Trail Grading - What dit really means





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  1. #1
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    Default Trail Grading - What dit really means

    Hi Guys,

    This discussion has been on the forum more than once and still it seems that trails and obstacles are graded by looking at them and thinking whether you have the gutts to do it rather than whether your vehicle will be able to do them. It is fact that our vehicles in 99% of occasions are more up to the task than we are. There are however the selected few that precisely know the vehicle limitations and will tackle obstacles that some will never think off attempting, this comes with practice and more than one boo boo.

    Sakkie, Engel, Willie etc are some of these guys that has no fear of breaking a vehicle and therefore reaches the stage of car limit easily. For those with their 4x4s being a daily drive these attempts will not be made, it is not really a scared factor in themselves but for the car, not knowing what the limitations are, due to not making some big mistakes down the line.

    You will see Sakkie tackle something and think wow, he is awesome, or his car is awesome, no it's not that. It is that he, in the past, have made enough blunders to know when the car will not make a section or not, he has faith in his ability to trust the car. Make sense?

    Anyway, I have when looking at forum members stated certain grading, this grading was never intended for the likes of a Sakkie or Herman, and thus it remains important for all Forum members to actually start using the same grading. This will make you understand exactly what is lying ahead and where your CAR limitations are.

    So here is a system that I found that sums it up nicely:

    0. Very Easy (2WD - Polo)


    The road is fully paved and in good condition. Most passenger cars will have no trouble at all. Such roads were typically once unpaved trails that have been paved-over with no other improvements, typically having steep grades and tight turns. A rating of 0.5 indicates that there are high berms (perhaps old erosion control berms that have been paved-over), large pot holes or other obstacles that may require higher clearance than some passenger cars.

    1. Very Easy (2WD - Polo)


    The road is unpaved but well-maintained with an all-weather surface (such as decomposed granite, gravel or recycled tarmac). Passenger cars should have no problem unless there is unrepaired damage. A rating of 1.5 means the road may be heavily washboarded or otherwise less-well maintained but still easily passable with a 2WD low clearance vehicle.

    2. Easy (2WD - Cross Over, SUV, Bakkie etc)


    The road is passable with a 2WD high clearance vehicle. Probably not passable with a passenger car due to deep ruts or high erosion control berms. A rating of 2.5 means the road is probably passable with 2WD but you may want to think twice without 4WD.

    3. Moderate (4WD - Cross Over, SUV, Bakkie etc)


    A high clearance 4WD vehicle is probably required but a 4WD crossover should be adequate. 3.5 is approaching the jeeps-only range. A skilled driver may make it in a 4WD crossover but you may want to leave this one to the real jeeps and modifieds.

    4. Difficult (4WD - Jeeps, Modified SUV, Modified Bakkies etc)


    Jeeps, modifieds or better only. High clearance, short wheel base, off-road tires and low range are probably required. The modified 4x4s with double lockers and raised suspensions should also be able to make this. Protection is essential. 4.5 is heading into the heavily modified area and enough protection is key. Modifieds without a traction aid, like double lockers, TRC etc should rather stay clear.

    5. Extreme (4WD - Extreme Jeeps, Rock Crawl Pipe Cars)


    Custom extreme terrain vehicles only. Even highly modified jeeps won't make it. If you have a extreme modified Jeep you may attempt this too but the going will be extremely tough for even the most experienced driver. 5.5 is simply a no go area if you dont have a specially built extreme vehicle (pipe car) for this.


    So with all of this in mind now, think again when stating that you this past weekend made it halfway up a grade 5 with your Hilux (enter any car of similar sorts here) that has bigger tyres and protection.
    Last edited by Eurard; 2013/10/25 at 01:36 PM.

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    There is a larger breakdown of trails with specific conditions that will be experienced and this system uses a 10 point rating system, not to be confused with grading.

    I especially like the use of the pictures here. We dont use this system or I havent seen it here, but this would have been a cool system to integrate with the 5 point grading system in the OP.

    Easy Trails



    Easy (1)

    Easy Graded dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Gentle grades. 2WD under all conditions except snow. No width problems, two vehicles wide.

