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Discussion Starter #21
As suggested in another thread where this was discussed, your best bet would be to go to Moab for two or three days just prior to attending the Summit. There are always plenty of forum folk visiting the Moab area before and after the Summit.

For example, if you drive out on Sat and Sun you can visit Moab on Mon, Tues, and Wed morning. On Wed afternoon you head over to Ouray/the Summit for Wed night festivities and trail runs on Thur, Fri and Sat. If you leave early afternoon on Sat you can be home by late Sunday and ready to go back to work for "the Man" on Monday morning. If you take that Monday off of work as well you can stick around the Summit Sat night for the raffle and then you have all day Sun and Mon to get home which is less of a rush. You can pack a lot of good wheeling into the week if done like this.
Right now we may be able to do a day or two before Summit. It looks like we might get to Ouray Monday. I do not want to rush Moab not sure when I might be able to get out that way again.
 

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Getting back to the original question on a safety inspection, no, there was none in 2009, but I think there should be. TLCA events take it seriously so why not the Summit? Yes our vehicles are quite new but have you considered that someone may have bad damage, like a cut sidewall, and not even know it. Or how about hair-brained mods? I would hope that trail leaders would do a brief lookover of rigs in their care, if for no other reason than limiting their liability and avoiding possible trouble on the trail. I did last year, and asked drivers about their experience. I also talked about trail safety and tips on the CB while moving.

The most basic stuff like first-aid kit and fire extinguisher should be required. Items for rescue, communication (CB or Ham) should be carried but left optional. Carrying food and water makes sence as there is always the possibility of getting seperated from the group and having to spend the night for whatever reason. Raingear and warm clothes should bve carried for same situation. Leave the flip-flops and sandals in camp, wearring sturdy hiking boots would be smart, especially if a rescue situation develops. I have seen folks messing with winch cables, snatch blocks, stacking big rocks, etc, wearing sandals. Oh man, is that asking for trouble. Watched a gal climbing around on wet slick rock at CM09 in flip-flops. We all wanted to ask her what part of SLICK do you not understand.

Admittably most of this does not apply to the easier trails around Ouray, but it could easily with abrupt changes in weather, breakdowns, people out on their own. Like the old BSA motto; BE PREPARED. I would add use some common sence too.

Hope anyone attending their first Summit has a grand time!

Ace
 

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Catalyst
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This is not meant to be 'contrary', though it may sound like it.....I'm just imagining my self sitting around a campfire :cheers: right now, chatting about it with everyone...

...long list of good suggestions...
We should gather them all, and make them available online for anyone that wants to go the 'extra mile' with their own preparedness. Someone could even do a session about this kind of stuff at the Summit (maybe you, Ace:clap:).

...Like the old BSA motto; BE PREPARED.
Yep, but that's a personal choice, for the most part.
I am a Boy Scout (once = always), and that one, simple phrase has served me (and others around me because of my preparedness) well for years (OK, decades). So, I totally agree. Do whatever is reasonably possible and practical for you within your means to be prepared for whatever may come about.

...I would add use some common sence too.
In light of what has already been discussed (here in this thread and elsewhere), I actually think this is probably the only item that should be required for Summit participation. Unfortunately, it's also a very, highly subjective item; what is common to some is not necessarily to others.

If this were an actual expedition of some sort, where we'd be out on the trail for days at a time, I think more of an 'official', hard-coded, required checklist would be very appropriate and even necessary.


However, with all of the traffic going all over the place in that area all day long that time of year, unless you're out there by your self at night (the rule should be don't do that), you will never be more than an hour away from other humans, even if you have to walk.

So, other than the usual level of preparedness that most adults will already be up to for a road trip (maybe there should indeed be some kind of online training course for this, if nothing else), I don't think 'requirements' actually fit with the intent of the event.

Organizers, please step in and correct me if you want, but for this event, I just don't see it.
 

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Good post Ace. I agree there should be some sort of Inspection of rigs. A minimum to me would be a brake check including park brake, tires and fluid leakage. some of these fJ's are going on 4 years old and 60k+ is not a uncommon amout of miles to have racked up. Instead of doing a pre-trail run inspection (other than a quick tire check) why not have a inspection @ the same time your registering for the summit. If your FJ passes you them get the official windshield sticker and if their is a problem you would have time to fix the problem. I bet there would even be people willing to help out someone if needed, it's that kind of event. We don't need someone going over the edge on Black Bear because thier brakes failed, that would really wreck(no pun intended, ok maybe alittle) the event for me, although it would make for some intresting posts on the forum.

