Author Topic: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?  (Read 3906 times)

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blackdiamond

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #30 on: Mar 20, 2018, 08:08:55 PM »
How much – what percentage, of successfully negotiating a 4-wheel rock crawling trail, is the vehicle, the driver’s skill, or the spotter?

Gnarls.

I'll risk sounding arrogant and give my opinion on this.  The capability of the vehicle is a major wildcard as comparing one driver's skill in a stock Jeep Wrangler with another driver in a tube chassis buggy would be virtually impossible.  Having said that it's pretty easy to compare someone's driving skill pretty easily after a bit of wheeling.  You start to see tendencies that are good or bad that are repeated to the point that it's not just good or bad luck.  Everyone gets an obstacle right once in a while and everyone looks like an idiot from time to time.

I've seen good drivers overcome poor spotting more than I've seen good spotters come to the rescue of bad drivers.  I've spotted for a few people that simply could not duplicate what I did or was going to do.

I think one of the most important skills that I judge people on in Moab is their ability to gracefully use momentum to bounce up a big ledge.  Some people simply cannot get the timing right and either hammer the ledge and bounce or hit the throttle at the same time the tire hits the ledge and just spins.  The best driver's that I know do this in a way that makes it look easy.  I would estimate that at least 3 out of 4 people struggle with this skill.

To the core of your question:

I think a highly skilled driver is responsible for at least 90% of the success.  The spotter is there to provide data that the driver combines with the seat-of-the-pants feel.

I think a skilled spotter can be responsible for around 75% of the success with a novice driver that has some instinct.  For some drivers the best a spotter can do is suggest they take an alternate route.

I think a skilled spotter has minimal ability to help a truly unskilled and clueless driver if the trails truly difficult.  Difficult trails require throttle control that some simply don't have.

It's a bit of a ramble...maybe a better shout box post?
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #31 on: Mar 20, 2018, 08:55:43 PM »
I think a skilled spotter has minimal ability to help a truly unskilled and clueless driver if the trails truly difficult.  Difficult trails require throttle control that some simply don't have.

I think if a novice driver listens to a skilled spotter, he will be in pretty good shape. Then you get the people with no vehicle control that also ignore the spotter.
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

blackdiamond

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #32 on: Mar 20, 2018, 09:06:22 PM »
I think if a novice driver listens to a skilled spotter, he will be in pretty good shape. Then you get the people with no vehicle control that also ignore the spotter.

I think of a trail like Pritchett Canyon where there are several obstacle that requires a driver to know when to stop and when to go. A spotter can provide advice when stopped but success is almost entirely the result of a skilled driver and/or luck.  No good spotter would take an unskilled driver because they would understand that it takes more than a good spotter to keep the wheels down. It can get ugly with a good driver and spotter.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #33 on: Mar 20, 2018, 09:11:58 PM »
I think of a trail like Pritchett Canyon where there are several obstacle that requires a driver to know when to stop and when to go. A spotter can provide advice when stopped but success is almost entirely the result of a skilled driver and/or luck.  No good spotter would take an unskilled driver because they would understand that it takes more than a good spotter to keep the wheels down. It can get ugly with a good driver and spotter.

A novice driver doesn't belong on Pritchett canyon. Rookie runs are common throughout the 4x4 community and are somewhat proof that a skilled spotter can lead rookies through a mild trail.
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

blackdiamond

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #34 on: Mar 20, 2018, 09:16:38 PM »
A novice driver doesn't belong on Pritchett canyon. Rookie runs are common throughout the 4x4 community and are somewhat proof that a skilled spotter can lead rookies through a mild trail.

That is exactly why I specified a difficult trail in every case which was what Gnarly was asking about.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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blackdiamond

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #35 on: Mar 20, 2018, 09:39:01 PM »
Another way, besides the driver’s ability to bump obstacles smoothly, that I judge a driver’s skill is how many attempts they will make on an obstacle or line before realizing what everyone outside the vehicle already knew. The spot on Hell’s Revenge that I call Axle Wrap Hill (liveoak knows the one) is one that I have gotten aggressive with because I knew it was so close to getting a little luck on my side and making it up. The opposite was true on my last attempt on White Knuckle Hill where I knew on the first approach that there was zero chance even though I have successfully climbed it in the past. Seat of the pants isn’t learned. Some rookies have it and learn to apply it to harder and harder obstacle and other survive by building bigger and better rigs and driving them hard.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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Gnarly4X [OP]

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #36 on: Mar 21, 2018, 05:43:19 AM »
I'll risk sounding arrogant and give my opinion on this.

Confident expression is often perceived as arrogance by the unaware.

Very interesting and enlightening perspective.  I tend to agree.


Quote
It's a bit of a ramble...maybe a better shout box post?

No… the sand box would be a waste of a good discussion and the sand box is transient and limited.

Gnarls.




« Last Edit: Mar 21, 2018, 05:52:18 AM by Gnarly4X »
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Gnarly4X [OP]

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #37 on: Mar 21, 2018, 05:48:31 AM »
A novice driver doesn't belong on Pritchett canyon....

While this may be a factual opinion, it is far from reality.  On almost all of the runs I've been on over the past 20 years of 4-wheeling, there are often 1 or 2 vehicles and drivers that are new to the sport.  The number of people who have been on Pritchett Canyon that would be considered a "novice" are most likely more than the number of very experienced drivers. 

Moab a legendary mecca for the novice 4-wheeler.

Gnarls.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #38 on: Mar 21, 2018, 06:30:32 AM »
Regarding spotters....

The spotter or spotters, designated by request, or just self-appointed, can be a huge factor on a given gnarly rock crawling trail. Sitting behind the wheel in my truck and envisioning my course over the obstacle is one perspective.  Having an experienced and trusty spotter see exactly what my truck is doing is another factor.  So there is degree of blindness that causes the adrenalin flow knowing that body damage is an imminent possibility. 