    Easy (2)

    Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

    Easy (3)

    Dirt road. Rutted, washes, or gulches. Water crossings up to 6" depth. Passable mud. Grades up to 10 degrees. Small rocks or holes. 4WD recommended but 2WD possible under good conditions and with adequate ground clearance and skill. No width problems for any normal vehicle. Vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

    Easy (4)

    Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

    Moderate Trails



    Moderate (5)

    Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12" and water crossings up to 12" with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6" holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.

    Moderate (6)

    Quite rocky or deep ruts. Rocks to 12" and frequent. Water crossings may exceed hub depth with strong currents. Shelves to 6". Mud may require checking before proceeding. Moderate grades to 20 degrees. Sidehill may approach 30 degrees. 4WD necessary and second attempts may be required with stock vehicles. Caution may be required with wider vehicles.

    Moderate (7)

    Rocks frequent and large, 12" and may exceed hub height. Holes frequent or deep (12"). Shelves to 9". Mud 8" deep and may be present on uphill sections. Grades to 25 degrees and sidehill to 30 degrees. Water crossings to 18" and may have strong currents. 1-1/2 vehicles wide. 4WD required. Driver experience helpful.

    Difficult Trails



    Difficult 8

    Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12". Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30" in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.

    Difficult (9)

    Severe rock over 15". Frequent deep holes over 15". Shelves over 15". Mud bog conditions (long, deep, no form bottom). Over 30" water crossings with strong currents. Steep grades over 30 degrees. Sidehill over 30 degrees. May not be passable by stock vehicles. Experience essential. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, rollover probable. Extreme caution required.

    Extreme Trails



    Extreme (10)

    Severe conditions. Extreme caution recommended. Impassable by stock vehicles. Winching required. Trail building necessary. May be impassable. Impassable under anything but ideal conditions. Vehicle damage probable. Personal injury possible. Extreme caution necessary.




    This could mean that EG, an obstacle can be graded and rated as:

    3 Provinces Trail:

    (Grade 3 - )

    Hells Hoogte Obstacle:

    (Rating 8 - )


    I would also believe tha the 10 point system basically just refelects the 5 point system (With more detail attached which can be used for individual obstacles within a graded trail). This makes it easy to grade the entire trail at lower level than just that one obstacle.

    So many times you hear, it is a terror trail, but there is only one or two terror obstacles the rest of the trail is of much lower grade.

    What do you guys think, is the easily understandable? I quite like this.
    Last edited by Eurard; 2013/10/25 at 02:04 PM.

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    Default

    thank you for the informative post
    Vaughan

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    Another addition could be to grade the drivers abilities.

    Never even put my bakkie in 4x4
    Did a few trails
    Weekend warrior
    Attended formal training
    Been in the game for years
    Looking for a place to challenge me
    2011 Jimny Zuk-Zilla
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurard View Post
    Die groot meerderheid ry standaard voertuie, dan die met ligte modifikasies soos bande ens, en dan die modifieds, wat lifts, lockers ens by het.

    As Andre Rhino gedoen het met n Standaard voertuig wil ek dit graag sien, daai is een hectic hindernis, net die steps alleen gee n man slapelose nagte.

    Rhino is vir n rede toe gemaak vir die publiek.
    Hier is van die fotos waar Andre Rhino gery het:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebla View Post
    Hier is van die fotos waar Andre Rhino gery het:

    Dai lyk nou lekker!!
    👍😎


    The Original "TOYOTA Eater"

    Gaan groot of gaan huis toe!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebla View Post

    Hier is van die fotos waar Andre Rhino gery het:
    Lekker man. Wanneer was dit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurard View Post
    There is a larger breakdown of trails with specific conditions that will be experienced and this system uses a 10 point rating system, not to be confused with grading.

    I especially like the use of the pictures here. We dont use this system or I havent seen it here, but this would have been a cool system to integrate with the 5 point grading system in the OP.

    Easy Trails



    Easy (1)

    Easy Graded dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Gentle grades. 2WD under all conditions except snow. No width problems, two vehicles wide.

