September 28, 2014

In the woods: when the teddy bears' picnic may not be your only big surprise

Driving among trees in a forest off a decent track requires a lot of skill, particularly in vehicle placement. Add hills to the equation and it's a recipe for close calls and getting stuck. Practice doesn't even make perfect because, sometimes, luck just ain't on your side. In the picture above, the Isuzu (see post below) has buried its rear wheels in a nasty spot and reversing wouldn't do much good, even if he could. Fortunately, the truck was easily recovered by the preceding vehicle. The Nissan Patrol, below, got caught between trees during a short, sharp climbout. It would have been possible for the driver to reverse and try again, except that the Nissan had slewed to bring the rear bumper within centimetres of the tree. Again, a gentle tug from the preceding vehicle solved the problem. 

Other potential problems include roots, stumps and low branches. Roots across an uphill climb can quickly stop forward progress, stumps can tear out a sump or damage suspension and low branches can take care of a roof rack or windscreen. One thing you can be sure of when driving in a forest, coming across teddy bears having a picnic, as celebrated in the popular children's song, may not be the only big surprise you're in for today.

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