Top UHF radio safety tips for your next adventure

By Remy Taylor 6 Min Read

Today, we’re talking about UHF radios – the unsung heroes of the Aussie road trip. Whether you’re towing a caravan or out exploring in your 4WD, a UHF radio is a vital piece of safety equipment that can save your bacon (and maybe even your lunch!) in a sticky situation.

You might be thinking, “but I’ve got a mobile phone; why would I need a UHF radio?” Mobile phones are all well and good, but when you’re out in the middle of nowhere, the signal can be patchy at best. Let’s be real, when you’re in a dangerous situation, you need a reliable way to call for help.


That’s where UHF radios come in. These bad boys have a much longer range than mobile phones, so you can reach out for help even when there’s no mobile signal. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your battery running out – as long as you’ve got a set of batteries, you’re good to go.

UHF benefits

UHF radios aren’t just good for calling for help in emergency situations. They’re also a great way to stay in touch with your mates when you’re out on the road. If you’re out on a road trip and your buddy has taken a wrong turn, you can give them a shout and guide them back on track. No more pulling over to the side of the road to try and sort out the map!

Let’s not forget about the safety aspect. While travelling, things can change quickly, whether it’s a road closure, an accident or even a kangaroo jumping out in front of you, it’s important to be able to warn others on the road. With a UHF radio, you can give a quick shout and let your convoy know what’s going on.

Safety tips

Now, we know you’re all seasoned road-goers, but do you know how to use your UHF radio properly? Either way, we’ve got you covered with these 7 UHF radio safety tips:


1) Communication is key

If you’ve got a UHF, use it! Good communication while driving is always a good thing, making the journey safer and more enjoyable. Plan fuel stops, and snack breaks, and warn each other about road hazards or oncoming traffic.

2) Know your channels

Channels 5 and 35 are for emergencies only, so don’t go using them for a chat with your mates, or you’ll find yourself with a hefty fine. 

Channel 11 is the ‘call channel’ to locate friends, while channel 18 is for caravan convoys. 

If you want to talk to truckies, channel 40 is the place to be. 

For general chat, use channels 9, 12-17, 19-21, 24-28, 30, 39, 49-60, 64-70, 79, and 80.

3) Plan your convoy channel

Before you hit the road, make a plan with your convoy about which channel you’ll be using. If you need to change channels, make sure everyone knows and has made the switch. There’s nothing worse than being left behind on an old channel and missing important messages.

4) Display your channel on your vehicle

If you use your caravan or 4WD often, stick a label on the back of your vehicle, letting everyone know what channel you’re on. This way, other road users can communicate important information to you, such as road hazards or safe overtaking procedures.

5) Don’t let the UHF use distract you from driving

This one is a no-brainer and a legal issue too. It’s legal to use a UHF radio while driving, but if you’re caught driving erratically and using a UHF radio at the same time, you can be charged for not being in proper control of a motor vehicle.

6) Handheld UHF’s are handy

A handheld UHF is a handy tool for when you’re parked at a rest area or tackling challenging 4WD tracks. The passenger can communicate with the driver and help guide them into the perfect camping spot or avoid off-road hazards.

7) Let drivers know when you’re overtaking

Towing a caravan and overtaking large vehicles can be a little hair-raising, but using your UHF to communicate with the other driver can make all the difference. Get in touch with the other driver (channel 40 for truckies) and have a friendly chat about the overtaking procedure. A cordial tone is more likely to get a grateful response from the other driver.

UHF radios are a must-have for anyone who spends time on the road. They’re a reliable way to stay in touch, call for help in emergency situations and keep you and your mates safe. So, if you haven’t already got one, it’s time to go and grab yourself a UHF radio – you won’t regret it.


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