Stuck beside the Stuart Hwy

Submitted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 18:52
ThreadID: 69277 Views:3434 Replies:9 FollowUps:14
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So... a bit of a problem as I tour around.
Travelled up through NSW, Qld and across the Barkley Tablelands [the road is like a freeway compared to 20 years ago!!!!]

Had some time on my hands thank goodness, but hit a problem yesterday. The transit van died beside the hwy. I felt it was time to have a bit of aircon about 3pm.... as I turned it on.... she died on me!

I'm not sure what the connection is, but it looks like a fuel filter. I'm currently waiting for one to arrive at Daley Water Inn... nice!

The point of this post though is that non stopped for the first half hour. I had hazards flashing and parked in the shade of a tree. The bonnet was up and I stood expectantly beside the old girl as many a southern caravan was towed past. Nice friendly people .. they all waved. Finally I made up a sign that read "HELP?".... severa nice friendly waves....

In frustration, I jumped in and turned her over. It started and I took off for another k or so. This time I stopped near a crest with my bum pointing out just a little. [had no choice dammit]

Almost immediately someone going the opp direction stopped and jumped out to offer assistance. No sooner had they headed off with a message for road side assist, than another stopped and took a message north. Then two more stopped.

The only ones to stop.... were.... Territorians. None with vans. Interesting. Two were tourists, and the other two.. not sure.

Okay... then another stopped.. a grey nomad from Vic towing a van.

After that I pulled off the road, so things were not so obvious. She started up after a rest.

I wasn't worried. I had plenty of food and water and I felt sure someone would stop,.... but I think maybe 20 people passed initially.

Ah well not to worry. I'll head off into the pub and get myself some barra and chips. Hooroo.
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Reply By: Member - Axle - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:07

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:07
Royce!!, ....Spares!!.... Fanbelt ..Fuel filter.. waterpump...wheelbearing...BLAh..blah ..blah. don't feel sorry for a fuel filter prob. ...Sorry. But have a good trip any way.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 367208

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:34

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:34
I have plenty of spares...but not the fuel filter.. will in future1
Mind you ... nowadays Total Care is the best spare :-]]
FollowupID: 634970

Reply By: _gmd_pps - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:08

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:08
And your point is ?
Do you expect everyone to stop and hold hands ?
You only need one decent person to stop and thats probably 500:1 so on Stuart Hwy this should not take hours.

good luck
AnswerID: 367210

Follow Up By: The Top End Explorer - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:34

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:34
I don't know why you bother to post, you never have anything constructive to say, and for every 499 people like you who wouldn't stop, there is 1 Territorian like me who would, and that is all it takes.

FollowupID: 634953

Follow Up By: Outbackswine - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:52

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:52
I am but another who would stop. I live in Mount Isa and travel the roads throughout this region often by both 4wd and motorcycle.

If I see a car stopped on the side of the road with someone around the car, I will always stop and just ask if they need a hand, I even stop for road trains if I see them with the cab tilted, even though they usually have HF and sat phones.

It takes little effort to note the vehicle details and it's location and call the local road service or someone else for the stranded person. It could save them hours of waiting for assistance.

I hope that if it were ever me on the side of the road especially if I'm on one of my bikes, that someone will stop for me.

_gmd_pps if you ever happen to breakdown up this way, can you please hold up a sign identifying yourself, so I know not to bother stopping for you.
FollowupID: 634960

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:40

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:40
My point? Thought I made it pretty well. Read again.

Thanks for good luck wish though.

I guess my experience was more like 5 in 25 stopped... just that no Territorians passed without stopping. 500:1.... I think you got a bit excited with that one.
FollowupID: 634971

Follow Up By: Russ n Sue - Friday, May 29, 2009 at 00:12

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 00:12
My wife hates it because I stop for EVERYONE. I have this old concept of helping someone else because I just might need help myself one day. Naive? Sure. But I wouldn't like to be the one in Royce's situation - watching car after car go past.

I have yet to stop to assist anyone and then find out that they are an "axe murderer" or something like it. In fact the most frustrating thing is when there is nothing you can do to help.


FollowupID: 634984

Follow Up By: _gmd_pps - Friday, May 29, 2009 at 01:18

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 01:18

as a matter of fact I do stop when somebody signals for help and usually can
help because I carry spare battery, spare hoses, heaps of electrical stuff, tools, engine oil, transmission oil, diff oil etc etc. because I need to be self sufficient because if I break down there is nobody who can help me with anything, not even with a tow. A couple of people along the way were very happy that I happen to have a TechII and the latest workshop manuals of their Silverados or Suburbans on DVD, when they limped to a roadhouse with their CEL lit and the 5th wheeler in tow.