Depending on someone else for your emergency needs is not a very good strategy for preparedness, maybe the summit is not the most critical event for personal preparedness but what about your next event/camping trip/4x4 run?
 

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Catalyst
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Good post Ace. I agree there should be some sort of Inspection of rigs. A minimum to me would be a brake check including park brake, tires and fluid leakage. some of these fJ's are going on 4 years old and 60k+ is not a uncommon amout of miles to have racked up. Instead of doing a pre-trail run inspection (other than a quick tire check) why not have a inspection @ the same time your registering for the summit. If your FJ passes you them get the official windshield sticker and if their is a problem you would have time to fix the problem. I bet there would even be people willing to help out someone if needed, it's that kind of event. We don't need someone going over the edge on Black Bear because thier brakes failed, that would really wreck(no pun intended, ok maybe alittle) the event for me, although it would make for some intresting posts on the forum.

Depending on someone else for your emergency needs is not a very good strategy for preparedness, maybe the summit is not the most critical event for personal preparedness but what about your next event/camping trip/4x4 run?
To be clear, I'm all for being more careful.
However...
My Sandi has over 55k miles, and no break issues or anything (inspected at every 5k oil change) .....certainly nothing wrong that could be detected by whatever level of inspection at the Summit that we could drum up by asking for it here.

Sorry....I know I probably sound like a real @$$ right about now, but I'm really not trying to be 'against' the idea of an inspection (I actually like the idea, personally....at least in some sense). I just don't think it pays off, relative to how much effort it would take to do it ......not even from my perspective, personally ....I'm just thinking about all that already goes into this Event from the perspective of the organizers.

I may very well be proven wrong ....they may indeed end up incorporating some kind of serious inspection into the mix (which is what it would take to know whether or not someone's breaks would be good enough to keep them from going over the edge on Black Bear Pass, etc).

If so, then I'm all for it (I might even be willing to pay more for registration, if it were proven that the extra amount would actually, somehow go towards this kind of inspection) ....I have nothing to benefit from not having one .....I just don't see that the benefits outweigh the costs.

We already sign waivers, etc. So, I'm not sure how much the level of seriousness of an inspection that you're talking about would benefit the organizers.

Would it benefit the participants? Sure. However, then why not make the inspection be a pre-trip thing that they have to get checked off by a reputable Toyota dealership prior to even making the Journey to Ouray, instead of trying to jam all of that into Wednesday somehow (which there would never be time for)?

OK....something has to give.....maybe that's it.....either there must be at least one extra day added to the Summit for inspections (and probably a little extra money in the registration fee), or there is some kind of requirement that the participant's vehicle (verified by VIN with a dealer) be inspected (for whatever issues the organizers deam necessary) prior to the Summit.......the 'proof' (whatever that would be....I don't know....maybe that's impossible) being handed to the Event coordinators in order to qualify for participation in the Event on-site once they arrive in Ouray.





trust me, I'm not against the idea of an inspection....I'm just struggling with how to make it feasible


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ocr14a, I dont think you are sounding like a @$$, but might be making it harder than it has to be. I perform every morning a pre trip inspection on my school bus, it takes approx. 10 minutes and includes fluid levels check, tires, electrical system, belts/hoses, under the bus stuff like fluid leakage, exhaust and if anything is hanging down and an air brake test. I do this in the dark and lately in the snow and it is usally 20 to -5 degrees out. Actually I'am surprised the Insurance Co. for the summit doesn't require some sort of a inspection.

You are like me, I service my FJ every 5k and I check everything on it from top to bottom. So for me I don't need a pre-summit inspection of my FJ but if they had one I would not mind it.
 

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Yep, I definitely see your point, and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, they come up with.

I'm all for it :rocker:
 

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Really, the most important thing here that has been pointed out are the brakes . . . especially on switchbacks. I'm not sure the best way to inspect/verify that a person's brakes will work when intended to (other than checking for fluid level, leaks, and verifying they work at the time of inspection) but the other items are quick and easy to check.

A simple safety inspection verifying road-worthiness (not even as thorough as what DAGORED described) is understandable but inspecting for "expedition level preparedness" is just not necessary for these trails.
 

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Catalyst
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Indeed.
So, if there is going to be an inspection, I would think these are some of the considerations...

