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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:50 am 
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Mikeyboy wrote:
The other thing is no one leaves anyone in the caravan behind. If you go thru a yellow light and a person following you is stuck behind a red light, the whole caravan would pull over and wait for the straggler to catch up. While a caravan may be slower and a PITA to keep together, the benefit is the support of large numbers, like help with break downs, more vehicles carrying more supplies, more drivers to offer opinions, etc.

I also think everyone driving should know where they are going, knowing the route inside and out and know how to drive well. I'm an aggressive driver and in a caravan I rather follow than lead, because if cautious drivers are following me I am more likely loose them, but I never loose anyone I'm following.

Bolded section may vary. For awhile (before they buried us in paperwork) we split up our convoys, so one 30 vehicle convoy was actually 6 convoys of 5 vehicles. If one vic went down, only that 5 vic convoy needed to stop. On longer runs, everyone would catch up (assuming the truck wasn't deadlined) at a predetermined rest or refuel area. For instance, we had a transport go down carrying several key personnel. Rather than all 15 trucks stopping and waiting for a wrecker to come and repair/replace the air line so we could roll, we pushed out security and played hotseat until we got the most important stuff ready to roll, then updated our mission cards and left 4 trucks behind to wait for a wrecker. The rest of the convoy made it to their end position, rested overnight, and made it back before the wrecker got the downed truck moving.

Similarly, if you have 10 or more vehciles rolling, splitting off into groups of three or four might be better than stopping everyone if someone has a problem. Sure, slowing down if someone gets cut off at a red light is one thing, but you don't necessarily need everyone to stop if someone blows a tire or needs to fill the radiator.

Forgot to add, if applicable, taking extra vehicles and leaving room is a good plan. If a vic goes down and you need to rock'n'roll, being able to quickly split stuff or people into another vehicle can be helpful. The caveat is that you'll burn more gas and need more room to park, both of which may be at a premium during emergency travel.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:21 am 
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Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Mikeyboy wrote:
The other thing is no one leaves anyone in the caravan behind. If you go thru a yellow light and a person following you is stuck behind a red light, the whole caravan would pull over and wait for the straggler to catch up. While a caravan may be slower and a PITA to keep together, the benefit is the support of large numbers, like help with break downs, more vehicles carrying more supplies, more drivers to offer opinions, etc.

I also think everyone driving should know where they are going, knowing the route inside and out and know how to drive well. I'm an aggressive driver and in a caravan I rather follow than lead, because if cautious drivers are following me I am more likely loose them, but I never loose anyone I'm following.

Bolded section may vary. For awhile (before they buried us in paperwork) we split up our convoys, so one 30 vehicle convoy was actually 6 convoys of 5 vehicles. If one vic went down, only that 5 vic convoy needed to stop. On longer runs, everyone would catch up (assuming the truck wasn't deadlined) at a predetermined rest or refuel area. For instance, we had a transport go down carrying several key personnel. Rather than all 15 trucks stopping and waiting for a wrecker to come and repair/replace the air line so we could roll, we pushed out security and played hotseat until we got the most important stuff ready to roll, then updated our mission cards and left 4 trucks behind to wait for a wrecker. The rest of the convoy made it to their end position, rested overnight, and made it back before the wrecker got the downed truck moving.

Similarly, if you have 10 or more vehciles rolling, splitting off into groups of three or four might be better than stopping everyone if someone has a problem. Sure, slowing down if someone gets cut off at a red light is one thing, but you don't necessarily need everyone to stop if someone blows a tire or needs to fill the radiator.

Forgot to add, if applicable, taking extra vehicles and leaving room is a good plan. If a vic goes down and you need to rock'n'roll, being able to quickly split stuff or people into another vehicle can be helpful. The caveat is that you'll burn more gas and need more room to park, both of which may be at a premium during emergency travel.



Concur with Doc. There are lots of ways to do it, and they are all dependent on some acronym that I can't remember anymore :lol: essentially, the situation dictates the tactics and not the other way around. Either way, this falls into the catch all categories of "have a good plan" or "execute your plan well".