Have fun

FollowupID: 634990

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:12

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:12
Hi Royce
I hope that it is something simple and you are on your merry way again soon.

All the best


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AnswerID: 367211

Reply By: Member - Fred G NSW - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:16

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:16
G'day Royce, hope things are back on track for you. We have just come that way, but turned left at the three ways and are in a nice little park tonight behind the Ti Tree roadhouse. Highly reccomended. Had 2 nights at Barkley Homestead park, bloody sensational spot.I found every man and his dog wants to wave to you on the road, but as soon as they meet you face to face at the park they want to turn invisible. We lost a windscreen and had a wallaby hit the van like an excocet missile near Barcaldine, but otherwise have had a great trip. Off to Alice tomorrow, and Curtain Springs on Sunday. One poor bugger sheared off the wheel studs of his patrol's right rear wheel, on the Barkley, and limped in late last night on 2 borrowed studs.
Anyway mate, enjoy the barra and chips, and have a trouble free run from here on.

AnswerID: 367213

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:46

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 22:46
I'm having the time of my life! At no stage do I see events like this as negative. I love it! I've been stuck in the middle of the Tanimi with a burning battery.... all sorts of adventures and always look back at them as highlights.... meeting great people, solving problems and collecting memories.

hey.. my first thought was that I had cooked the motor! A fuel problem... happy.
I once did a show for TiTree school.... arrived late at night and was greeted by two suspicious blokes with guns hanging out of their ute.
They turned out to be the local cop and principal of the school shooting rabbits on the school oval!

Cheers Royce
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:47

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 19:47
Yes, you don't need any comms as plenty of help availiable...maybe .
Hope you're on your way again shortly.
Good luck
AnswerID: 367219

Follow Up By: Member - Fred G NSW - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:12

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:12
Footy it's been a while since I have been on a trip, way too long. But on this trip I have found a new generation of travellers which I have now christened the "white sneaker brigade." Each arvo they get out of their Motorhome, campervan, britz, A,van etc with imaculately white sneakers and socks and dressed like pox doctors clerks. What's the go????????? were they the ones waving back politely to Royce whilst driving by thinking what a friendly young man he was?
FollowupID: 634944

Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:39

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:39
Fred, these are the grey nomads that your parents warned you about ! Fit both physically and financially, they stride forth to assault their life long dream of "getting out there".
Of course they don't actually get dirty, tired or hungry and thirsty, and don't have any inclination to think beyond the confines of their personal experiences. They wouldn't dream of stopping for a fellow traveller; after all they've all seen "Wolf Creek".
I borrowed a similar scenario in one of my books.
Come May/June there's a wagon train of motor homes and 4wds with trailers heading north, and sweeping anyone and everything in their path.
They stop briefly in towns, jump out and click their photo boxes briefly and then on to their next "experience."

If I sound a bit jaded, it's because I am sick of them gathering in a defensive circle and taking up every free camping spot between here and Bourketown.

However there is an upside to all this business. It's the provision of tourist services in country towns.
The downside is that few serious travellers can afford to use them :)))

FollowupID: 634956

Follow Up By: Member - Fred G NSW - Friday, May 29, 2009 at 08:35

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 08:35
How true what you say Footy.

We decided to stay an extra day at Barkley H/S Roadhouse just because we liked it there. After all had gone on their way after our first night, we had the place to ourselves till about 2pm. First bloke in was in a motorhome, and having about 25 acres of campsites to pick from, parked right along side us up the back.
Bit like beach fishing. If you're the only one there, you can guarantee you're gonna have company.
FollowupID: 635006

Follow Up By: curious - Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 16:38

Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 16:38
Fred & Footy,
I'd have to agree with you both re the "white sneaker brigade". I encountered them last year and get annoyed that they won't share roadside facilities or free camping areas and seem to look down on people in tents. However there's an upside to them not getting dirty, they won't venture off the bitumen or main roads. I've met some of the nicest people off road who really do love the bush and don't view it as "an experience". So I make an extra effort to avoid main roads wherever possible.

I've stopped and helped several people on the roadside, easy just to stop and ask if they're ok and do they need assistance. And that's been repaid on a couple of occasions when I've needed help. Somehow I reckon you get back what you give out; even a genuine thanks is a nice reward.

