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Trail Grading System 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:38 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Misson BC
Post Trail Grading System
I'm proposing a document be created outlining a trail grading system for our popular runs. The purpose is to better gauge a clubs run's chosen trail, so one can better judge expectation of their abilities and truck, if they choose to participate. This document should grow to incorporate other tribal knowledge our members have to share. Feel free to contribute, disagree or debate my point of view.


Context for this grading system:
- New turtle members not familiar with local runs
- Novice driving ability
- Low tolerance for trail damage
- Ideal weather and trail conditions.



Rated 1-2
Trail level:
1. County dirt road maintained for high clearance 2WD and 4WD use in adverse conditions.

2. County dirt road with infrequent or light maintenance after rain or snow, high clearance light duty 4WD required.

Trails:
- Top of the world (Stave/Allouette lookout), Thurston Loop, Mount Woodside, North Chehalis Lake, Natalatch
Fire Lookout, Weaver Lake, Francis Lake, Natalatch/Kookipi, Jesmond Fire Lookout.


Rated 3-4
Trail level:
3. Trail consisting of loose rocks, dirt, and sand with some slickrock surfaces, mud holes possible, no steps higher than 12". 4WD is required, aggressive tires a plus.

4. Trail consisting of loose rock, dirt, and sand with some slickrock surfaces. Some erosion; washes, gulches and rock steps no higher than 18”. Tall tires(33" plus) and limited slip would be a plus. 4WD is required. Enhanced suspension travel and good ground clearance are helpful. Good driving skills a plus.

Trails:
- Hale Creek (Easy Line), Moly (Mt. Molybdenum), Blow Down, Kenyon Lake, China Head.


Rated 5-6
Trail level:
5. Trail surfaces are rutted, rocky and sandy with steps not exceeding 24”, with considerable slickrock surfaces. Water not exceeding 12” with some mud possible. Good ground clearance and driving skills are needed. 4WD, tall tires (33” plus) and traction adding devices (locker, limited slip) are required. Above average driving skills are desirable. A winch would be a plus. Enhanced suspension travel and good ground clearance are also required.

6. Trails are difficult with considerable erosion damage, loose rocks, dirt, and slickrock. Water in excess of 12” is possible with mud conditions. Steps not exceeding 36”. 4WD, tall tires (33” plus) with two traction adding devices (lockers, limited slips) are required. A winch would be a plus. Enhanced suspension travel and good ground clearance are a required. Excellent driving skills are recommended.

Trails:
- Hale Creek (Down Hard Line), Lower Hut Lake, V-Rock, Sunrise Lake, Whipsaw.


Rated 7-8
Trail level:
7. Trail consists of rock, sand and considerable slickrock with many steps exceeding 48”. Steep inclines and declines are prevalent. Enhanced off road equipment is required including locking devices (front & rear), 35" tires, maximum vehicle ground clearance, and tow hooks. A winch is desirable. Excellent driving skills are required. Vehicle mechanical or body damage is likely. Roll over possibilities exist.

8. Extreme trail similar to a #7 Rating, except a bit more extreme. Same equipment required as #7. A winch is desirable. Excellent driving skills are required. Vehicle require a winch and proper tow/recovery points and 35" plus tires along with front and rear lockers. Mechanical or body damage is likely. Roll over possibilities

Trails:
- Hale Creek (Up Hard Line), Hamburger Hill, Upper Hut Lake, Road to Paradise, Skwellepil Creek.

Rated 9-10
Trail level:
9. Extreme and beyond. The average well equipped trail rig may have great difficulty in completing this trail. Steps exceeding 60". Steep inclines and declines with off camber sections are prevalent. Enhanced off road equipment is required including locking devices (front & rear), tall tires (37" plus), maximum ground clearance, tow hooks, and a winch. Minimum wheelbase 100". Excellent driving skills are required. Vehicle mechanical or body damage is likely. Roll over is very common. Spare parts and tools are recommended.

10. Let the carnage begin! Buggy territory. Street driven 4X4’s should not attempt this trail. Modified factory vehicles will not be able to complete this trail.

Trails:
- Upper and Lower Fuct,


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional and future categories could include:
Recovery gear
Acceptable risk level
Driver expectations
Driver skill level


With interest from the members, this information could evolve into a downloadable PDF document for new members to the club.

Edits:
Context for this grading system
Removed ski hill grading system
Added 1-10 grading system
Added description of grading system
Changed colours.
Removed Truck Build section as this information included in the rating description
#8 Added "Winch and proper tow/recovery points and 35" plus tires along with front and rear lockers."

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Last edited by Ken on Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:19 pm, edited 7 times in total.



Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:54 pm
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Location: langley
Post Re: Trail Grading System
In my opinion. All those in the black diamond are blue. Meaning slight mods and driver skill.
All those in double black should be black. Also include eagle ridge.
As far as double black. Maybe fuct. Parts of Rubicon trail.
It was nice to see your effort and ideas ... Also it was entertaining and well written.
We have batted this around a lot and the problem with it is not knowing driver skill.

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Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:39 pm
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Location: Misson BC
Post Re: Trail Grading System
Thanks for your thoughts. The scope of the grading system, in relation to the range of trail runs hosted by the Herd, would need to be established. Which is why group discussion is required. Once we can measure runs using an agreed upon grading scale, we can better manage the risks associated with our choices.