Even with a lot of practice and good equipment, large convoys are VERY hard to manage. Imagine driving a school bus where each of the kids in the back had a steering wheel, and instead of a steering wheel you have a PA system, and you have to try to get all the kids to do the same thing at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:09 pm 
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MaconCJ7 wrote:
EndeavourOfWill wrote:
feedthedog wrote:
YurilyDawood wrote:
Cell phone jammer is an electronic device that blocks the transmission of signals between the cell phone and its nearby base station. By using the same frequency as the cell phones, the pocket mobile jammer creates strong interference to the communication between the caller and the receiver. It is efficient in blocking the transmission of signals from the phone networks, including UMTS, 3G, CDMA, GSM and PHS.


So in an emergency you're going to go around jamming peoples cell phone signals? I don't understand the context of your post about jammers.


I could be off base, but I think he is simply point out how easy it is to lose cell comms in shtf bug out. Not everyone plays on the up and up. He could have done so in a better manner than just saying that cell phone jammers exist, but he's new.

I thought it was just spam, given the lack of context to the conversation...
Seems like practicing is the best thing to do. Maybe for future chapter 3 events I will make the convoy a learning/training experience.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:57 pm 
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When a friend and I have moved to different far off locations together several times with two different vehicles and sometimes a trailer added into the mix we had a very simple and effective plan.

Both had maps, gps and knew the routes. Each of us had two small hand held HAM radios and chose a channel, then as for back up both of us have modified and stupidly powerful CB radios.

Other things I keep in my truck at all the time for myself or when more than one vehicle: DC -> AC converter, my electric impact wrench, tools and of course a shop jack. Use the shop jack because well bottle jacks suck ass. Impact wrench is also faster at removing tires.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:07 am 
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Any thoughts specific to convoys at night? The idea of being responsible for the vehicle behind you becomes much more difficult when every vehicle behind you looks the same (two headlights in darkness). How about some sort of marker (ie glow stick, bicycle headlight) attached to,the front and back of each vehicle. Some sort of light that allows drivers to distinguish between convoy members and other drivers.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:25 am 
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In SHTF? IMHO night driving should be avoided unless it is a matter of life and death.
    Limited sight lines
    Everything looks different
    Easier to become lost and/or separated
    Fatigue
    If you have to leave the road you're screwed


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:48 pm 
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BullOnParade wrote:
How about some sort of marker (ie glow stick, bicycle headlight) …

Not a bad technique. It's also critical for the trail vehicle to have a signaling method in case it's knocked out along with its radio, such as a signal flare. If radio comms are available, a simple, "Last vehicle crossed the bridge," etc. also helps let everyone know the convoy's intact.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:26 pm 
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We used glow sticks all time, though in different ways. Frequently, the lead vehicle (or second Vic) would mark the route with specific colored glow sticks. Also, we used them to mark the back sides of trailers that had failing tail lights. The cables connecting the truck to the trailer got messed up over time, so the glow sticks served as a crutch to get us somewhere with a shop and parts.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:31 pm 
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feedthedog wrote:


Even with a lot of practice and good equipment, large convoys are VERY hard to manage. Imagine driving a school bus where each of the kids in the back had a steering wheel, and instead of a steering wheel you have a PA system, and you have to try to get all the kids to do the same thing at the same time.





I AM a school bus driver. I DO have a PA. I can't even get them to stay in their seats!

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:35 pm 
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I don't know much about this subject but I guess someone who was in the military would know the most. I think this guy knows what he's talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dXU80u9q_E&list=UUSi64g0azbv5ULkDLxMN9tw&feature=c4-overview

also get a rangers hand book, it talks a lot about this.
http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/rtb/content/PDF/2011%20RHB%20Final%20Revised%2002-11-2011.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:27 pm 
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Apathy wrote:
I don't know much about this subject but I guess someone who was in the military would know the most. I think this guy knows what he's talking about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dXU80u9q_E&list=UUSi64g0azbv5ULkDLxMN9tw&feature=c4-overview

also get a rangers hand book, it talks a lot about this.
http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/rtb/content/PDF/2011%20RHB%20Final%20Revised%2002-11-2011.pdf


The video seems pretty decent, though his PowerPoint skills aren't up to snuff with most convoy commanders. :lol:

Personally, I'd pass on the use of military jargon unless everyone is already comfortable with it. Some of the OPSEC (jargon) seems to be borrowed a bit too heavily from the military, and could probably be eased up a bit. And the combat TTPs (procedures) for an unarmored convoy with no served weapons should be 1) don't get into a fight in the first place 2) run away.

