep’ who will be at the end of the convoy and will notify the Trip Leader of convoy progress, including but not limited to information regarding the convoy’s progress at a turn, departure from a stop, completion of an obstacle. The Sweep must have Moving Map Technology (MMT).

The Trip Leader shall nominate the order of vehicles on the road giving consideration to experience and those with MMT. Drivers must stay in this nominated convoy order unless directed to change by the Trip Leader. Drivers wishing to change their convoy position during the trip do so only by agreement of the Trip Leader.

The Club Convoy Channel is UHF Channel 25 (Alternate 15). The Trip Leader will advise if a different channel is to be used.

Turn on headlamps. The Trip Leader will remind drivers to do this and if other drivers in the convoy see vehicles with un-illuminated headlamps they should advise the drivers of those vehicles to switch on their headlamps without reference to the Trip Leader.

On a major road it is vital that members of a convoy (no more than three vehicles) leave sufficient space for an overtaking vehicle to safely pass.

Maintain a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front. Make the necessary adjustments to this distance as the weather and track conditions change.

Members of a convoy should be in radio contact ideally with the Trip Leader but in any case with the vehicle immediately ahead and behind.

The default procedure at a turn/change of direction is that members of the convoy must stop and wait until they have a visual of the following vehicle or the driver of that vehicle indicates by radio that he has seen them. At the discretion of the Trip Leader and giving consideration to:

  • the Route;
  • experience of the members of the convoy;
  • dust conditions;
  • radio efficacy;
  • presence of MMT among the convoy,

the Trip Leader may authorise that turns/changes of direction be passed on via radio.

In a situation where there a number of turns in close succession the Trip Leader shall advise that  members of the convoy:

  • do not advise of turns over the radio;
  • wait until they have a ‘visual’ of the following vehicle before proceeding.

Match you speed to that of the vehicle in front of you so you are just behind the dust cloud. It may help to contact the vehicle in front of you via the UHF radio and compare speeds. The vehicles in front of you may be slowing for any number of reasons.

Always allow the vehicle in front of you to negotiate an obstacle/hill/slope/water crossing before attempting it with your vehicle. This will avoid the possibility of having two vehicles stuck. Confirm by radio that it is safe to proceed should the vehicle in front move beyond your view while negotiating the obstacle.

No driver is to feel at all pressured into attempting any obstacle they feel uncomfortable in negotiating.  If necessary an alternative route around an obstacle will be found by the Trip Leader or Sweep.

If you lose sight of the vehicle behind you call the driver on the UHF radio. If there is no response, call the Trip Leader and advise your intention to stop to wait for the vehicle behind. All vehicles in front of you will slow or stop depending on the Trip Leader’s advice.

The Trip Leader will advise of oncoming vehicles. Should they fail to do so the driver of the second vehicle in the convoy shall advise.

If a non-convoy vehicle is overtaking vehicles in the convoy, advice of this should be given over the radio with a brief description of the overtaking vehicle.

On encountering a gate the Trip Leader shall advise the Sweep what action to take (or not take) and the Sweep shall confirm. If the Trip Leader is unable to contact Sweep the instructions and confirmation shall be relayed by other members of the convoy. Gates are left as they are found.

When parking up at any stop, position your vehicle so:

  • it is legally and safely parked;
  • if possible, it is still in ‘convoy position’;
  • you are able to drive off in a forward direction.

Advise the Trip Leader of any information that could affect the ongoing conduct of the Trip (for example, vehicle breakdown, unscheduled stop, rollover/crash) so the Trip Leader can make an informed decision on the course of action to be taken. This also gives information to drivers of following vehicles so they can avoid colliding with your vehicle in heavy dust, on a corner or a crest.

At servos and resupply points the procedure is 1. Refuel 2. Shop 3. Chat – very specifically and rigidly in that order.