Huge costs when you "break" your car in remote areas

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 10:01
ThreadID: 119432 Views:3407 Replies:4 FollowUps:10
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There is a thread on another Aussie 4x4 forum looking for advise getting a car recovered, fixed and back home. It mentions thousands of dollars. I thought it was worth a mention on this forum as well.

Quote from that forum:

"the estimate at the moment is he is at least $7000 out of pocket Phil
getting the ute to Kununara
3 nights at the pub at $135 pn !!
trucking it to perth
flight back to perth
getting the ute to where he is camped the moment
and new or rebuilt exchange box........ not sure what will be happening there; still to be pulled apart"

We got access to a 1 mill plus property owned by a Saudi group. To do so we had to agree to phenomenal costs like $2000 an hour for a chopper and $1000 an hour per staff member if we got stuck. And that did not include any cost for repairs.

What is the alternative - Leave the car, don't go or do the drive and accept the risks and associated costs???

Just a reminder of one of the risks travelling remote.

Insurance may not help when half way down the Canning or in the middle of the Simpson or on one of the private property or "company" roads/tracks.


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Reply By: pop2jocem - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 15:49

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 15:49

I think you have pretty well listed the obvious alternatives in your line "What is the alternative".....etc etc.

I guess travelling remote does have it's obvious attractions but also it's pitfalls.
Your alternatives are pretty well determined by what went pear shaped and your own ability to think outside the square when looking for the best way out.

About 17 years ago a mate of mine and our wives did the CSR. We travelled in 2 pretty much identical vehicles. Our plan "B", if the problem couldn't be fixed by "adapting" something we had with us, buying/borrowing from another traveller, or carving a new component out of the surrounding country side, was for the still mobile vehicle to head for either the Talawanna or Kidson tracks, whichever was the closer, and source the necessary parts.
Fortunately we didn't have to put plan "B" into action.

I guess the fact that my mate was an electrician and I a diesel mechanic could have helped a bit too...(;=))

AnswerID: 556815

Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 16:31

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 16:31
I can see it now. A diesel fitter and an Electrician looking at a problem.

Electrician. Its a mechanical problem. Fitter no it's not, it"s electrical and on it goes into the night. LOL.
FollowupID: 843084

Follow Up By: Bob R4 - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 21:33

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 21:33
Might be a bit off topic, but I think I can remember during one Bathurst race back in the seventies seeing Allan Moffatt explaining that he had an electrical problem on his Ford which put it out of the race.
Apparently when the motor blew and threw a con-rod through the block, it knocked the starter motor off.
I guess it really was and electrical problem after all.
When in trouble it pays to choose the right specialist.

FollowupID: 843100

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 14:29

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 14:29
Slow one,

Having been on a few jaunts with this mate over the last 50 or so years I can state categorically you are spot on....LOL.

FollowupID: 843137

Follow Up By: landseka - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 19:32

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 19:32
It was actually the distributor got knocked off by a con-rod and I think it was Bill Brown's comment.
FollowupID: 843173

Reply By: Jackolux - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 21:52

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 21:52
I think all of us that go to very remote places , full well realise if something goes wrong , and we haven't got the necessary parts or expertise to fix things , it could very well cost many thousands of dollars to recover a vehicle , maybe more than the vehicle worth .
AnswerID: 556819

Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 22:47

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 22:47
G'day vk1dx

Don't forget to add greed to the equation !

Friend broke down 67 k's north of Port Augusta on his way from Darwin to Adelaide in his Mitsubishi Delica. He was on the bitumen not out in the sticks somewhere.

He made a few calls and the ONLY mob that could get him into Port Augusta to have his car fixed said it would cost him $1200 - reluctantly he said ok. An hour later a 12 tonne flat bed tow truck rolled up and said - it's a $100 extra for an over weight vehicle and a $100 extra for an over size vehicle ! WTF - his van weighed maybe 3 tonne at most loaded and was at least 5 metres in length shorter than the tow trucks tray !

Gotta love entrepreneurs !!

Happy and safe travels


AnswerID: 556822

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 23:03

Thursday, Jul 09, 2015 at 23:03
True Gazz - I wonder if he now has NRMA or RAC etc club membership.

FollowupID: 843104

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 08:32

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 08:32
Motoring slowly into the Big Red Bash venue last Saturday arvo, Phil, and Barnsey's big black recovery truck came lumbering down off Big Red. A well decked out troopy resting calmly on the back, and its occupants sitting in the truck cab.

Made me wonder how far away they were at crunch time, and just what was wrong? Didn't really notice, but don't think it was one of the later V8 models.


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AnswerID: 556828

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 09:32

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 09:32
Now that isn't a cheap recovery. Nice truck though. Met Geoff from Mt Dare (hope I got the name right - moved to Tennant Creek) on the WAA line. He had a small recreational buggy on the trailer. Even that wasn't cheap. It broke the motor and he had to take it to Alice. Nice looking "toy" also. Looked as if it was well maintained. You never know do you.

Hopefully we have good insurance. They claim not to preclude remote areas. The policy does not mention off road nor does it say anything about us being covered only on gazetted roads. I did query the rep several times and the girl actually got advice from her supervisor and other reps. But when if it is needed lets hope we chose wisely. It is with GIO. I don't know what we paid as I was after off road coverage so didn't go chasing a cheap insurance policy.

FollowupID: 843118

Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 09:48

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 09:48

The question is whether a break-down qualifies for a claim under a comprehensive insurance policy?

Insurance is generally for an accident not mechanical breakdown, so might be worth checking.

As an aside, Jeff (from Mt Dare) is now running the pub a Poochera in SA.

Cheers, Baz

FollowupID: 843120

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:53

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 10:53
That is true. We also have NRMA coverage for gazetted roads that covers mechanical breakdowns.

Our son had a head on with a 4WD hire car on the OTT up on Cape York. Their insurance said they weren't supposed to be on the OTT - No cover. So the son sues them privately and got all costs including hire, accommodation, fares to/from the Cape and more. Actually he did well. If the other bloke had remote coverage he would have been covered by that bloke's insurance. He was totally a tool, hoon and idiot. Witnesses galore for our son.

I raised the thread just to "put it out there" so that hopefully some newbies, and non thinking "regulars", will get some good out of it. We will never know though - will we.

Three weeks to lift of and the GP just found some skin cancer on my face. Waiting for the specialist to call with an appointment. Bugger it - I will ring them.

FollowupID: 843127

Follow Up By: Ozrover - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 11:05

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 11:05
Hi guys, that "buggy" recovery was a headache from start to finish, long story, tell you one day...

Most of the recoveries that I have been involved with have been mostly for things that you cannot prepare for i.e. clutch, turbo, alternator, etc, etc... failure.

Then there were the ones caused or miss diagnosed by numpties, rollovers (15yo driving), failed wheel bearings that were in fact fine, broken transfer case linkage, just had to get underneath & have a look.

Also quite a few where if people had been paying attention or driving to the conditions, then they wouldn't have gotten bogged or broken something.

I used to tell people to prepare for the worse & hope for the best, if it goes tits up, sit down & think about it, you may come up with a solution to get yourself out, if not it is going to cost you for the time & expertise of the recovery operator as well as the wear & tare on their vehicle.

See you at the Poochera Hotel some day & we'll talk treason... lol.

FollowupID: 843129

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 14:06

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 at 14:06
Always were worth a yarn over a beer Jeff. Have to visit the Poochera Hotel soon.

FollowupID: 843136

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