    Easy (2)

    Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

    Easy (3)

    Dirt road. Rutted, washes, or gulches. Water crossings up to 6" depth. Passable mud. Grades up to 10 degrees. Small rocks or holes. 4WD recommended but 2WD possible under good conditions and with adequate ground clearance and skill. No width problems for any normal vehicle. Vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

    Easy (4)

    Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves but rocks to 9". Water crossings usually less than hub deep. Passable mud. Grades moderate, up to 15 degrees. Side hill moderate up to 15 degrees. 4WD under most conditions. No width problems, vehicle passing spots frequently available if less than two vehicles wide.

    Moderate Trails



    Moderate (5)

    Rutted and/or rocky road. No shelves. Rocks up to 12" and water crossings up to 12" with possible currents. Passable mud. Moderate grades to 15 degrees. 6" holes. Side hill to 20 degrees. 4WD required. No width problems.

    Moderate (6)

    Quite rocky or deep ruts. Rocks to 12" and frequent. Water crossings may exceed hub depth with strong currents. Shelves to 6". Mud may require checking before proceeding. Moderate grades to 20 degrees. Sidehill may approach 30 degrees. 4WD necessary and second attempts may be required with stock vehicles. Caution may be required with wider vehicles.

    Moderate (7)

    Rocks frequent and large, 12" and may exceed hub height. Holes frequent or deep (12"). Shelves to 9". Mud 8" deep and may be present on uphill sections. Grades to 25 degrees and sidehill to 30 degrees. Water crossings to 18" and may have strong currents. 1-1/2 vehicles wide. 4WD required. Driver experience helpful.

    Difficult Trails



    Difficult 8

    Heavy rock and/or severe ruts. Rocks exceeding hub height frequent. Shelves to 12". Deep mud or uphill mud sections. Steep grades to 25 degrees and can be loose or rocky. Water crossings may exceed 30" in depth. Side hill to 30 degrees. One vehicle wide. Body damage possible. Experience needed. Vehicle Modifications helpful.

    Difficult (9)

    Severe rock over 15". Frequent deep holes over 15". Shelves over 15". Mud bog conditions (long, deep, no form bottom). Over 30" water crossings with strong currents. Steep grades over 30 degrees. Sidehill over 30 degrees. May not be passable by stock vehicles. Experience essential. Body damage, mechanical breakdown, rollover probable. Extreme caution required.

    Extreme Trails



    Extreme (10)

    Severe conditions. Extreme caution recommended. Impassable by stock vehicles. Winching required. Trail building necessary. May be impassable. Impassable under anything but ideal conditions. Vehicle damage probable. Personal injury possible. Extreme caution necessary.




    This could mean that EG, an obstacle can be graded and rated as:

    3 Provinces Trail:

    (Grade 3 - )

    Hells Hoogte Obstacle:

    (Rating 8 - )


    I would also believe tha the 10 point system basically just refelects the 5 point system (With more detail attached which can be used for individual obstacles within a graded trail). This makes it easy to grade the entire trail at lower level than just that one obstacle.

    So many times you hear, it is a terror trail, but there is only one or two terror obstacles the rest of the trail is of much lower grade.

    What do you guys think, is the easily understandable? I quite like this.
    This is quite a good idea .


    ORA
    -------------------------
    Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurard View Post
    So with all of this in mind now, think again when stating that you this past weekend made it halfway up a grade 5 with your Hilux (enter any car of similar sorts here) that has bigger tyres and protection.
    So, what Manny claims he can do in his Tuna?
    IFS is like a swambo, soft, sexy and expensive!

    Apparently I need to make the airplane noises like mommy does when I try to spoon feed you the info..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurard View Post
    Lekker man. Wanneer was dit?
    Ek kan nie presiese datum onthou nie, maar dit was erins in die tweede helfte van 2008.

    Andre wou daarna weer Rhino ry maar hulle het hom toe gemaak...
    4x4 Groete
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    Every few years some relative rookie comes along and waffles about trail grading and suggesting "upgrades" to it.
    There is a very basic system in place that works well. If it's not broken don't fix it.(emphasive on RELATIVE, no offense intended and not necessarily directed at the esteemed OP , seen it several time and also in the printed media)
    And if your 4x4 doesn't fit perfectly into the grading system then make allowance for that in your mental reckoning rather than trying to change the system.

