THE GREAT TRECK
In one month Time most of Namibia will be moving- some to the Coast, some to Ovamboland and others gaan maar net kuier. Anyway only the rich and famous will not travel by Automobile. Enough things have been written on vehicle preparation, so I won’t bore you with that. Only I wish to mention Tires- last year a few Good guys died and the explanation at most times was burst Tires. You can have great profile, but what does the rubber look like from the Inside? Under inflation plays havoc with the carcass as well as the fix we made to get home, such as patching the inside of a sidewall cut. Have your brakes flushed, bled and pads checked! A breakdown next to the Road is Onangenaam, but a Rollover is what really spoils your Holiday.
Remember there are some slower guys on the road, and if you choose to travel by night, they often have no Lights either. On the past 10 trips to Swakop I must have come upon, at least a Dozen times 1 of these monstrosities in the Road. It is bad enough to come over a Rise doing 120 to find a Galaxy with no lights and 1 Cats eye doing 20 Kph in the middle of the road- how are you going to survive doing 160?
Please, I have one thing close to my heart- more and more people are taking their Motorized Entertainment Along- 4wheelers etc. Please keep of the Beaches, something is bound to happen with brainless and often Skill less Pilots buzzing the strand- there are children, Dogs and others Staggering around. There is a huge dessert out there, where you can only hurt yourself. For those irate beach mongers, please think before you retaliate- pointing Guns or throwing Bottles can give you a long jail sentence apart from demonstrating how Moronic you are! I also take down at least 2 Motorbikes, but will only drive them to and from the beach, so that nobody does get disturbed. There is place for all of us, even those just cruising up and down in their 4*4, looking for a chat. My reason for carrying on here is, that I would hate legislation being forced on us, since this should be a free country.
A few things should be said for those vehicles left at home (stored). Jacking a vehicle of the ground is always a good idea, so that the Tires won’t get flat spotted, the suspension can relax and those mice will not have such an easy time. Forget putting it under plastic as it will rust away, unless it is a vented Car cover. I normally leave the windows open a crack, but cover the vehicle with a kombers so that my cat does not leave claw marks. Put a bottle of normal 2-stroke oil in the Tank and fill her up, make sure it mixes though- this nearly eliminates Condense water. On Motorbikes I normally spray all plastics except the seat with Dashboard spray and the rest of the metal with penetrating oil, this technique also works great on cars. The old story of starting up a stored motor once a week and let it run for 10 minutes is bull... The only thing here is driving it for at least 15 minutes after it has warmed up. I personally prefer prepping a car for a deep sleep.
By the way if any of you should have a Chevy 4*4 or Land Cruiser Bakkie, let me know please? I need no Motor I am tired of Taxi’s flashing their Lights at me, thinking I am one of their sorts. A Hilux loaded with 2 Bikes, Mobile Fridge, camping + Holiday gear for 2-3 People does not look Pretty. I have never enjoyed pulling a trailer, as it is difficult to keep an eye on it, and off road it can be a pain. Anyway a trailer getting out of control at speed can be something else. In the USA they force you to chain it to your vehicle, so if it goes it will take your Tow vehicle along- Nice! If I trailer I want the Brakes to be Electrically controlled, so I can have better control over my load.
One thing most people do not consider is the safety of their goods and load. Lets face it during the holidays our cars stand unattended in front of our Bungalows, waterholes etc. and you will not be nearby to attend to it.
It is surprising how little gets stolen there. What I would like to see is extended cab bakkies- I used to have such a Hilux in the USA and took out those Emergency seats, I could store my baggage safely (tinting the windows helps keep “eyes” out) and had place for massive Speakers. Permanently fastened goodies can use green Locktite on their fasteners, as only heat from a torch will loosen that stuff again!
I found Tonneau covers (seilplane) to be a bad idea, as those hoodlums “skrik nie om ‘n mes te gebruik nie”, causing even more damage. A friend of mine triggered a military teargas canister to his immobiliser- great idea! Except one day he returned from a Fruehshoppen and forgot about his system, what a cry-baby!
This reminds me! A lot of us have 4*4’s, and a lot of us are proud to say that, we never use that system. Please do! Mother Nature will thank you for not damaging it that badly and your system will lube itself. To often we get in a 4*4 and upon inspection find that the front slip yoke needs replacing, all that gravel road driving in 2*4 lets the front prop shaft bang up and down, destroying itself. Most mechanical goods prefer movement to rest.
I still think a good way of protecting your vehicle, is the “Gorilla” type that locks onto your steering wheel.
Immobilisers are a pain, as they often give you bad spark quality, or work at the wrong moment.
Then you get Mechanical or Electrical Fuel Locks and a great idea was the system that would cause a hydraulic Lock i.e. Keep the clutch disengaged or the Brakes locked. Of course you can lock an Alsatian with Rabies in the car or keep a Mamba with toothache under the seat, but the SPCA does not approve and it seems to show how far we have to go in our crime-ridden society. But we have to find ideas to keep thieves away.
Vehicle Preparation for our Christmas sojourn should have started already. Many shops seem to close mid December and with the Finances being bad a lot of people will not have enough stocks for that Christmas rush. Every year have I got people who “ smeek op hulle knie” that I have to help them, because they were to disorganized to come in earlier. So do yourself and your “Beursie” a favour and get cracking NOW. Every so often I see people doing weird things to their transport, please do yourself a favour and ask a professional for advice before heeding that of your Buddy in the bar. There are ways to “maak ‘n plan” there are also those guaranteed to make a fool out of yourself.
As of next year I will present a few Articles on a more technical nature, dealing with the internal Combustion Engine, conversions and gearing before reverting back to common themes. Until then I wish you a Merry Christmas and safe Motoring.