Northeast Overland is Maine's premier outdoor adventure based community in the Northeast Region of the U.S. As Registered Maine Guides, you can be sure that we'll get you out there for an adventure you'll never forget all while we TreadLightly!

    Spotting Guidelines


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    Join date : 2012-12-18
    Location : Maine

    Spotting Guidelines

    Post by Admin on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:49 pm

    Spotting Guidelines
    Written by Robert Gee

    Off-road driving can be a dangerous sport, improper use of equipment and manpower can cause harm to others as well as the environment. This is yet another great time to demonstrate how we TreadLightly. While driving off road, drivers must leverage tools they have to overcome obstacles. In this article we will discuss proper spotting technique. Clear communication and good spotting creates a controlled environment which we all try to make as safe as possible.

    Who is the Spotter
    On the trail there will be many people yelling directions, engine noise and other obstacles. It is important for the driver to pick one spotter. Good spotters know that there should (at most) be one, and if they are not spotting, they will stand aside. Before beginning to spot anyone, a spotter should find out if the driver wants him/her to be a spotter. If need be, a back-up spotter, one who will assist the spotter in backing up the vehicle, will be determined by the driver and spotter.

    It is important that the driver and spotter have an agreement on what signals to use. Be sure that everyone is aware of the signals that you are going to use before the vehicle enters the obstacle. Most common verbal signals are passengers, drivers, straight, forward, back-up, and stop.  These common verbal signals are generally used to tell the driver which way to turn and/or proceed.

    Driver Autonomy
    Picking a line is always the driver's decision, it may be open for discussion with the spotter but ultimately comes down to the driver. The spotter's job is simply to guide the driver through his or her chosen route, cautioning the driver if they are off track or hitting (or about to hit) something.

    If the driver feels that they are not traveling the line he wanted, or wants to take a different line, the spotter should go over and have a face to face conversation about it with the driver. With background noise and usually many people giving directions it may get confusing or tense for the driver, this is when bad things can happen. The spotter should simply go over and have a calm face to face conversation with the driver, to discuss further action.

    The Driver must trust the moves his or her spotter is issuing. If this is not the case the spotter should be replaced. A good spotter should be able to see this happening and suggest a replacement.

    While spotting, it is important to think about your own safety as well as that of the driver. Never jump on the vehicle to try and balance it when it is at a severe angle. If assistance is required, you can attach a strap to the roll cage, or secure point on the vehicle, and have someone hold it. This works well as you can easily let go of a strap in the case of a rollover. DO NOT wrap strap around your wrists, arms, or torso!

    If rock stacking is required, this is for weenies anyway, wear gloves and make sure the driver knows not to move the vehicle. Stay away from areas which the vehicle could slide or roll.

    Observers, children, and pets should also try to stay in one spot for safety concerns. They should be aware of potential dangers such as mechanical malfunctions, tire blow-outs, or driver/spotter error. Ideally, observers should be off the course and out of harms way.

    When a vehicle becomes stuck the spotter is often the closest and pulls the winch cable. Of course the spotter can ask for assistance if need be. Winching can be very dangerous and should have its own guidelines. It is very important to wear proper gloves when handling winch cable, as wire burrs often stick out and can slice into hands, fingers, arms etc. Always use a tree saver rated higher than the winch, with a D-Ring, do not place winch hook through strap loops. Always use a weight on the line to drop the cable to the ground in the event of breakage. Have everyone, including yourself, stand at least the length the cable is out, away. Stand clear of the cable at all times when the winch is in operation or if the line has tension on it.

      Current date/time is Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:48 pm