If you have 4-wheeled a more difficult rock crawling trail a few times, you have seen what most of us have seen…. A very novice driver, in a very basic stock vehicle, get spotted *successfully* over a challenging obstacle that was spotted by a very experience spotter.  By contrast, I’ve seen a very experienced driver in a very well set up vehicle, completely ignore the spotter.

I have witnessed an incompetent spotter with a stupid or ignorant concept of how the vehicle needs to move over the obstacle.  On a given difficult obstacle, I’ve seen 2 or more people standing in front of a vehicle giving different signals or advice to the driver, which is about as frustrating as it gets.  Each had their own vision on how to  get the vehicle over the obstacle.  I’ve witnessed a self-appointed spotter who apparently believed  that it is was OK to guide the vehicle to bang into a rock, then direct the driver to back up and change course.  It didn’t take me long to figure out whom I would trust to spot me and who I would NOT have as my spotter.  On a nasty trail, I would ask, usually at beginning of the run, the person I trusted to spot me when we got to that nasty obstacle.

Gnarls.
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~15,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

blackdiamond

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #39 on: Mar 21, 2018, 06:49:56 AM »
Regarding spotters....

The spotter or spotters, designated by request, or just self-appointed, can be a huge factor on a given gnarly rock crawling trail. Sitting behind the wheel in my truck and envisioning my course over the obstacle is one perspective.  Having an experienced and trusty spotter see exactly what my truck is doing is another factor.  So there is degree of blindness that causes the adrenalin flow knowing that body damage is an imminent possibility. 

If you have 4-wheeled a more difficult rock crawling trail a few times, you have seen what most of us have seen…. A very novice driver, in a very basic stock vehicle, get spotted *successfully* over a challenging obstacle that was spotted by a very experience spotter.  By contrast, I’ve seen a very experienced driver in a very well set up vehicle, completely ignore the spotter.

I have witnessed an incompetent spotter with a stupid or ignorant concept of how the vehicle needs to move over the obstacle.  On a given difficult obstacle, I’ve seen 2 or more people standing in front of a vehicle giving different signals or advice to the driver, which is about as frustrating as it gets.  Each had their own vision on how to  get the vehicle over the obstacle.  I’ve witnessed a self-appointed spotter who apparently believed  that it is was OK to guide the vehicle to bang into a rock, then direct the driver to back up and change course.  It didn’t take me long to figure out whom I would trust to spot me and who I would NOT have as my spotter.  On a nasty trail, I would ask, usually at beginning of the run, the person I trusted to spot me when we got to that nasty obstacle.

Gnarls.

Spotter are very valuable on difficult obstacles.  One things I have always done is back off of obstacles that I'm struggling with whenever I feel that I no longer have a sense of where I'm at.  In some cases I'll even get out an walk it again and discuss options with the spotter.  I am rarely willing to drive "blind" unless I'm positive that the risk of damage is low enough that I can control it.

1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #40 on: Mar 21, 2018, 07:35:37 AM »
How much – what percentage, of successfully negotiating a 4-wheel rock crawling trail, is the vehicle, the driver’s skill, or the spotter?

Gnarls.

I had the advantage of putting on a dozen or so "4x4 Trials" crawling events over the years with various natural and man made obstacles.  We would score these guys with penalty points for hitting gates (course markers), lack of forward progress over 3 seconds, excessive wheel spin and reverses.  There was a bit more to it but you get the idea.  The scoring rewarded steady progress without drama, regardless of a fast or slow driving technique.

Based on watching scores and keeping track of the build level of the vehicles I would have to say a certain amount of build is necessary, like drivetrain mods that make all four wheels turn, tires larger than itty bitty 28" stock ones, slightly improved clearance and suspension and proper gearing.  The rig that's slightly built or better will beat the bone stock one nearly every time.

After that, with slightly built rigs against super built rigs it seemed to be about 60% driving and 40% vehicle.  I have seen many, many times guys with 33s and a locker or two totally smoke guys with the full meal deal.  It's not like the 33" rig was bone stock, but it was relatively stock compared to the rock buggy or built crawler it was waxing on.  We had guys with maybe $4,000 worth of rig beating guys with $50K because they could drive better.

Not saying it's not great to build a huge, monster trail rig.  But based on what I saw driving is a huge, big, important factor.  Size couldn't make up for bad driving.

« Last Edit: Mar 21, 2018, 07:47:38 AM by H8PVMNT »
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #41 on: Mar 21, 2018, 07:49:44 AM »
Oh and on the spotter thing...  Yes, a good spotter is huge but what's even more important is good communication between the driver and spotter.  You need to agree ahead of time on language, signals, etc or the best spotting in the world gets lost in translation.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #42 on: Mar 21, 2018, 10:27:46 AM »
How much – what percentage, of successfully negotiating a 4-wheel rock crawling trail, is the vehicle, the driver’s skill, or the spotter?

Gnarls.

All dependent.  If you have a super built rig it can be 90% rig, 10% driver and never need a spotter.  If you have a stock rig its alot more driver and spotter, and sometime it comes down to prefrences some people rely more heavily on a spotter than others, like me I take my spotters advise into consideration but I know my truck better than they do so sometimes I go agaisnt what my spotter says.  Im sorry Im not giving you a straight forward answer, but there are too many variables to give a straight answer.
« Last Edit: Mar 21, 2018, 11:28:50 AM by TRevv »
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #43 on: Mar 21, 2018, 05:21:19 PM »
Walking the Crawler equals 100% vehicle capability unless Marlin or BigMike has to adjust the steering.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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