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Author Topic: Outback Bound  (Read 12592 times)

DingosGotMyBaby

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Outback Bound
« on: August 17, 2007, 07:48:05 PM »
I'm going to break a few posting rules here (sorry rob), so I'll try to keep it interesting :roll: Also keep an eye out for the clickable links. This is a continuation of the GRAVEYARD  post I've had going for the last few months...
I've never been to The Northern Territory before and my company has never sent a truck that far north so it was a first for both of us. Usually when I start work I’ll do a coolant, oil, tyres check and do a quick walk around to make sure I’m good to go. This trip, I carried out the most intense check ever, which took me the most of 2 days! The workshop armed me with fuel filters, belts, oil, coolant etc and I got the tyre fitter to give me some spares as we usually don’t carry any. I was going into the outback where there are no mechanics or tyre fitters just a quick phone call away. There is no phone service for 1200km and if you break down, you're on your own! I always carry a little tool kit in the truck and for years it has always got me out of trouble...This trip I loaded a 3 draw chest of tools, hacksaw, sledge hammer, crow bar and an extra jack, just to be sure!
As well as being mechanically sound for a truck with 1.5 million km’s on the clock, it also cleans up well for an old girl. The only problem was, after 7 hours of washing and polishing, the winter skies were about to open up and dirty the whole lot before I even start my trip. The weather forecast for Alice Springs was hot and dry but I had cold and wet conditions ahead...

I left 6am Monday morning and the roads were dry! I couldn't believe my luck. I checked the load after 30 minutes of driving and one of the chains had come lose. I stopped twice again in the next hour but the old tanker had found its resting place and the chains were super tight, so it was time to make a few serious miles! I arrived in Port Augusta at 6pm and called it a day.
After a nice shower and some bacon and eggs, I headed off again at 6am. It was probably a little too early to leave as it was still dark and the kangaroos where going to be on the road. After 30 minutes of dodging and swerving the biggest kangaroos I have ever seen, I finally slammed one and thought it might be a good thing to pull over and wait for the sun to come up. I have no bullbar but I had no damage to the truck and I’m pretty sure the roo survived as I couldn’t find him anywhere. I took a couple of sunrise photos while I waited...

The driving conditions were perfect and the road was beautiful and wide compared to what I’m used to…

When they say there is nothing out there, they really mean it!!! Some of the landscape looked like the surface of Mars and I could only imagine how bad a break down in Summer would be...

I had oversize loads from the Department Of Defence coming at me every 30 minutes. They were M1 Abrams towed behind twin steer MAN's

I pulled in for lunch at Cadney Homestead Roadhouse where I saw this BULKtrans quad road train. The driver was having problems with the wind and asked if he could swap tankers with me :-D

I made it to the Northern Territory border and really wanted to get a photo but was faced with a big sign saying No Trucks! Well after seeing the BULKtrans quad up close, I figured I was too small to be called a truck up here and pulled in for my pic :wink:

When the sun starts to set in the desert, it's an awesome colour...

I kept pedaling towards Alice Springs with plans of spending the night there and not in the middle of nowhere. I came over a rise and could see the lights of the town and I just run out of hours in my logbook. I thought to myself, hmm…do I pull over here and sit for 12 hours, or do I drive down the hill and have a nice meal. Within minutes of that thought…flashing lights in my mirror meant I was in trouble. You only have to be 8 minutes over your driving time and you can be fined. I met him halfway down the trailer and the first thing he said to me was, “you nearly made it”. I handed him my licence and logbook and he gave the logbook straight back to me. “You don’t need those up here mate”. I found it hard to speak to him after that with my HUGE grin :-D. After a friendly chat I drove down the hill into town and pulled into the Roadhouse.
I was a little too excited to have a sleep-in and drove over the Road Transport Hall Of Fame Museum nice and early...

The owner let me in and pointed me in the direction of the un-loading ramp. I was told that he had plenty of trucks to use to drive it off but that wasn't true. He said nothing about the old tanker, didn't want to listen about its history and never said thank-you for fixing it up and donating it to his museum. He walked off and I never saw him again. I had to un-hook and drive the tanker off with my own truck but I had clearance problems with the landing legs. It was never meant to be hooked up with a bogie drive truck so I could only drive it off the ramp and un-hook it. A guy came over with a fork-lift and pushed it into its new home…

While I was there I thought I would take a few photos. He had a mighty collection of restored and un-restored trucks and trailers on display and even had an air-conditioned Kenworth display pavilion. I won’t show you all of the photos I took there as this topic is getting a little big (sorry again rob) but here are a few of my favorites...

And for §wishy, an S-Model...

I caught up with a mate who lives in Alice Springs and drives a Kenworth T650 triple road train for Gilbert Earthmoving. While he went out for a load I washed the truck, got myself sunburnt and went for a quick scenic tour…

We met back at his depot and while he was cleaning out his trailers, I thought how funny it would be to try and reverse a triple road train. Is it possible and how far would I get? I have made a bit of a name for myself backing b-doubles and b-triples on YouTube so the temptation was too much to take! Click Here To Watch
After the fun of that I took it out for a drive around Alice Springs. It was amazing to watch the trailers in the mirrors follow each other around corners like a centipede. I was driving it empty but could still feel the strain of the 55 tonne tare weight...