Simplicity
It should simply be a matter checking for certain, obvious problems (like the things already mentioned; fluid levels, leaks, etc). I don't see how they can check the breaks, other than when the rig pulls up to the inspection station ....i.e. can they stop it between the cones?, etc.

Volunteers
There's no way the organizers will be able to do this without volunteers.
I'd be willing to put in a couple hours at this if the other folks on this thread pushing for an inspection are going to volunteer.

Liability
I'm no lawyer, but I think the inspection should probably be optional (not grounds for participation in the Event), and should not be considered as though it is certifying anything about the vehicle. Maybe there's a way that it can be required and keep the pressure off of the organizers though, I don't know.


Below are the thoughts that were starting to bloom in my mind when I thought you guys were talking about doing a real inspection; one in which they actually check the breaks to see their wear level ,etc.

I now sense that this is not where you want to go,
but just for kicks...

equipment
floor jacks, jack stands, compressor, air tools, other (portable bay-lift)?

time
I know I'm a wimpy guy and many of you can do a wheel swap in five minutes or whatever, but each time I do my seasonal wheel swap (spring and fall), it basically takes me about an hour (no power tools).

There's bringing the alternate set of wheels/tires up from the basement, arranging them in the garage, getting out the floor jack, jack stands and the tools, driving the Kia out of the garage so I can repark the FJ in the middle, place jack and stands, remove/replace 1st wheel/tire, move jack/stands, remove/replace 2nd wheel/tire, move jack/stands to other side of FJ, remove/replace 3rd wheel/tire, move jack/stands, remove/replace 4th wheel/tire, put wheels/tires down in basement, repark FJ on it's own side of garage, pull Kia back into its spot, clean up. Yep, this whole thing takes me about an hour.

With teams working on it though (and without all of the basement and Kia stuff to do), and using air tools (I don't have any of that), I think we could do one vehicle in 15 minutes; this includes removing all wheels and inspecting the breaks, checking for leaks, etc.

If this is ~accurate estimation, and if we have 200 vehicles (there were more than 200 vehicles entered for both the 2008 and 2009 Summits), that's 3,000 minutes (or 50 hours).

So, if we wanted to do this all in about 5 hours, we'd need ten teams (not sure how many you'd think you'd want on each team) working on it constantly that whole time. If you want it done quicker, get more teams.

Since registration is open all day long on Wednesday (and on into the Event as far as I know), it couldn't happen all in that period of time anyway. So, there'd have to be teams on-call.


Of course, the simpler version (without the break check that requires jacks, air tools, etc) would take far less time (probably 2-3 minutes at most).

Verification
If the inspection were going to be mandatory, then they'd probably want to use some kind of registered ticketing system. It seems too impractical to have the entrants drive the FJ right up to the registration booth (too small of an area, unless they're going to create some kind of special area for it).

So, they would have officials that would go out to the vehicle with the owner to do the inspection, once complete, they would hand the FJ owner a ticket with a number on it. When the FJ owner shows up at the registration booth, they present the ticket and the registration official checks off that ticket's number in the database (on a sheet of paper, if need be) to be sure no one else could use the same ticket/number again.

The officials then place the vehicle's VIN into the 'OK-to-Trail-Run database', and hand the FJ owner a sticker (the VIN, or some other identifier would be necessary to make sure that someone didn't just take the sticker and give it to someone else).

The FJ owner places the sticker in the appropriate place on their vehicle. Later, at trail run time, the leaders of the trail runs check to verify that each participating vehicle has the sticker - and that their vehicle's VIN (or whatever other identifier the organizers landed on) is in the 'OK-to-Trail-Run database' before being allowed to join in on the trail run.
 

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My personal opinion is that a mandatory safety inspection would be a monumental waste of time and energy, not to mention the possibility for confrontation should someone doing an inspection tell a paid participant that he/she couldn't participate in an organized trail run, even though they had paid and were signed up for it. Also, if safety inspections were mandatory, and a participant passed the inspection but had a catastrophic failure while out on the trail in spite of said inspection, what would the liability issues be even if a waiver had been signed (inasmuch as someone had warranted that the vehicle was safe for the run)? If there were some experts in off-road vehicle safety that wanted to volunteer their time for optional safety inspections for those that wanted one, I see nothing but positives for that. If there was very serious wheeling on the agenda, then inspections for necessary recovery gear would be in order; however, since serious wheeling is not on the agenda, I see no need for inspections of any kind (well, other than making sure there isn't a 10 year old driving a vehicle in your group).