    If there should be any change there should be the existing system for old hands and purists, and then a second system introduced that the armchair okes can fiddle with and make as complicated/comprehensive as they like. Out in Africa they just call it "the road"
    It reminds me of the photography threads
    Real 4x4ers don't fart around with grading system changes


    IMcurmudgeonO
    Last edited by Spike; 2014/01/11 at 11:03 AM. Reason: added some polite stuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebla View Post

    Ek kan nie presiese datum onthou nie, maar dit was erins in die tweede helfte van 2008.

    Andre wou daarna weer Rhino ry maar hulle het hom toe gemaak...
    So gedink. Ek praat van Rhino soos hy nou lyk. Trust me dis nie dielfde heuwel as in daai fotos nie. Gaan kyk hoe lyk hy nou.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spike View Post
    Every few years some relative rookie comes along and waffles about trail grading and suggesting "upgrades" to it.
    There is a very basic system in place that works well. If it's not broken don't fix it.(emphasive on RELATIVE, no offense intended and not necessarily directed at the esteemed OP , seen it several time and also in the printed media)
    And if your 4x4 doesn't fit perfectly into the grading system then make allowance for that in your mental reckoning rather than trying to change the system.

    If there should be any change there should be the existing system for old hands and purists, and then a second system introduced that the armchair okes can fiddle with and make as complicated/comprehensive as they like. Out in Africa they just call it "the road"
    It reminds me of the photography threads
    Real 4x4ers don't fart around with grading system changes

    IMcurmudgeonO
    Not saying the current system doesnt work. The application sucks at some places.

    A new broom wipes clean.

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    Baie goeie inligting, dankie.

    Kan nie sien dat ek iets hoer as 4 sal probeer nie. Sal graag 3 wil doen maar tot nou basies net 2.0 en 2.5.
    Wayne Barker


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    Quote Originally Posted by waynebarker View Post
    Baie goeie inligting, dankie.

    Kan nie sien dat ek iets hoer as 4 sal probeer nie. Sal graag 3 wil doen maar tot nou basies net 2.0 en 2.5.
    GROOT probleem is dat n 2,5 uitwas tot n 3 ... dan spin n paar manne oor kruis gate .... dan nog meer reen skade ... probeer DAN daai graad 2,5 op n NAT dag en jy het 4+ !!


    die konsep is goed. probleem is dat min trails onderhou word, en dat dit geleidelik al moeiliker word ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisF View Post

    GROOT probleem is dat n 2,5 uitwas tot n 3 ... dan spin n paar manne oor kruis gate .... dan nog meer reen skade ... probeer DAN daai graad 2,5 op n NAT dag en jy het 4+ !!

    die konsep is goed. probleem is dat min trails onderhou word, en dat dit geleidelik al moeiliker word ....
    Ahaaaa we are getting somewhere.

    Or flipside of the coin. Trail owner drives a polo and cant go into the obstacle and sommer rates it a 5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eurard View Post
    Ahaaaa we are getting somewhere.

    Or flipside of the coin. Trail owner drives a polo and cant go into the obstacle and sommer rates it a 5.
    WORSE - you get to Bojaankop and speak to the plaas tannie ....

    JA boetie, daai wa sal MAKLIK daar uit ry ! Ons doen dit elke dag met die plaas bakkie ....



    She did NOT tell me the "plaas bakkie" was a Cruiser ...

    Still dont know how I managed all those washed out cross axles without damaging the Jimny !!



    moral of the story .... the trail rating may have some value to it ... just BEWARE the plaas tannie !!!!!!!!

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    Is daar n manier wat beginners soos ek kan sien watse grading dit werklik is besides die info hierbo op paper, Soos julle al gese het n ou se hy het n 4 gedoen maar dit is eintlik n 3 of plekke se hulle roete is n 3 - 5 so dat dit goed kan klink as n iemand dit wil doen maar dan is die nie eerste naby dit nie.

    Voorbeeld: Ek wil nie weg gewys word met n 4x2 + diff lock van n 3.5 (soos hulle sÍ) maar dan is dit eintlik n 2.5 wat ek dalk kon gedoen het.
    Eldon

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    Alles hang van ondervinding af
    Wat vir jou miskien na n 5 lyk sal weer vir iemand met ondervinding soos n plaaspad wees. Baie moeilik om by n antwoord vir jou uit te kom

    Ryno Black
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