Madigan Line...... Yes........ Again

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
I have searched and read quite a bit in relation to fuel consumption and track conditions on the Madigan Line.

Some say it's not difficult, some say it is hard due to the remoteness and all give milage results (l/100).
What people don't do is give s benchmark so as to gauge their fuel usage against normal road milage or even a comparison against other desert fuel usage.

So.......... I guess my question to those that have done the Madigan within the last couple of years is, was your fuel usage much different to other desert driving such as the French Line or maybe the CSR. From my own experience my fuel figures for the CSR and French Line were on par, ever so slightly less on the CSR but we did have the 500km detour through the Telfer mine.

Thanks in advance.
 

ipch

Member
Fuel wise the Madigan is no different to the Simpson or the Canning. Prepare for the Madigan the same as the others and you wont have a problem. West to east is the easiest on the Madigan.
 

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
Fuel wise the Madigan is no different to the Simpson or the Canning. Prepare for the Madigan the same as the others and you wont have a problem. West to east is the easiest on the Madigan.
Thanks so much ipch for confirming what I though would be the case. Planning on East - West on the way to next years Finke.
Thanks again and hope you have some of your own planning in the pipeline.
 

billolga

Well-Known Member
As most of us know there can be a very big difference from one year to another in conditions & fuel consumption & we have all heard the "Nothing to it" stories.
The fuel you carry is not just to get you there but how much if you have to divert or go back. In Aviation there was a saying "The Fuel you left behind, the Runway behind you & the Sky above is like Tits on a Bull - Useless!"
 

Les PK Ranger

4x4 Earth Contributer
East - West, you WILL use more than the other way.
The east faces of the dunes are very steep, and very large as compared to French Line.
That said, there aren't more than maybe 4 or 5 really daunting dunes, but I recall looking in my rear view and thinking, glad I'm not going up that.

Have travelled East - West on untracked dunes in the NT (to Geo Centre and Geo Hill, very often we'd need to get over these big dunes, a couple of us might make it one line, other 2 behind might have to take another route as the sand got too churned by the previous vehicles.

Depending on conditions, you might find this on Madigan too.

It's what, maybe 100km extra distance then SA crossings, so definately take a fair bit more fuel.
I've usually started with min 225lt with the Ranger, but had miles left (except once, but that was an extreme trip !!).

Enjoy, been wanting to do East - West for a few years now, thwarted by weather twice, then corona, and now and for X time, the Rangers gone :(
 

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
Based on other trips 22l/100 is the norm, working on 30l/100 for 800k's. Tank capacity is 160lt, based on normal fuel usage this should be putting us close to the mark and will be packing an extra 80lt on the roof. As billolga mentions, the unknown is detours or getting bogged somewhere.
 

cookie64

4x4 Earth Contributer
Will echo what @billolga has said, went through a couple of years ago trailing a camper and he made a really big mess of the dunes, even with lowered tyre pressures the wombat holes he left behind were simply incredible. The only way I could get around it was a bit of right boot and try to stay on the edges whilst trying not to create damage to the vegetation either side.

People coming the other way told me he was getting stuck everywhere and having to reverse over vegetation etc to get a run up, they were trying to fill in some of the holes as they came across from Birdsville end. The bloke made a note in the book "smoothing the dunes" , he won't ever be selling me one of his campers, I would be bloody mortified if my company had done such damage to property not belonging to me.

I filled up at Santa Teresa and then filled up at Birdsville but didn't use that much from memory 22L/100 - I have tried to find my spreadsheet from that trip but alas cannot at this stage but think it was not unusual from my Simpson crossings. Be careful putting 80L on the roof as it will raise your centre of gravity and you will be needing your COG as close to ground as possible.

My usage was typical, not out of the ordinary from the Canning Stock Route trips in 2012 or 2018 (same year as the Madigan Crossing)

Bloody nice country though

Cheers
 

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
Will echo what @billolga has said, went through a couple of years ago trailing a camper and he made a really big mess of the dunes, even with lowered tyre pressures the wombat holes he left behind were simply incredible. The only way I could get around it was a bit of right boot and try to stay on the edges whilst trying not to create damage to the vegetation either side.