Also, I wouldn't bother with escort/security vehicles. Fighting from an unarmored vehicle without real weapons seems like a quick way to start bleeding.

Convoys are almost unmanageable in the best of military circumstances. If you are ever in a position where you would need to move say 20 vehicles, you may have better luck moving in serials of 5-10 vehicles with the serials traveling the same route but with a time interval between them. This minimizes risk and makes it a whole lot easier to turn around if you get lost.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:39 am 
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I spent all of 2005 running convoys in Iraq driving M915a3's Freightliner 22 wheeled flatbed trucks.

First off, In Iraq, civilians knew not to get in the middle of a military convoy, and if they forgot you rammed them out of the way to help them remember. In the US thats not the way its going to happen. So right off the bat I would say break the convoy up into several smaller convoys leaving at different times.

The main things I can say are have a scout truck that runs about a mile or so ahead of everyone to spot roadblocks, ect. That way you have time to get the convoy stopped before you hit a roadblock and have to end up backing the whole convoy out of a place you should not be, or if you missed the turn.

Another thing is that accordion effect the convoy will have, while the first truck may just let off the gas for a second, every truck behind them will have to hit the breaks a little harder so by the time the breaking effect hits the rear of the convoy, that last truck will have to slam on the breaks to avoid hitting anyone. Then all of a suddon you will have to go full throttle to catch back up, and the guy up front will see a big gap in the rear of the convoy and slow down and start the whole accordion again.

Also agree there should be a "mechanic" truck in the rear to fix small issues or tow a broken down truck to a place it can be worked on out of the way.

One last thing, have a dedicated break-off man in the middle of the convoy to split the convoy in half if you have to break the convoy into two smaller lines and pull up paralel to eachother and form a box where everyone can get in the middle and use the trucks as cover if necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:29 am 
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Some good stuff on this thread, but I think some people get caught up in gadgets and tactics too much.

I have convoyed a lot. In service and civilian life. On water and land. There are 2 keys to the universe in my mind:

1. Keep It Simple Stupid
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate


Don't worry about fancy lingo if you don't know it. You don't need a $3,000 radio set up. Just talk simply so everyone is on the same page. If you use codes, keep them basic. Unless you are a smuggler or trying to evade hordes of meth-head-biker-marauders, there is no need to play secret agent. Buy a nice radio, Walmart sells good hand helds for a few bucks. Have enough, have batteries, if it charges with the cig outlet, even better. If you have a CB, even better.

Other things of note:
-Watch vehicle spacing, not too close, not too far. You want to be able to turn around without the whole group having to reverse because everyone was tailgaiting, but you also do not want to get seperated because you were too far away.
-Never split up, leave no one behind by themselves. It's one thing if you have 30 vehicles assigned to teams, but for everyday use, stay together and don't be assholes.
-Don't be an asshole. There's always that one dude who is way too intense and screams in the mic like a 13 year old on Call of Duty. Don't do that.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:48 am 
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Interesting. A lot of stuff thrown out there but kind of missing from the pile are contingency planning and actions on contact. Contingencies being the plan for what to do if something screws up internally and "contact" being one of about eight different things you could run into in an adverse, unfriendly or even friendly way. I could spend hours writing about this but there is really no need. The point is there needs to be plans to deal with these things to avoid two huge problems. The first being a group of people standing on the side of the road trying to figure out what to next and the other being the group reacting too slowly to a dynamic dangerous situation. I did not lead a whole bunch of convoys in Iraq, but I did lead about 400 combat patrols a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... at least I think I did... it may have been someone else... or maybe I am doing that now and imaging I am here.... who knows...

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:51 am 
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Don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but this is the best $20 prep you'll ever buy.

http://store.randmcnally.com/truck-gps/ ... atlas.html


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:58 pm 
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aus.templar wrote:
Comms is the major issue in non-military convoys.

