4WDing; When It All Goes Wrong

4WDing is a sport, a hobby and a way of life that allows you to see so much that many people don’t ever get to see. Like everything in life though, there is an element of risk, and things do go wrong from time to time. Over the years we’ve had our fair share of things go wrong, and come across plenty of others who have too. Below are some of the photos we’ve captured.

You couldn’t get much closer to rolling the poor Suzuki Sierra at Mundaring!

Suzuki close call

A big hill below. A quick winch and it was out of trouble again

Nearly rolling the Lux

As close as I ever came to rolling the old Hilux at Mundaring Powerlines

The old Hilux’s have a pretty high centre of gravity, and a line I thought it would make didn’t turn out so well. We used a snatch strap tied to the bull bar with a few people hanging off it, unlocked one of the front hubs and spun the rear around until it was in a better position!

Rear bar straight into the big rock

At the top of the same hill the Hilux swung around and smashed the rear bar into the rock. No damage, asides from paint!

Stuck near the ocean

We came across this bloke on the way to Wedge Island. We jumped in along with others to help

Salt water over the Range Rover

It was too late to avoid some salt water damage though

Ranger Rover recovery

Maxtrax and a pull from another 4WD had him up on safer ground

The Holland Track

The Holland Track is pretty narrow and windy, and this old Defender clipped a tree

Tree vs car

After some panel beating (moving the bumper off the front wheel) we continued

Yeah lets not stick to the track

That’s what you get when you drive off the main track!

Serious driveline damage

This was one of the more serious incidents we came across, at Yeagarup’s Warren River

We heard 4WD’s driving around at night, and a bang later on, and the following morning came across this Land Cruiser, which had hit the bank of the Warren River at high speed and completely ruined the front of his 4WD. A few good blokes jumped in and pulled it away from the incoming tide.

Winching a dead cruiser

Winching over a spare tyre with an anchor vehicle

Solid sand wall

This was the bank he had hit, which was probably 50cm tall

Warren River to the ocean

The last 48 hours had completely opened the Warren River, from a little stream to a full on flowing river

Landcruiser damage

Major damage

Cracked windscreen

The passenger wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, and hit his head on the windscreen

Badly damaged Landcruiser

Whilst the owner went for help, it was the local attraction throughout the day

70 Series Landcruiser damage

The owner paid a local to bring his tractor down and skull drag it out

Hilux stuck in mud

After a little too much fun at Brunswick the old Hilux ended up in a rather nasty position

Nearly rolling it

Surprisingly we got it out with zero damage

Some minor panel damage

On another trip I was a bit lazy entering a set of ruts and managed to dent and scrape the front quarter panel!

Damaged studs

With mud unbalancing the tyres a mate didn’t realise his wheel nuts had come loose. The result

Chopped out rims

A badly chopped out rim too

GQ Rollover

The first (and hopefully last) vehicle roll-over of a good mate’s Patrol on a gravel road near Logue Brook

GQ Patrol rollover at Logue Brook

We hadn’t even made it to the 4WD tracks yet; and their young boy was quite traumatised

Gravel road rollover

The vehicle was winched back onto all 4 wheels, and then towed to the Logue Brook Caravan park

Recovering a rolled 4WD

One tyre had rolled off the bead

Rolled 4WD recovery

Pretty serious damage done; look how close the roof would have been to the driver

On this particular day, we had about 5 vehicles travelling in convoy along a reasonably well maintained gravel road. We were sitting at about 50 – 60km/h, taking it easy. The Patrol was the last vehicle in line, and moved over slightly to allow more room for an oncoming vehicle. It started to slide, and despite efforts to bring it back in line swung around, hit the bank and rolled right over. No one was hurt (thankfully!), but the vehicle was a write off for sure.

Broken camper trailer

This poor bloke snapped a shackle on his camper trailer near Cape Leveque. We helped get it back to camp, and new springs were ordered soon after

Use your shovel first

Seriously bogged east of Esperance, about 40 metres into a salt lake

ELockers bogged in a salt lake

Not a very good position to be in after around 12 hours behind the wheel!

In serious trouble down south

Shovel, Maxtrax, lots of snatch straps and we were out (finally!)

4WD footwear

Cam rolled a tyre off his Lexus down at Brunswick; fun times changing the wheel!

Leaking front diff

Oil leaking from the pinion flange after the nuts rattled loose

Tightening the diff bolts up

Tightened them up again and back to normal

Albany bogged 4wd

The wrong place to turn around; this poor bloke was stuck as

Bogged GU Patrol at Mundaring

This Patrol had driven into a seriously deep bog hole at Mundaring, and the recovery had begun when we arrived

Mundaring 4WD recovery

After the two winching vehicles were getting pulled forward, 2 more 4WD’s were attached as anchord

Lots of cars anchored

When that failed, another two were brought in

I was pretty concerned with this recovery; there was a huge amount of force, and a lot of it was pulling the back of the Patrol down into the dirt, and not up and out. Luckily nothing broke!

Bogged at Lake Jasper

Not long after getting the ELockers, I pushed through a water crossing at Lake Jasper that caught me out badly

Lake Jasper 4WD recovery

After sitting in the water for a few minutes while recovery gear was set up the 80 started to fill up with water. I was very glad to be out!

There’s been plenty of other occasions where things have gone wrong, that were not captured on camera. There are times when things don’t go to plan, and you’ve just got to roll with it. Of course, always reduce the risk where possible, and make the best of a bad situation.


This article was originally posted by 4WDing Australia.

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Comments 1

  1. There is some Bloody idiots out there, Got know pride in there 4×4.
    I was young once but I wasn’t that silly, Yes I have been bogged to and been in strange places but not like that. I looked after it and still got one and still have fun
    If I done things like that I would be broke and insurance would whip me.

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