Coober Pedy - let the engineering begin.....Again!

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008 at 00:00


Tuesday 24th June, 2008
Coober Pedy SA

It was a cool night. The moon rose a little after 10 pm, a giant globe of subdued gold. It certainly brightened things up. I’d forgotten to take a time piece to bed with me so I awoke at an undetermined time and didn’t know if it was 2:00 a.m. or time to get up. After an hour I climbed down to answer the call of nature and retrieved the phone to find it was actually 6:00 a.m. Scott and Gaby were soon out of their mobile motel so I quietly lay in my warm surroundings until I was sure they had the fire going before emerging into the crisp morning air.

A good feed of jaffles was had although the sunken, anemic offering produced by Scott will have to be rectified by some serious tuition! We were packed and on the move by 8:30 a.m. arriving back in Coober Pedy a little over an hour later. Straight to the visitors centre where I managed to contact Lyn who I had done a training course in Adelaide with a couple of years ago. She said she might know someone who could help us so of we went to see Geoff, the local bush mechanic. He thought that Ross might be better idea as Geoff himself was flat out wrestling with the transmission of a Ford.

Ross as it turned out was a great old engineer who had operated the local “Outback Supplies” engineering works, an eclectic collection of sheds and scrap situated in Umoona Road. He was a bit busy but was more than happy for us to do the prep work and he would re weld the brackets for us. Thus it was, we snuggled in beside three blokes who had bought in an Oka that had suffered serious rear suspension issues out on the Ann Beadell.

We unloaded the trailers in the front yard and wheeled both through to the back where we commenced by removing the wheels and spring hangers. We initially had the trailer propped up on three tyres but decided that it would be easier to work on them if they were upside down so with the help of the other blokes, we upended both trailers. Things moved on from there.It took a little bit of time on the first rear mount as we figured out just what it was we were doing and identified the easiest way to go about it. Scott’s trailer had the added difficulty of the guards being hard up against the bracket and welded to it. Mine, due to the width of the tyres, had a 50mm offset between the trailer frame and the guards which I had enclosed with rubber. The end result was that we had to take a sizeable moon shaped bite out of the inside of Scotties guards.

After two bleep tered cutting wheels, we finally got the first bracket off. Things went swiftly on the second and into overdrive on the two on my trailer. Once clamped into place, Ross welded them in the now location 55 mm to the rear of the previous mounting place. Scotty was a marvel on the grinder. Once done it was re fitting the hangers, rolling them back over and reloading. Job done. We were out of there at 4.40 p.m. five and a half hours after arriving, dirty, sunburnt and stuffed. Problem solved though.Ross asked for $50 but we gave him $70 for his time and had to practically force that on him!.

We booked in at the Oasis big 4. I got a cabin. A load of washing and then up to the pub for dinner with Lynne and her friend Pauline. A few of natures anti-inflammatories and then a stroll back to the park and bed. I did a little computer work getting maps loaded into the Trackranger program. Had a late text from Amanda who was having difficulties getting to La Guadia in time for her flight to Winnipeg. She made it.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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