Not so "Overly Cautious"

Submitted: Monday, Oct 08, 2018 at 00:16
ThreadID: 137317 Views:4176 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Things seem a little quiet here at the moment, so perhaps it may be a good time to relate an interesting incident on our recent travels to Arnhem Land.

As we were travelling between Borroloola and Doomadgee we came across a Hilux with an obvious problem of having only three wheels. Well, the fourth wheel was there but cast aside in a rather sorry state.

The two indigenous chaps were struggling with a screw jack that really was not up to the job and anyway had no handle so they were using a pair of fencing pliers and had managed to extend it but it was never going to be enough. Looking on without emotion was a young woman with a sleeping baby.

Of course the reason for the wheel “going bush” was the loss of the nuts and now the hub had one broken stud and one with a serious bend in the middle. For its part, the mag wheel had seriously enlarged stud holes and in no way was it going back on the hub. The two chaps welcomed my arrival with big grins that widened even more when I produced my double-extension hydraulic jack. We were getting along just great and happiness prevailed.

While I worked on the hub, Roz chummed up to the young woman and found that she was travelling to Doomadgee for a family visit and the ute tray was filled with a mattress, several stuffed bags and a live turtle to be presented as a food gift. Roz made our satphone available to call her folks with news of the event and revised travel arrangements.

I managed to remove the bent stud and the remains of the broken one then repositioned one of the remaining studs. Three studs should be enough (hopefully) if one drives carefully and I discussed that a bit with my newfound indigenous mates. At least they did have a spare wheel and it was inflated and they even had a good wheel brace. As they were only about 100k into their journey they wisely decided to return to Borroloola. Hope they made it.

It was pleasing to “help someone out” and, for me at least, an opportunity to closely engage with my indigenous “brothers” and to further reflect on Robin Miller’s thread in August about “being overly cautious”.

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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Monday, Oct 08, 2018 at 00:56

Monday, Oct 08, 2018 at 00:56
Great story....great work!
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Reply By: AlanTH - Monday, Oct 08, 2018 at 10:25

Monday, Oct 08, 2018 at 10:25
Nice story and I'm sure they and their rellies appreciated your efforts. Moons ago I was working on the blacktop east of Fitzroy Crossing when 2 of us in a service truck came across and broken Holden wagon with several kids plus mums and the driver who was a bit under the weather.
First we gave them an esky with orange juice from our mess plus some water as they had nothing on board with them.
Then checked out the vehicle and found the battery connections were very loose. Looked like there'd been a few attempts to fix them and the posts were even loose in the battery....
Anyway we bodged it up and it started and off they went with big smiles and waves all round.
Few weeks later we were at a rodeo and the driver of the vehicle recognised us immediately and we got invited to their station which was further up the road from our camp.
Nice people who appreciated our efforts and we certainly didn't mind helping them out.
A far cry from the oik not far from Drysdale who demanded, without any of the niceties like a "g/day mate" or "Nice to see you" etc., that we tow him using our equipment as his stuff was too difficult to get out of where ever he'd put it and anyway he couldn't bothered!
Try some manners next time matey. But we did leave a message at the station.

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 10:27

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 10:27
Love "Helping someone out" Allan -espicialy when they have just been told not to do something and they stuff it up !

Of course you have to let then suffer a bit first , then try to get themselves out , and make in worse, then suffer the embrassment of having "I told you so photo's" taken.

This pic from when we went beach driving at Esperance a few weeks go fit the criteria very well , dune very steep, Vultures overhead (of seagull type) black car is firmly on its belly , Max tracks useless, no room to turn around or get of track , tide coming in on other side, and me gingerly pulling stuck car down the hill - not as easy as it looks.

Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Bill C9 - Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 at 10:15

Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 at 10:15
How do they do it?
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Reply By: Member - Wildmax - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 10:36

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 10:36
Good on you Allan, that's a really nice story.
We found friendly and welcoming indigineous folk all through our travels and I'm glad you were able to help.
Earlier this year in Marla I got a car started for an Aboriginal woman travelling alone, who had been struggling and completely ignored by everyone else at the camp ground.
She was a delightful lady and I not the nicest hug of appreciation after coaxing her vehicle into life.
2018 Hilux and Black Wolf 210 tent - for the outback tracks less travelled
Formerly an AOR Eclipse and a TVan

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Reply By: Member Kerry W (WA) - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 13:44

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 13:44

Ah Yes tales of woe along the track -

A picture tell a thousand words they say!

Found these guys stuck miles from anywhere up at Cape York. They had been there since the previous afternoon, one of their party had gone ahead for help. (about an 80klm walk) They said the battery had gone flat - so using some bush logic - a warm battery is better than a cold one - they put the battery in the coals of the fire for a fair while to warm it up!!! Sure enough it was singed and black - how it didnt go up in a puff of smoke I dont know. But hot or cold a dead battery is dead!

They were not going anywhere.

I hooked up both my batteries with 4 jumper leads straight onto the starter motor as well as the battery and earthed directly onto the motor (even earthed my bullbar to theirs) - eventually had it cranking over quite well but didnt fire up.

I reasoned that they must be sucking air somewhere along the fuel line.

Now I am sorry I didnt get a photograph or video the process of getting one of these intrepid young fellas to blow heartily into the fuel filler to pressurise the fuel tank long enough to get the old Patrol fired up and running but it was a circus with lots of skepticism and laughter (ahh... your having us on ay?)

But it worked - luckily I was right, cause even my traveling companions were starting to think I was a bit loopy for persisting in trying to get this old beast going.

When it did fire up they all jumped in and took off waving and laughing much to our relief..........................................................................................................................................about 400 meters down the road it died again.

So - they were fine where they were. (The only essential they were low on was beer - they left a dry community to go to town for a drink and got stranded on the way back). We went on ahead to send help back and picked up their cheeky mate about 30ks down the track - and eventually came upon the search party that come out looking for them anyway... and that was another story in itself.

Kerry W (Qld)
Security is mostly a superstition. It doesnt exist in nature. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 23:18

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 23:18
Thank you to those who responded with nice expressions and to the 14 "Thumbs-up" to my post.

Clearly you appreciate good relationships with indigenous folks as I do.


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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 10:04

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 10:04
Couldn't agree more Allan B. There's too many people who jump up with bad tales about all sorts of "others" but mostly I find treating people right can get an amazing response sometimes.
And that's from a really cynical ex cab owner driver who mostly worked night shift to get away from bossy Mums with kids and shopping trolleys! :)
Happy travels.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 16:23

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 16:23
Good on you Alan for firstly stopping to help these people. And secondly for sharing on here.

A great read.

During my life I have worked with and then later employed indigenous men. I have the utmost respect for them. Got to know some of their ways in that time !! The vast majority of them are just down to earth people like most of us whities.

I wouldn’t hesitate to stop to help these people out bush, even if it is only for the old out of fuel thing.

You deserve all those “thumbs up “

Cheers Greg

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 18:38

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 18:38
Hey Greg, I just took half an hour out of my leisurely day to help someone out.

I got just as much out of it as they did. Maybe more.

But it is really pleasing to see how many people here appreciated the episode.


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Reply By: Bill C9 - Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 at 10:14

Saturday, Oct 27, 2018 at 10:14
Love Allen's good news story, but I wonder how someone gets stuck on top of a firm looking dune, Robin..
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