Membership, Training and Trips: FAQ
Membership, Training and Trips: FAQ
What period does my membership fee cover?
The club membership year is for 1 calendar year from your joining date.
What is the all-up cost in the first year?
The joining fee is $230. The membership fee is $100 per year. Totalling $330 for the first year and $100 each year thereafter.
Why is the Joining Fee so high?
The initial Joining Fee includes an administrative cost to offset the expenses incurred by the club in providing training. All member’s are expected to complete the Basic Driver Training which is a full 2 day course involving in-car instruction (on a one-on-one basis where/if possible). Our annual fee is comparable to other 4WD Clubs, and the Joining Fee is not inconsistent with the larger clubs.
What Training does the club provide?
Our Club’s Basic Driver Training Course is conducted by our team of instructors led by our Chief Instructor. For safety’s sake, participation as a driver on Grades 3 and above trips requires the successful completion of this course which meets our minimum mandatory requirements for a Grade 3 trip. The club offers additional driver training courses such as Sand Driving, River Crossing, Basic and Intermediate Winching, and Intermediate Driving.
Membership of the Club entitles you and your partner to attend each of these courses, however you must have been a member of the club for over 12 months to participate in the additional driver training courses.
Additional ancillary courses provided by or through the club include Trip Leader Training, GPS and Electronic Mapping, Camper Trailer Towing, First Aid, and Chainsaw Awareness.
Membership of the Club entitles you and your partner to attend these courses also (no time requirement, however training provided by external organisations may incur a fee).
I have been a member in the past, am I entitled to a discount on the Joining Fee
Previous members are not required to pay a joining fee. Previous members can re-join the club at any time by paying their annual membership fee of $100.
I’ve been driving for years. Why should I have to undertake driver training?
For the sake of safety, all members on a club trip need to be well versed in the correct techniques for stopping and recovering progress on the very steep fire trails which are commonly encountered on club trips. Our basic driver training course also give you an understanding of how your 4WD works, and how to drive it appropriately in a variety of difficult track conditions, and how you can safely assist other trip participants who may find themselves in difficulty. Successful completion of the course enables Trip Leaders to have confidence that you have achieved club standards and they can welcome you on Grade 3 trips.
Are the club’s training courses formally assessed? Do I get a qualification?
There is no formal qualification. All participants in the club’s Basic Driver Training course are informally assessed during the course, and feedback given where necessary. Self-assessment is encouraged and inevitable as your experience on club trips grows. Contact the club’s Education Coordinator for more information.
When can I do the Basic Driver Training course?
Basic Driver Training Courses are generally run 4 times per year. Once your Membership Application has been accepted, you should look on the website or contact the club’s Education Coordinator for the date of the next-available training course.
Prior to nominating for Training you should undertake a Vehicle and Recovery Gear Evaluation (if you have not already undertaken one with the Club). These are held every second Tuesday of the month and require you to nominate on the website.
Why do I need a Vehicle Evaluation?
In order for us to know about your vehicle set up, and your recovery equipment, we undertake vehicle and recovery gear evaluations for new club members as soon as possible after joining. This helps us, and you, to ensure that your vehicle and recovery equipment meet the club’s minimum standards and gives the Driver Training Unit and Trip Leaders the confidence that you are ready to participate in club events.
At the vehicle evaluation we will look at your vehicle and recovery gear, and possibly make some suggestions to ensure that you and your vehicle are as prepared as possible. This is most important if you are intending on nominating for our basic driver training course and participating in Grade 3 trips (and above). If you have not already purchased equipment, it is recommended that you take the opportunity to discuss options with the Instructor, and with other members, prior to purchase.
Can my partner do the course also?
Yes, your partner is also encouraged to do the Basic Driver Training course. However, they must become a Full Member of the club (for the year they complete the course) by paying the $100 full annual membership fee (they are not required to pay the joining fee). Once a full member has completed the Basic Driver Training course, any of the other courses are open for you to complete, however both partners cannot complete any of the driving based courses at the same time (unless each has their own vehicle). Only one driver per vehicle can be instructed during a driver training course.
Club Members (either full or family member) can attend non-driving courses together as a couple.
Can I repeat a training course?
Yes, as long as there is a spare place available on that course. Priority will be given to members seeking to do a course for the first time.
What sort of trips does the club run?
The most popular trips are weekend camping trips during the warmer months, and day trips during winter. However, at various times you will find our activities covering the full range of the 4WD spectrum, including day trips, weekend and long weekend trips, and longer remote area expeditions. Several members are involved in 4WD competition events. There are also a number of members who arrange mid-week trips.
How are club trips advertised?
Where possible, trips are publicised on our website, in our e-magazine “Southern Trails”, announced at a club monthly meeting, and advertised by an email to all members. A list of current Tips and Events is available here.
How do I book for a club trip?
Enrolment on a trip is on a first-come, first served basis following the publication of the trip. The preferred and quickest way to enrol on a trip is using the website. Alternatively, ring the trip leader at the earliest opportunity. Please do not enrol unless you are sure that you will be able to participate in the trip. If you have to cancel, please withdraw on the website or ring or email the trip leader as soon as possible so that the place can be offered to another member on the wait list. Enrolments on the website are subject to final approval by the trip leader.
More information can be found here.
Are club trips graded to indicate the level of difficulty likely to be encountered?
Yes. All trips are graded. The full Trip Grading document is available here.
- Grade l Trips are tar roads or very easy gravel or clay topped type dirt roads. Some high range 4 wheel driving may be required and no low range driving. The trip will usually consist of a scenic tour or a trip to camp.
- Grade 2 Trips are a easy gravel or dirt roads that may include some corrugations and small obstacles. High range 4 wheel driving likely and some easy low range driving possible.
- Grade 3 Trips are easy to moderate off-road tracks which may include bush tracks and riverbeds, wet clay, and grass. Some moderate water crossings. Trips may require cautious driving. A good level of 4WD skills are needed, as well as successful completion of the Basic Driver Training course.
- Grade 4 Trips are moderate to difficult terrain. Conditions are likely to include rocky creek and riverbeds, bush tracks, wet clay and grass, or long sand driving. May also include tracks with deteriorating surfaces, ruts, rocky outcrops, moderate staircases and rock ledges, or muddy sections (possible cross axle conditions). You may also encounter challenging banks and long hill ascents and descents, deep water crossing with challenging entry and exit points.
- Grade 5 Trips are very difficult 4WD trips with some winching and/or vehicle recovery probable. High level of 4WD skills needed. Terrain will be challenging and very difficult, including steep ascents and descents, significant ruts, rock ledges and staircases can be expected.
- Grade 6 Trips are extremely difficult 4WD trips. Participants will need to be experienced at travelling over difficult terrain, possesses very technical 4 wheel driving skills, and must have completed the Club’s intermediate winching and recovery course. Winching and/or vehicle recovery is highly possible. Grade 6 trips will include very steep banks and hills, severe rock ledges and staircases can be expected and may also include deep water crossings with degraded or non-existent entry and exit points. Participants must all have their own recovery gear.