FollowupID: 635253

Follow Up By: browny 65 - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 19:56

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 19:56
hi i am what you call one of the "white sneaker brigade" and bloody proud of it. you enviroment destroying 4wd idiots. i have lost count of how many of you idiots have towed into service stations. it got that bad last year in the north of wa, i bought a wire tow rope ( the last 4wd idiot i towed broke my rope 4 times, jumping on the brakes . this idiots 4wd wife couldnt even drive. so i unhook the grand vitara, hooked up his van,with my wife driving,and me towing his land destroyer . towed him 84 klms to roburn roadhouse. you guessed it "the bastard didnt even say thank you"
FollowupID: 638972

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:47

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 21:47
Hi Royce

I hope you're mobile again soon. We had a breakdown on the Stuart Highway in SA - tow bar broke. No-one stopped, although we were barely off the black and obviously something was wrong. After i left my husband guarding the caravan and I was gone some hours, i think he only had one car stop.

Get off the black top in more remote areas, and everyone stops to offer help. We stopped to assist others on a couple of occasions. In one case on the Tanami road every passing tourist stopped and all waited until the vehicle was going again before leaving. In the case of travellers who had broken a camper trailer spring on the Mereenie Loop, we and the other couple who stopped to help stayed with them and assisted each time they things came apart on the very slow journey to Kings Canyon. Along the Gibb River Road and surrounds every car stops for a parked vehicle - even if you have just stopped to take a photo - or as one lady put it, she called to the sixth car that stopped "I just want to pee".



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AnswerID: 367255

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, May 29, 2009 at 08:18

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 08:18
G'day Royce,

Good to hear that you haven't lost your sense of humour! When we travel and have plenty of time we are so destressed that these sort of things don't worry us either they are all part of the travel experience. Like you we have enough of these to fondly remember whenever we recall a particular trip - they just seem to be the things that really stand out!

I am accustomed to travelling with others but I can see a time when we'll be travelling by ourselves so no support (tended to be a mixed bag of knowledge and mental) but I don't see this as a problem either. There is a good chance that we would pull over as we have done this on many occasions but I wondered if this would change when we start travelling alone. Your post highlighted to me that I probably will continue pulling over - after all we will be in even less of a hurry!

There is a certain satisfaction of helping others when they are in trouble and most really appreciate the effort. You just never know when such a good deed is returned.

I hope it all turns out OK and you don't end up spending too much time in that pub!

Kind regards
AnswerID: 367322

Reply By: HGMonaro - Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:32

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 10:32
pretty poor response if you're making an effort to attract their attention, especially a 'help' sign!

I've stopped to ask if someone was ok several times.

Timed one just right... pulled up as the guy was just loading his vans spare wheel in the car (job done!). Said he was fine so we continued on and was flagged down by his mate heading back who had decided something was wrong and wanted to know if we'd seen the car/van combo along the road. Was able to tell them they would be along shortly.

When our wind-camper had a problem (wouldn't wind up!) we were besiged with offers of help, suggestions, and tools. Didn't get any 'real' help but was nice that serveral groups didn't just ignore our plight.

Helping others out reminds me of something else we saw a lot of 'outback'. People walking without sufficient water and inappropiate clothing, esp footware. We were at the top of Uluru and this guy was obviously exhausted and 'dying' for a drink. I heard his wife/partner saying she'd see if she could buy some water off someone so I offered them a bottle (I usually carry an extra one in my camera bag and the Mrs always has several in her backpack). She offered to pay but I declined.

AnswerID: 367361

Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, May 29, 2009 at 13:55

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 13:55
Good points for thought - many would take advantage of someone like that, particularly in a "self-inflicted need". It's good just to help them without looking for something in return (apart from the hope that they will learn from their mistake). I agree, it is amazing how many you see at the top of the Rock wearing just thongs or flimsy sandals!

No matter where we go, we will probably not think of everything (or might even forget something) - even if it might be so obvious to other people in the area (like a fuel filter in Royce's case!) and most of the time we get away with it.

Royce, I'd stop for you! It doesn't matter how many spare bits you carry, it's impossible to carry a spare of everything...
FollowupID: 635069

Reply By: Bongo (Darwin NT) - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 20:58

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 20:58
"I'm currently waiting for one to arrive at Daley Water Inn... nice!"

You should take a hike out to the the pub; fantastic!

I suppose they are taking care of you out at the Highway Inn??

AnswerID: 371706

Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 23:54

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009 at 23:54
Hey Bongo! That was so long ago!

Meanwhile I've been up in Darwin for a couple of weeks, and driven home to Vic.

While I was waiting though, I rode my pushbike up to the old pub and had a beer. I've been there a few times.... nice.
FollowupID: 639020

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