Jim
 

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Never been to a TLCA event so I don't know what they require/do for inspections. As far as things to check and how deep to go:

Brakes-don't think having to remove wheels is needed, just checking for if the brake pedal goes to the floor, is it mushy feeling, do they stop the vehicle in a reasonable distance and not pulling to one side or the other, does the e brake hold the vehicle from moving. A quick visual check of brake fluid level and condition of brake lines.

Tires-look over the general condition of tires inc spare, check not only the tread depth but also for sidewall cuts, bruises etc.

overall condition of vehicle-I know we are talking about mostly newer vehicles here, but stuff happens out there in the real world. I would guess one of the reason that the TLCA does vehicle inspections is to eliminate potential problems out on the trail that could easily be avoided by checking things over before going on a trail run. It is a drag on the rest of the participants of a trail run when some one breaks down with some thing that could have been dealt with before heading out. I know things break even with proper maintainance and you have to just deal with that, but if a guys muffler falls off because it was held on with bailing wire thats not acceptable to me.

I would be willing to help out in this area of the event, but I'am not certified as a mechanic or inspecter so don't know if thats a issue either.
 

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Catalyst
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My personal opinion is that a mandatory safety inspection would be a monumental waste of time and energy, not to mention the possibility for confrontation should someone doing an inspection tell a paid participant that he/she couldn't participate in an organized trail run, even though they had paid and were signed up for it. Also, if safety inspections were mandatory, and a participant passed the inspection but had a catastrophic failure while out on the trail in spite of said inspection, what would the liability issues be even if a waiver had been signed (inasmuch as someone had warranted that the vehicle was safe for the run)? If there were some experts in off-road vehicle safety that wanted to volunteer their time for optional safety inspections for those that wanted one, I see nothing but positives for that. If there was very serious wheeling on the agenda, then inspections for necessary recovery gear would be in order; however, since serious wheeling is not on the agenda, I see no need for inspections of any kind (well, other than making sure there isn't a 10 year old driving a vehicle in your group).

Jim
Yep, that's what I said....or....at least that's what I meant :p


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As mentioned, Poughkeepsie Gulch is the best trail in the area for those that want more of a real challenge. With Bill's (Athena) help spotting, I got up the wall last year completely stock (not bragging, just stating the fact for anyone wondering with theirs).
That WAS a great run that day! W00t!

My personal opinion is that a mandatory safety inspection would be a monumental waste of time and energy, not to mention the possibility for confrontation should someone doing an inspection tell a paid participant that he/she couldn't participate in an organized trail run, even though they had paid and were signed up for it. Also, if safety inspections were mandatory, and a participant passed the inspection but had a catastrophic failure while out on the trail in spite of said inspection, what would the liability issues be even if a waiver had been signed (inasmuch as someone had warranted that the vehicle was safe for the run)? If there were some experts in off-road vehicle safety that wanted to volunteer their time for optional safety inspections for those that wanted one, I see nothing but positives for that. If there was very serious wheeling on the agenda, then inspections for necessary recovery gear would be in order; however, since serious wheeling is not on the agenda, I see no need for inspections of any kind (well, other than making sure there isn't a 10 year old driving a vehicle in your group).Jim
Sums the whole thing up nicely, IMHO. :)

We (summit folk) take care of our own, and we do it damned well.
 

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Inspect THIS.

:)

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I agree that a mandatory inspection isn't necessary at the Summit. When we lead a trail (at the summit or anywhere else), we ask a few simple basic questions. Usually covering the food/water/sunscreen/gas topics. Other than that, it's a 'wheel at your own risk' event. I think that also extends to one's driving ability. Yes, the trails are 'easy' for seasoned wheelers, but they can be very intimidating for newcomers. I always tell everyone not to do anything they're not comfortable with. ;)
 

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Not looking to beat the truck up. Just need idea of what to look for. I know Moab is sometihng like 150 miles away. Could one do a day trip to Moab? This will be a family trip and will need to drive it home. Hope to see yall on the trails.
x2 on not wanting to beat the truck up and I also am planning this as a family trip (wife and soon to be 4 years old son who LOVES FJs...seeing all these FJs in one location is going to blow his mind!! :rocker: )

My FJ is my first real 4x4 since I was 17 (I am 37 now), so I am looking to ease back into off roading, regain lost experience, meet some new friends, have quality family time and enjoy the beautiful outdoors all while returning home safe and "unscathed" :bigthumb: .....so, I guess this would be a good place to start?