I highly recomment Baofeng radios, they're good quality and can be had for around $40 each.



They aren't certified for GMRS/FRS use in the US, so everyone would have to have a Ham radio license, and even then it would still be illegal to use them on those frequencies. It would be a better idea to get a Motorola blister pack or something.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Murgatroy wrote:
I host a yearly national level driving event. We have had from 10 cars to over 100 cars attend the event over the last decade. The route has run through urban, suburban and rural mountainous regions.

The main rules are simple.

Everyone knows the route.

You are responsible for the car behind you. You keep them in sight. This starts from the first car to the last. And it is pretty simple. Adhering to this one rule makes everything else really easy.

Use indicators to turn, if you lose the car behind you you sit at the turn until they come.

If you lose the car behind you at a traffic signal, you pull over ASAP in a visible spot and wait on them.

If you need the stop you flash your lights (high beams) at the car in front of you and you follow him over, he is responsible for you. If the car in front of you pulls over, you pull over. This can lead to many cars pulled over at once, but it also leads to more hands if you need them. If you are the last car, you flash the car in front of you, he flashes the car in front of him, etc... This is how you communicate without radios/etc... When it reaches the front car, the whole convoy pulls over as one.

Have multiple 'leaders.' I like one per ten cars. This keeps the cars in smaller groups. The leader must know where the group is going. The leader must know detours.

As mentioned above it is also nice to have someone familiar, the most, or close to it of the area in the rear running sweep. To be honest this is normally where I am during the event.

We use two way radios. These are only good for ~10 car lengths, or maybe 150yds. Pick a channel, stay on that channel.



With these rules, as long as everyone follows them you will have fewer issues, the most important though is to always watch the car behind you. As long as you know where your tail is, the head is clear to the tail.

Using this method we have dealt with things as mundane as a turbo coupling popping, or a flat tire, to as severe as a car driving off a mountain (on more than one occasion) or an engine relieving itself of all it's shiny bits in a magnificent fashion.


I'll second the method of "your responsible for the vehicle behind you". Snow mobile expeditions use this technic also. If a machine breaks down the vehicle in front of him will realize that when he loses sight of the trailing vehicle. So he stops, the vehicle in front of him stops when he loses sight, and so on up to the lead vehicle. This guarantees that the convoy stays together.

I'll add a humorous antidote here. One time a group of people I knew were heading to a destination in two vehicle in heavy traffic (Chicago rush hour). The second car did not know how to how to get to the destination. They were doing their best to keep up with lead vehicle. All of a sudden the lead vehicle is driving faster and making lane changes that do not allow the second vehicle to room or time to make the changes easily. This goes on for awhile with the driver of the second vehicle getting more and more frustrated. They keep thinking, "don't they know I am trying to stay up with them but they keep swerving in and out of traffic, leaving me no room to keep behind them?"

It turns out they had started following a different but similar car. They eventually realized, slowed down and reconnected with the car they were supposed to follow that they had passed a few mile back!


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:04 pm 
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tedbeau wrote:
I'll second the method of "your responsible for the vehicle behind you".

Yup. Me, too.

I assure you, it sucks when it's night and you're the last vehicle in the kill zone of an ambush. And the gun truck's hit and disabled and comms go down. And you're wounded. And your driver's wounded. Bad.

And as the smoke clears, you see the convoy in the distance, turning the corner, out of sight, hauling ass for the rally point and you're in a jam because no one in the truck in front of you was looking out for their wingman.

That sucks. It really, really sucks.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:35 am 
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Lead driver has to drive/plan for the whole convoy. LIke not running yellow lights.
Lead driver stays to right side of the lane so the car behind him can see past him.
When making lane changes, rear vehicle changes first, then holds the lane open for the rest to shift over.
Commo is critical. Have visual back ups.
You must follow close enough so no one can enter the convoy.
In two car protective details, VIP or precious cargo is lead vehicle. This is counter intuitive.
If you want to be good at it, Practice.
Most people think they are better drivers than they actually are. Almost everyone is self taught...
A few days at a driving school like Bondurant or Scotti is well worth the money.
Talk out the routes before hand. Come up with contingencies.
Left hand passengers sit on right side of vehicle.

