Sound Advice cont...

On Accidents

  • Easily preventable causes: speed, falling asleep, drunk driving--in that order.

On Solo Four-Wheeling

  • Use 2WD until you get stuck and then use 4WD to get yourself out.
  • Got a winch? Practice at home and know how to use it safely.
  • Know about your 4WD system and how to work it. Miller got called to recover a 4Runner stuck on the side of hill. He looked down and pointed out to the driver that the hubs weren't locked. The driver responded "I never knew you had to lock the hubs."

On Survival

  • Use common sense, have patience, and think about what you can do for yourself. An older woman drove into his shop from Death Valley using pantyhose for a fan belt. Now, that's thinking!
  • Carry a lot of water and a cell-phone. Although those don't always have service in the desert, inexpensive satellite phones do.
  • Call for help early.
  • Know where you are. Miller picked up a driver from a pay phone in Death Valley and spent nine hours looking for his stuck truck--at $225/hour. Carry a GPS and know how to find your location. With latitude and longitude, he'll find you.
  • If you're traveling solo, bring a mini-bike. Before cell- and satellite phones, Miller carried a Honda Mini-50 in his wrecker. That was his only way out if the truck broke down. He wasn't going to try to walk 20-30 miles.
  • Stick to main roads. If you do have to walk, don't look for shortcuts. Even if you make it, you'll have a hard time leading Miller to your vehicle.

On Washboard Roads

  • Go 5-15 mph, tops.
  • Shocks heat up at increased speeds and fail.
  • Look ahead for obstacles and changed road conditions.
  • Slow down--washboard increases the distance you'll need to stop.