The Benefits Of Communication Whilst Green Roading.

To some, this may seem a contentious subject to discuss as it could result in inevitable extra expense to a hobby which is not cheap at the best of times, BUT I have to bring to your attention an aspect of our hobby which, as a club, we appear to be sadly lacking.

There have been occasions where if we had a common means of communication between vehicles, we could have advised of potential problems or hazards before they may occur, such as:

  • Other lane users ahead.
  • Obstructions.
  • Telling the vehicle behind to back off as you have stones trapped in your tyres.
  • Assisting on blind junctions.
  • Advising when the group is getting spread apart due to traffic on a junction.
  • Giving instructions to regroup if heavy traffic splits a group up.

…..the list is endless.

Whilst within familiar surroundings it is comparatively easy to lead a group and keep one eye in the mirror for the rest of the group, but as we are looking to broaden our horizons and expand our greenlaning activities into other, less familiar areas, it will become increasingly difficult to do this AND read a map, especially if we do a few more trips ‘after dark’.

We have coped well, so far, yet I must emphasise that the last couple of trips where a few of us have used CB radio communication it has been much easier with not having to stop the group periodically to pass on information or inadvertently leave somebody behind for a few minutes when a breakdown occurs, it is especially useful if there is no mobile telephone coverage!

Some of you will remember a lane up on the Marlborough Downs last summer which if we’d had adequate communications would have saved us an hour or more of hassle backing an entire group out, when it could have been just me after determining that the lane was unfit for the rest of the group to follow….

Whilst I’m not saying that fitting a CB radio should be compulsory, I’m just asking if you would consider fitting one to help us all enhance our greenlaning experience with better communication.

Written by 

Former Greenlanes Officer for the club and now the Dorset GLASS Rep. A bit of a self confessed Land Rover nut and was enjoying some comfort in my (No7) steed, a 2002 P38 DHSE until the problems kicked in! I had a brief (and disastrous) fling with a Japanese make in the quest for reliability before returning to Land Rover with my current steed, a 300tdi Defender 90. I've had two 3.9 V8 Discoverys, a 4.0 V8 P38, a 300tdi Discovery (bloody awful), a genuine factory V8 90 CSW and a TD5 Discovery. I used to do all the modifying stuff but don't bother now as to be honest a Land Rover is really good enough as is and big tyres and a winch are really only necessary at a trial or a pay and play - if you require them for greenlaning then you really shouldn't driving the lanes. I've been a member on an internet forum for years, made some very good friends in the process and have organised (with the help of others) three large and successful trips in both Dorset and Wiltshire for members and been involved advising others on the forum to help them plan trips in their areas. The first one was in 2008 and was known as the 'Chip Run' and it ran across Dorset from North to South finishing at West Bay for fish and chips, it took three months to plan and required a dedicated approach from me and the fantastic team that worked together to make it work so successfully. A few months later we put together a trip on Salisbury Plain solely for 'Newbies' which had to planned sympathetically to allow for people who attended with zero experience. The last one in October 2012 ran east - west across Dorset and was six months in the making. It was literally planned to the 'N'th degree with wet weather contingencies in place to prevent any vulnerable track from being damaged. I am a firm believer in the three 'R's - Responsible Rural Recreation, I do not tolerate the cowboy element that blight our hobby. The 'Great Dorset Chippy Run Part Deux' went exceedingly well, did no damage to the routes and raised £1300 for charity in the process.

7 thoughts on “The Benefits Of Communication Whilst Green Roading.”

  1. Perhaps a brief presentation on what is involved could be given at the next Club Night?

  2. Would someone like to collect the club radios from me? There are 2 + my own one. Give them a go & see how they are with a view to buy if they work ok?

    1. Hi Rog, signed up for the next GL run and am not too far away so could pick up at a convenient time before then. Assume these are hand helds not vehicle mounted? Are they CB or PMR?

    1. 10th May (week on Sun) so some tme this / next week. Will ring you over the weekend.

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