We could have a triple black diamond level for runs like Upper or Lower Fuct. This seemed outside the scope of runs the groups would sponsor. I also agree the Blue trucks could do the suggested Black Diamond Runs, what is missing is a measure of our Appetite for Destruction :piratebang:. How much do we measure the potential of breakage on a trail? This scale assumes very low tolerance, but this is also proportional to Driver Skill, and how do we measure that?

Also what is a stock truck? I was thinking base truck/SUV like Blazer, Toyota Pickup or Ford Ranger, having street tires, no lift and open diffs. A stock Rubicon would be in the slightly modified category, which most of the turtles drive. Modified trucks, again in the context of the Herd, would be modifications related to rigs owned by Paul, Wes, Rick, etc.. If the driver is skillful and doesn't mind working their truck harder than usual, they can make their own call. Increased momentum and extra skinny pedal can make up for lack of modifications.

These are intangible items, subject to opinion, and the only caveat I see is to ensure we don't rate a trail so poorly that it becomes a danger to the less prepared. If a consensus on measurement can be agreed upon, it could prove to be quite helpful in providing more information to the group.

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:47 pm
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Posts: 550
Post Re: Trail Grading System
I've done all of those with 33" tires and open diffs, except for Road to Paradise, although I think I may have been there many years ago before it had a name.


Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:17 pm
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Location: Misson BC
Post Re: Trail Grading System
Yeah, I've already made an exception for you Dan :hysteria:

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:26 pm
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Location: South Surrey, for now
Post Re: Trail Grading System
The standard way of trail rating is a scale 1-10. The method you are using is what they currently use for ski runs. Nothing wrong with it but why change it?

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Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:41 am
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
No reason to change it, I wasn't aware there were standards. Professionally I love standards so let's have it changed.

We could incorporate a system like these:
https://www.dirtopia.com/wiki/4WD_Trail_Rating
http://www.of4wd.com/education/trail-ratings/?
https://www.wildrunner.co.za/useful-info/trail-grading
https://www.4x4trailinfo.com/ShowRating.php?system=5

Edits:
I've slipped in numbered grading system
Extra difficulty level
Context for this grading system

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:26 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
IMO, trails rated 8-10 need to be separate. Also we don't really have any 10 rated trails here.
here is how RR4wheelers divies up some of the trails.
https://www.rr4w.com/trails.cfm

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Not so stock, not so friendly.
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Jeep with a lotta thick metal to protect the important bits


Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
I like the trail notes section for each rating level. Perhaps we could have members contribute to trail descriptions too.

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:20 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:52 am
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Location: Cloverdale, BC
Post Re: Trail Grading System
One note for this great topic, the rating is usually based on the hardest obstacle without a bypass. So if the entire trail is a 3 except for one obstacle that is a 7, the entire trail is rated 7.
This is so you don't drive 3/4 of a trail, then get to something you cannot, or don't want to, drive over / through.

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Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:28 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
That's a good point, something to warrant a brief trail write up. Looking at this site, I like their write ups and envy the shear number of trails they have.
https://www.rr4w.com/Trails-Home.cfm

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:38 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
I recommend changing #8 rated trails to require a winch and proper tow/recovery points and 35" plus tires along with front and rear lockers.

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Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
Changes made

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Ken VA7VPN, Laurie VA7ILY
'90 HDJ81 Land Cruiser

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot,
and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin


Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
Should we also rate trails by manufacturer? :hysteria:


Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:58 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
So if I run a trail rated 8 with open diffs and 33's we can change it to a 1?


Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:02 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
Dan wrote:
So if I run a trail rated 8 with open diffs and 33's we can change it to a 1?

Sure, but you cant leave any pieces behind...

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Not so stock, not so friendly.
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Jeep with a lotta thick metal to protect the important bits


Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:01 am
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
rick takasaki wrote:
Dan wrote:
So if I run a trail rated 8 with open diffs and 33's we can change it to a 1?

Sure, but you cant leave any pieces behind...

I never leave pieces behind. Maybe a little oil...


Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:12 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
Dan wrote:
rick takasaki wrote:
Dan wrote:
So if I run a trail rated 8 with open diffs and 33's we can change it to a 1?

Sure, but you cant leave any pieces behind...

I never leave pieces behind. Maybe a little oil...

Um, you are going to have to qualify Dan.
Just because you didn't leave it behind, reinstalling it at camp is a gray area!

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VA7BZB



Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
We can include trail information on the GPS portion of the site; when you upload your track include a trail rating, month and weather conditions (as trail ratings can change due to these factors) and possibly short description and any pertinent info that is useful to know. The eager ones among us could update the GPS posts with this info. We can post the trail rating system in the GPS section so it is easy to find for everyone.

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Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:20 pm
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Post Re: Trail Grading System
as Dan commented eluded to already, trail ratings should go hand in hand with driver experience.
just because one has lockers and big rubber doesnt mean an experienced driver with no lockers and small rubber cant make it look easy.

ratings can make members feel left out
ratings can also create unintentional clicky sub-groups within the club

i think trail ratings are good for majour runs with non-members to control experience and build attending.
but to use trail ratings inside the club might be detrimental to the membership.
trail descriptions, hazards and view points would be better so we as a club can make an educated suggestion to membership about the run.
i feel it would be better to be inclusive and educational and responsible within our club


Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:35 pm
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