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 Post subject: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:24 pm
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Location: The Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng, South Africa
I looked for a long time - if this has been discussed already, please direct me there.

We've just come back from a week in the southern Kruger. Does anyone know why no one makes a (dirt road) grader strong enough (anymore ??) to grade the dirt roads in the Kruger Park unless it has rained?? Some of the dirt roads are soooo badly corrugated that a driver simply can't enjoy the drive because he has to concentrate ALL the time on keeping the vehicle on the road.....

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:35 pm 
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HI ianjnb

I noticed a dirt road near Lower Sabie in June this year that had a sign - This road is badly corrugated, no grading taking place due to the lack of water!

Maybe that is an explanation?

JJ

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:08 pm 
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Location: The Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng, South Africa
Hi JJ

Where you are talking about is the first time I ever saw one of those signs (a few years ago). We drove that road last week and the condition wasn't too bad. Our worst was the north/ south road to the Timbavati picnic spot.

The idea of putting up signs instead of grading the roads seems to have caught on all over the Park :(

I have seen the signs but don't really accept that. I'm not sure that the "no water" is an explanation - an excuse possibly. Surely even a light grading of the roads would help.

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Location: East London, South Africa
My 2 pence worth.
I feel the signs being put up are an excuse for not grading.
Last year this time saw signs all over the Park, and some roads that were recently graded were quite a pleasure to travel on.
A few roads were graded and most of them not, with signs saying that due to lack of rain they could not grade the road. Mostly the dirt roads were in a shocking condition.
With more visitors these days they need to maintain the roads.
With more visitors there must be more money so why not invest some back into the park for upkeep.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:09 am 
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During the wet season the dirt roads take a pounding with the traffic and are compacted by the vehicles passing over it. This dries almost as hard as concrete during the dry season and any attempt to grade them would only result in damage to the machines. Just imagine the stresses on the blade of a 10 tonne machine if it bounces your half ton sedan :twisted: the best solution is to slow down :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:26 am 
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Grading is planned for just before and just after the rains for some of the reasons given above.
If gravel roads are graded too often, especially when dry, then the top is worn away and eventually even the base goes and the road deteriorates even more.
There are real technical reasons for the timing of the grading.
The signs are there as an information service and a warning to keep speed down.

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:30 am 
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I would also assume there would be more dust created from a freshly graded road in winter which would affect all the grazing and plants next to the road forcing the animals further from the road.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:53 am 
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Exactly what EJ says - the man in charge of all infrastructure in KNP (roads, sewerage, power, drinking water etc) explained those reasons to us.
I drove some of the dirt roads last week and they weren't bad at all.
It is the bush, after all, not suburbia (in fact some of the dirt roads around Kyalami are much worse - and even some of the so-called tarred ones).

Hopefully in a couple of months' time it will rain and the roads will get graded.

Remember to keep speed down - it helps with the bumps and reduced the amount of dust thrown up.
I have seen people driving far too fast on dirt roads.

I you want to experience REAL corrugations - try the Kgalagadi!

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:30 am 
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Location: The Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng, South Africa
No one wants or expects a highway in Kruger but I also don't expect to have to tie my stuff down like I was doing Van Zyl's Pass.
I have little problem with dust, sand and holes.
Even at low speed, corrugations like we experienced on the S40 towards Timbavati picnic spot last week try to rearrange my internal organs and certainly rearrange everything in our vehicle.

Of course compacted mud dries hard.
Damage to the machine? I doubt that would happen with an experienced operator.
More costly? Oh jah!
The machine require more maintenance?
Sure, it would have to work harder.

I don't believe that any serious loss of base would occur with a light grading except to dust - RobertT has a very good point and I don't know the answer to that problem.

I NEVER speed in the Kruger! My preferred speed is 20 - 25km/h with FREQUENT stops - we have a "Birdwatching Please Pass" on the back window and most folk do...

Hippotragus, I also prefer to drive on the dirt too and drove on many and most were fine but one or two were terrible!

Possible "solution" ? I suggest that the "man in charge of infrastructure in KNP" sets up a network where guys who drive the dirt roads every day (anyway, carrying out other duties) report back (perhaps once a week) on the condition of the dirt roads.
If he learns that a particular road is very bad then he should send a grader there to give it a light grade (and deal with the probable increased costs of maintaining the machine).

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:31 am 
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I remember some years ago there was a technical explanation given about when to grade the roads and the reasons.
I think it was on the forum, have had a bit of a search but can't seem to find it. :?

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:27 am 
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Just something on the lighter side , a sign seen on the way to Tankwa karoo .

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:55 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
If only everone would drive slowly, and lower their tyre pressures while in the park, there would never ever be corrugations. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 4:37 pm 
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:thumbs_up: Lowering tyre pressure makes a difference in both the hardness of the ride and is also more kind on the roadsurface . 4x4 vehicles too , whereas 4 x 2 vehicles with frontwheel drive is extemely hard on the road .

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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:36 pm 
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"If only everone would drive slowly, and lower their tyre pressures while in the park, there would never ever be corrugations."
I agree with the above statement.
We witnessed 4 x 4's several times racing along dirt roads like bats out of hell (last winter).
Us going along 10 - 20 kms in a sedan car - couldn't do much faster anyway on some dirt roads - bit the dust many days.
And we also deflated the tyres a bit.
Thanks EJ for your explanation.


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 Post subject: Re: Dirt roads are not being graded
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:40 am 
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If we all take the time to study a map of the park, one will notice that there are a number of dirt roads stretching quite a distance.(BIG JOB TO GRADE)
I agree that some roads become unmanageable, especially when i spill my Gin and Tonic, but if you ask me, I would prefer the park pouring more money into catching the Rhino poachers than additional graders.

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