People coming the other way told me he was getting stuck everywhere and having to reverse over vegetation etc to get a run up, they were trying to fill in some of the holes as they came across from Birdsville end. The bloke made a note in the book "smoothing the dunes" , he won't ever be selling me one of his campers, I would be bloody mortified if my company had done such damage to property not belonging to me.

I filled up at Santa Teresa and then filled up at Birdsville but didn't use that much from memory 22L/100 - I have tried to find my spreadsheet from that trip but alas cannot at this stage but think it was not unusual from my Simpson crossings. Be careful putting 80L on the roof as it will raise your centre of gravity and you will be needing your COG as close to ground as possible.

My usage was typical, not out of the ordinary from the Canning Stock Route trips in 2012 or 2018 (same year as the Madigan Crossing)

Bloody nice country though

Cheers

Thanks for the input, he has since sold the company if it's who I'm thinking of, not quite the Ultimate success....although I do own the same camper. I'm thinking you did it in 2018 as we passed the camper trailer in question just short of Birdsville on our West to East, along the French, probably passed you too.

I usually run 2 twin jerry can holder (on their side) up the centre line of the rack. Still researching but from what I can work out the biggest dunes are further west so most of the fuel will be off the roof by then.
 

billolga

Well-Known Member
The only section of the Madigan I have driven was from Alice, Old Andado to the Colson, down to the Rig Road to the Birdsville Track& on to Innamincka via Walker Crossing, around 1,600 kms from Alice without refueling.
Two of us left Alice, me with 260 ltrs (220 main tanks with 2 Jerrys inside) in a 4.2 Patrol & vaguely remember having around 80 ltrs left at Innamincka.
We got over one sand hill & realized we had gone past a turn on the marked "track" (For what that's worth) & couldn't get back so it was head East till the Colson.
For the Sand hill bits I am like @cookie64 & work on around 20ltrs /100 km.
 

79 Cruiser

Member
On our trip, west to east, 5 vehicles, we all agreed to have 180ltrs of fuel in total, for each vehicle from Mt Dare. The vehicles, 2 single cab V8 Cruiser's with canopies, my dual cab V8 Cruiser with canopy, a Dmax dual cab and a MUX. The Isuzu's used the most fuel, my dual cab used the least, that was a surprise! It is definitely more difficult travelling East to West. We all had more than enough to get to Birdsville. We passed a group that where travelling East to West and they mentioned one hill that they all had 3 goes to get up. Enjoy your trip!
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
On our trip, west to east, 5 vehicles, we all agreed to have 180ltrs of fuel in total, for each vehicle from Mt Dare. The vehicles, 2 single cab V8 Cruiser's with canopies, my dual cab V8 Cruiser with canopy, a Dmax dual cab and a MUX. The Isuzu's used the most fuel, my dual cab used the least, that was a surprise! It is definitely more difficult travelling East to West. We all had more than enough to get to Birdsville. We passed a group that where travelling East to West and they mentioned one hill that they all had 3 goes to get up. Enjoy your trip!

I find the 79 rather frugal on fuel with that style of driving, they just amble along effortlessly. On the blacktop at highway speeds not so much
 

rob_macca67

Well-Known Member
We travelled East to West last year and for part of that we were travelling off-track due to Eyre Creek being flooded + plus off-track exploring in the middle as well... There were 4 vehicles in our group (3 Defenders, 1 80'series) and we all filled up at Birdsville and refuelled at Alice Springs. We detoured to Old Andado Stn along the way.

For my Defender: Total Distance: 1097kms with 168.82ltrs used

On our trip East to West, the Sandhill just/near Madigan camp #8 was the only hill that gave some in our crew an issue where they had to give it a few goes.
 

Grippy

Well-Known Member
What's the Madigan like compared to the French or WAA line conditions wise?
A few months back the WAA was like a dream compared to the French that was slow going and cut to pieces.
 

rob_macca67

Well-Known Member
What's the Madigan like compared to the French or WAA line conditions wise?
A few months back the WAA was like a dream compared to the French that was slow going and cut to pieces.