Also, I was wondering if anyone from North Carolina heading out this year?

:cheers:
 

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Never been to a TLCA event so I don't know what they require/do for inspections. As far as things to check and how deep to go:

Brakes-don't think having to remove wheels is needed, just checking for if the brake pedal goes to the floor, is it mushy feeling, do they stop the vehicle in a reasonable distance and not pulling to one side or the other, does the e brake hold the vehicle from moving. A quick visual check of brake fluid level and condition of brake lines.

Tires-look over the general condition of tires inc spare, check not only the tread depth but also for sidewall cuts, bruises etc.

overall condition of vehicle-I know we are talking about mostly newer vehicles here, but stuff happens out there in the real world. I would guess one of the reason that the TLCA does vehicle inspections is to eliminate potential problems out on the trail that could easily be avoided by checking things over before going on a trail run. It is a drag on the rest of the participants of a trail run when some one breaks down with some thing that could have been dealt with before heading out. I know things break even with proper maintainance and you have to just deal with that, but if a guys muffler falls off because it was held on with bailing wire thats not acceptable to me.

I would be willing to help out in this area of the event, but I'am not certified as a mechanic or inspecter so don't know if thats a issue either.
TLCA events do require an inspection which only takes about 5 minutes. I have been through three of their inspections, GSMTR at Telico, Black Hills Cruiser Classic and Cruise Moab. They were all about the same as far as thoroughness. They require a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, working brakes and lights, mirror, horn. I am going from memory here and really don't recall what all they checked, but have seen the list and there is quite a bit on it. Seems like they have you open the hood looking for battery tie-down, leaks, etc. They check your cargo area to see if you have any potential "deadly flying objects". It is a very quick and simple safety check and I have no problem with it. It is also heavily advertized in all TLCA events that a mandatory inspection is required and I never heard any complaints about. I did witness one case where I guy had a light duty bungie cord holding his battery in place. They told him he needed to come up with a better tie-down. He did and was passed OK, quite possibly saving him and others some unneeded aggravation on the trail.

The inspectors also check that you have the equipment you stated when you signed up such as winch, tire diameter, lockers, Hi-lift, etc. Then you are given a sticker that allows you to run a certain level of trails. These guys are locals who can help you decide which trails are appropriate for your rig and skill. I appreciate their help.

BUT I agree most of this does not apply to the Summit simply because of the relatively easy nature of the trails. Still if I was one of the folks organizing this event I would want to have a safety inspection just to cover my ass. The waivers we sign are little real help in a courtroom.

One more point. This year I will be going to my third All-4-Fun event in Silverton (this year). They have been doing it for 44 years straight! They have plenty of trails they list running from 2-3 up to 7-8 difficulty rating. They run HD stuff like Holy Cross (not me) and I was told of at least one death durring one of their events. Surprizingly they do NOT do a formal safety inspection. I do know that trail leaders look over rigs casually. Not sure how they would handle a deficiency.

Ace
 

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Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!

GF and I really, really want to make it to the Summit this year but that doesn't seem feasible given we're doing two weeks in So-cal the month prior to visit her family. Depending on work, there may be a glimmer of hope left; I'm really itching to get my TT out on the trails!
 

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Maybe a couple of volunteers could set up an inspection station near registration (across the street, etc). Those newbies who are unsure of their vehicles could have them inspected. I know at the Best Western it gets a little hectic and there isn't a good place to pull vehicles through--maybe across the street or down a side street.

Just my $0.02 worth.
 

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Maybe a couple of volunteers could set up an inspection station near registration (across the street, etc). Those newbies who are unsure of their vehicles could have them inspected. I know at the Best Western it gets a little hectic and there isn't a good place to pull vehicles through--maybe across the street or down a side street.

Just my $0.02 worth.
Arguably, it's the newbies with the vehicles that are going to be in the most predictable shape: no years of abuse, adding & removing parts, etc.

On another note: Have CBs become "mandatory"? While, in a perfect world, everyone would have HAM licenses and we'd all have the comms issue solved. But requiring CB's (and specifically NOT FRS radios) might be orth considering. Knowledge is THE most important safety item, and communication in the backcountry (even if it is just Ouray) can mean all the difference.
 
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