There's a convoy scene in the book "The Unwelcome Sign" which can be found on this forum.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:16 pm 
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Sounds like you've never taken a road trip with other cars of people! A few rules we travel by:
1) Stop for gas when the first vehicle gets down to 1/3, even if it inconveniences a Prius owner.
2) Handheld radios not only pass the time, but allow the front vehicle to radio back speed traps (road hazards, blockages, zombie swarms, highwaymen, etc)
3) You make radio contact at least every half hour to know whether a pit stop is needed - never a problem since people play "I Spy" or some other stupid shit until it gets annoying. (5 mins)
4) Never travel with someone with IBS, Chrones or the like.
5) Never travel with someone with lactose intolerance and stop for iced cream.
6) Sleeping at a truck stop is ill advised in a car. Sleeping anywhere you don't know in a car is ill advised, unless you're way off the road and virtually invisible.
7) A "sleeper" car has a gun ready to go, usually buried towards the back of the convoy. Ready to go means mag and gun are together. However, it should remain out of sight. This car usually has the guy with the CC permit for 90% of the states.
8) You radio when crossing state borders or "Waze" tells you of a speed trappy area.

Now for some SHTF REALITY, I'll tell you about my Hurricane Sandy gas runs with convoys of 5 vehicles and 8 men. Shit goes down fast when people think that every truck in front of them is going to guzzle the last gallon of gas. So people get hot fast. 5 trucks with 8 guys tend to pose a threat and people leave you alone. Safety is in abundance with numbers, but numbers provide logistical issues. For example, what if you're in a 10 car convoy and there is no gas? What gets dumped and who gets left behind? Convoy driving is definitely situation dependent, but if you're in a dangerous area, use the vehicles as barriers and provide courtesies to your fellow convoyers. Sort of like a police escort.

And remember, 99.99% of the time, rule of law WILL be restored and any stupidity will catch up to you.


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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:06 pm 
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I really should have posted an update a while back (like, last January, a while back).

I was in Cuba for Christmas with my family last year, and while there, we partook in an organized excursion referred to as a "Jeep Safari" (actually, they were Suzukis). We drove all day, upwards of two hours at a time, with sight seeing/eating/etc. throughout.

A few things I noticed the company did: Lead and tail vehicle were both red, everyone else was blue or green. An easy way for the lead vehicle to know when the last of the convoy was caught up.
Regular roadside stops occurred, especially when navigating obstacles that a large group could not move through together (highway on/off ramps and merging traffic especially).

All vehicles were stick shift, not all drivers were compatible, less experienced drivers were near the front, for an increased chance of being noticed by the tour guide/lead vehicle.

Driving after dark with a group was hard. Everyone was exhausted from a long day out, speeding through unfamiliar country roads without navigation wanting to make it back to the bus to take us to the resort and get drunk. This is what motivated me to bump this thread, after reading the Driving in the Dark thread, I thought this would be a good link to leave here.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:26 am 
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there will be ONE vehicle in my convoy, that's if we can get past the damaged and abandoned vehicles which will be littering the highway in any emergency.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Giving this thread a bump because a thought just crossed my mind which many more people have experience with, but I do not, so I'm curious if anything can be learned from it: funeral processions. I'm sure someone here has been in one, what kind of organization was put in place for logistics of many cars following one lead vehicle, besides the fact they travel well below the speed limits, I imagine there's other logistics to the practice.

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 Post subject: Re: SHTF Convoy Driving
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:57 pm 
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BullOnParade wrote:
Giving this thread a bump because a thought just crossed my mind which many more people have experience with, but I do not, so I'm curious if anything can be learned from it: funeral processions. I'm sure someone here has been in one, what kind of organization was put in place for logistics of many cars following one lead vehicle, besides the fact they travel well below the speed limits, I imagine there's other logistics to the practice.

Flags and a police escort.

Oh and here in the south it is expected for all other traffic to stop/yield the right of way. I am not up on the laws, but I think there might be something about it.

Organized Motorcycle rides are another good lesson. They have blockers and run sweep as well for traffic signals. Legal or not.

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