Well.... "For the moment" I reckon it's a lot smoother than any of the other desert tracks except for possibly Rig Rd.... but the more people that travel it the more it will deteriorate to the same condition as the French Line... When we crossed it we came across numerous groups that I reckon didn't really know what they were doing... These guys were getting stuck going down the sandhills... You can already see the wombat holes forming from people not running their tyres low enough...
 
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Grippy

Well-Known Member
Well.... "For the moment" I reckon it's a lot smoother than any of the other desert tracks except for possibly Rig Rd.... but the more people that travel it the more it will deteriorate to the same condition as the French Line... When we crossed it we came across numerous groups that I reckon didn't really know what they were doing... Theses guys were getting stuck going down the sandhills... You can already see the wombat holes forming from people not running their tyres low enough...
Ah, that's what the QAA was like, churned to pieces after a fair few punters having a crack.
 

hiluxxury

Member
The punters will be out en masse following the poor example set by a particular ytube influencer who raced across it for the clicks.

No doubt the punters will be there with trailers and all the gear.
 

Neil Watts

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure who you're referring too but there's plenty of bad examples on YouTube, don't need to be an influencer.
The modern 4WD also has to come under scrutiny a bit, anyone can drive a modern 4WD across the desert, it's when the shit hits the fan that counts, and people need to be counted on.

Anyway thanks to all who have responded, the main objective was to determine if this route was any more demanding on fuel usage as opposed to how much fuel it takes. I can imagine that back in the day it would have been more demanding on fuel but with a fairly established track now I'm expecting fuel usage to be in line with other desert travel.

Just hope I don't have to resort to carrying fuel like this.

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cam04

Well-Known Member
On our trip, west to east, 5 vehicles, we all agreed to have 180ltrs of fuel in total, for each vehicle from Mt Dare. The vehicles, 2 single cab V8 Cruiser's with canopies, my dual cab V8 Cruiser with canopy, a Dmax dual cab and a MUX. The Isuzu's used the most fuel, my dual cab used the least, that was a surprise! It is definitely more difficult travelling East to West. We all had more than enough to get to Birdsville. We passed a group that where travelling East to West and they mentioned one hill that they all had 3 goes to get up. Enjoy your trip!
My Colorado was the isuzu 4jji engine with auto box. I ran it in low range a fair bit on our 2009 crossing because it was so dry - the auto box heated up in 1,2,3 high range as they do. My old man’s petrol 80 series manual ambled across the French line with us and got into Birdsville for the same or slightly less fuel than I used. We were all impressed with that effort.
 

rob_macca67

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure who you're referring too but there's plenty of bad examples on YouTube, don't need to be an influencer.
The modern 4WD also has to come under scrutiny a bit, anyone can drive a modern 4WD across the desert, it's when the shit hits the fan that counts, and people need to be counted on.

Anyway thanks to all who have responded, the main objective was to determine if this route was any more demanding on fuel usage as opposed to how much fuel it takes. I can imagine that back in the day it would have been more demanding on fuel but with a fairly established track now I'm expecting fuel usage to be in line with other desert travel.

Just hope I don't have to resort to carrying fuel like this.

View attachment 70294

I know of some old fellas (might actually these guys, I don't know) that did A LOT of off-track exploring up through the middle of the Simpson (Sth to Nth via Plenty Lakes and out onto the Plenty Hwy) back in the day with the old PETROL V8 Rangies. I think they were members of the Range Rover Club... The amount of fuel they had to carry was huge. Their group was the group that initially put the Visitors Book & Plaque at Geo-surveyors Hill. The stories of their explorations throughout the years is awesome to listen to, especially all the artefacts that they managed to find...
 
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discomatt

Well-Known Member
Yep those old Range Rovers would have a good drink on a desert crossing, I know because my modded Disco 1 with a 4.6 is mental on fuel in sand
 
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