Good Spotting Rules to Follow When Off-Roading
Spotting is a very important part of off-roading, it helps the driver gauge whether they are in the correct spot or not when traversing difficult terrain. You want an experienced off-roader doing most the spotting and one who is good at communicating with hand signals. The big thing to keep in mind with spotting is that you, as the driver, will need to give up some control to the spotter, so you should make sure to use an experienced person who you trust as your spotter.
General Spotting Rules
*Most spotting takes place through hand signals since spoken word can get drowned out by engines and ambient noise. At the trailhead, before heading out, the trip leader should go through the hand signals to ensure everyone is on the same page and using the same hand signals to avoid confusion.
*Don’t be a backseat spotter. Each driver picks one person to spot for them and everyone else needs to stay out of the way. As a spectator, if you feel there is an issue with a spotter’s line, quietly comment to them, but do not disrupt the process while doing it.
*The official spotter will instruct spectators if any assistance is needed, such as pushing, moving large debris, or piling rocks.
*It is each driver’s choice who they use for a spotter and if the driver is having issues with their current spotter, it is within their right to replace the current spotter. You must remember, if something happens, it’s the driver who is responsible for the vehicle.
*As a driver, you need to keep your spotter within sight. If you can’t see the spotter, stop moving and let them know.
*Listen to your spotter and do what their hand signals instruct. Follow their instructions exactly and go until they say to stop.
*If you disagree with the spotter, stop and have a chat. Remember the spotter has a different perspective than you do, so may see something you cannot.
*As a spotter you should always take your time evaluating the situation before instructing your driver.
*When giving hand signals over exaggerate them to make sure that the driver understands the signals.
*When spotting stand back from the line of travel and keep others back as well to ensure no accidents happen.
*It’s good to use both the hand signal and verbal commands in conjunction with each other.
*Passengers in the truck can also keep an eye out for obstacles.
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