I spent a few days in Alice Springs but sadly had to head south again back to the winter cold…

I pulled into Glendambo for tea and came across this beautiful T904 Kenworth. I couldn't resist a photo...

Well I got to within 1 hour from home and the heavens opened up! I couldn’t complain I guess as the truck has been clean for the whole trip. It actually took longer to unpack all my gear, tools etc than it did to wash the truck…

Well that's it :-D I again apologize for breaking all the limit rules but I would easily say this has been the best trip in my whole driving career! I would love to go back again one day soon…Oh hang on…I get to go again for my boss’s induction into the hall of fame in 6 days but this time I’m going by plane :-D
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 09:05:37 PM by DingosGotMyBaby »
Find a profession and make it your obsession then you’ll never work a day in your life.

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Outback Bound
« on: August 17, 2007, 07:48:05 PM »

§wishy

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 08:32:26 PM »
Ding
GuddayM8

X cellent Pics
Keep m cummin

Great story
wot else can we ask 4
Pix with words to go with m
LOL

If there is any pics of 'S' models on the walls of THoF would muchly B  apreciated
Thanx in advance

I don't think Rob will ball U out over the size of u're post
as it is most entertaining n educational
Well Dun
Go 2 the top of the class n have a stubby or 3

LOL
cya
§wishy
HasBeen

rayman852002

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 08:55:01 PM »
Those are some Of the Best looking truck pics i have seen on here in awhile  :-o :-o :-o :-o I love looking at those Roadtrains  :-o :-o and those COEs  :-o :-o :-o

kenworth

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 09:08:20 PM »
Great story,photos there dingo excellent work :-D :-) :wink:

nullarbor kid

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 09:17:56 PM »
great post  Rob I'm sure would agree
go to the top of the class but dont take your books with you
I'm only joking  (I was told that at school)
lol   Ray

DingosGotMyBaby

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 10:38:59 PM »
great post  Rob I'm sure would agree
go to the top of the class but dont take your books with you
I'm only joking  (I was told that at school)
lol   Ray
I might need to take my new book with me that I just bought. It's by some bloke who used to run the Nullarbor many moons ago...Maybe you have heard of him???

Find a profession and make it your obsession then you’ll never work a day in your life.

Alan Drake

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2007, 11:21:00 PM »
 Don't apologise for posting that Dingo. Its probably the best post I've seen on here for a long while.

terry

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2007, 11:39:00 PM »
Great post Dingo.The photos and story are as good as they normally are
 
It certainly is different driving in The outback compared to the east coast and to Adelaide.
keep up the good work
Bear Grills calls it Man vs Wild
Aussies call it camping

werkhorse

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2007, 11:50:04 PM »
I might need to take my new book with me that I just bought. It's by some bloke who used to run the Nullarbor many moons ago...Maybe you have heard of him???



Yeah Dingo i got a copy of that book too  just had a quick flick through it and chucked it to the back of the cupboard LOL  :-P :-P :-P :-D :wink: :wink:
Dunno who the author is but he seems a reasonable sort of bloke  HaHaHaHa  :lol: :lol: :lol:

Daniel

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 01:05:41 AM »
Excellent Post Dingo, thanks for sharing, great pics, looks like you had a good time there.

charlie

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2007, 01:53:30 AM »
Dingo

 What a treat to read this post on a Saturday morning with my coffee & bagel.  :-D Fantastic story & pics.  8-) As to the length IMHO it was too short; could have gone for another page or two.  :lol: Again thanks for a very entertaining start to my weekend & glad all went well.  :-)

MAGMAN

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2007, 02:41:31 AM »
Yeah thanks Dingo. An excellent report on your trip and your enthusiasm for the Outback really came through. Had to laugh when you thought you were going to get ticketed, but as the man says, no log books in the N.T. and as far as I know only one set of scales. Loved the T-904 picture too. What a gem! Do you happen to know what he was hauling in those super-shiny tanks? Anyway, as I said, thanks for sharing your experence with us. And as Alan Drake said, one of the best posts we have seen for a while because we could all share your sense of excitement. More please whenever you can.

Alan Drake

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2007, 06:40:00 AM »
 I've just read it all again Dingo for about the fourth time. That is so far removed from anything I've done or anywhere I've seen its just great. I'm going to have to get some of those Australian books to add to my collection. Thanks again

Heidi

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Re: Outback Bound (dial-up warning)
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2007, 05:19:27 AM »
I said it before in my mail to you and I´ll say it again - WOW! You really know how to tell a good story! Well written with a very nice language!

If you can´t drive anymore, you´d better become a writer!

I hope you´ll write many more so the readers of PROFFS (Swedish magazine for truckers and others working on the roads) can learn more about trucking "down under" 8-)

Love the photos!

Keep it all coming!


Heidi

terry

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Re: Outback Bound
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2007, 12:35:08 AM »
A reply for magman regarding the 904 with the shiney trailers.The trailers are dangerous goods trailers carring petrol or petrol and diesel going by the red diamond on the bullbar and the hazchem sign on the side of the trailer.
I was in Dandenong a few weeks ago when the 904 picked up the trailers from marshall lethlean
Bear Grills calls it Man vs Wild
Aussies call it camping

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Re: Outback Bound
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2007, 12:35:08 AM »

 

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