Saturday, 9 May 2009

Operation Relocation

Today was the day for Booger Mobile to be relocated from his temporary home down in the farm shed at the rear of Damian's property up to the new shed (with power, lights and a nice, clean concrete floor to lie on!) In preparation for the move, Damian grabbed his trusty chainsaw to remove the tree-stump that was located fair smack in the middle of the roller door that Booger Mobile was going to be placed in. The stump was much rounder than the 16" bar on the chainsaw, so it was cut by basically cutting in as deep as the blade would go, then circling the stump. TIMBERRRRRRRRRRRRRR!! The stump was removed and rolled off to one side. Dirt and rocks were shovelled around the place to smooth out the driveway a little, before being rolled with Damian's Patrol.

Just as this was being finished, Scottie arrived, having already had an adventurous trip down... Two flat tyres (well, the same tyre, twice) on the journey down caused him to arrive a little later than planned, but not to worry. Upon arrival, the boys decided a snappy coffee was in order followed by dragging Booger Mobile up the driveway (a couple of hundred metres) then reversing it down into the shed.

Don't forget, Booger Mobile currently isn't running, and has no working brakes (although they are a little seized, therefore it wasn't so much an issue of how to stop it from rolling away, but how hard the boys had to push to get it to move!!)

After attaching a drag chain to the front of Booger Mobile and to the rear of Scottie's Hilux, (and re-attaching Booger Mobile's steering wheel), Damian grabbed a handheld UHF radio from Scottie for communications during the tow, and climbed into the empty shell.

Perched on the floor, the towing began. STOP, STOP!! The rear wheels were skidding...

Damian got out of the car and had a look, deciding to remain on the outside of Booger Mobile while Scottie began towing again... STOP, STOP!! The wheels were still skidding, then Damian had a brainwave - maybe the transmission is still in Park!! The column shift is a bit sloppy, so even though the needle was pointing to Neutral, the transmission WAS still in Park (how embarrassing!!), so Damian counted the clicks through Reverse to Neutral (even though it now looked as though the transmission was in Low), and Scottie inched forward... Success!! With the transmission in Neutral, the wheels all turned freely - who would have thought????!?!?!?!!!

Damian climbed back inside, and Scottie recommenced towing duties.

The rest of the journey up the driveway was uneventful, until the boys reached the point for turning down the side driveway to the shed. The boys paused for a few photos, and for Damian to stretch his legs (apparently it's pretty uncomfortable attempting to drive a car with no seats yet squat up high enough to see out the front window), then decided to attempt to reverse Booger Mobile down towards the shed.

It was slow going at first - the plan was that Scottie would reverse the Hilux slowly so that Booger Mobile would gently roll backwards to the shed. HAHAHAHAHAHA... Good plan, but fell down in the implementation! The wheels wouldn't quite turn freely enough to get much of a roll on, so the plan changed to become reverse the Hilux as far as possible, then Scottie and Damian pushed Booger Mobile until the drag chain was about to pull tight, then reverse the Hilux again, then push again... repeat over and over until the shed was reached!! Once Booger Mobile had reached the portion of the driveway were the zigzag was required to get into the middle bay, Damian suggested swapping the drag chain for a snatch strap for two reasons"

  1. The snatch strap was a lot longer, hence we wouldn't need to reverse the Hilux many more times and
  2. The snatch strap would be a little more gentle if we actually did have it pull tight - taking up the slack and stopping Booger Mobile a little more gracefully than a sudden THUD from a drag chain!!
After swapping to the snatch strap, and much pushing, grunting and sweating, Booger Mobile was lined up with the shed, ready for a final push to roll in...

On the count of three, 1, 2, 3!! Booger Mobile rolled down the last bit of driveway, up the boards placed to assist with getting over the edge of the slab and into the shed, stopping with its front wheels just short of being up on the slab... So close, yet so far!! With a final gut-bursting lift and push, Scottie and Damian had Booger Mobile in the shed, ready for action!!

Well, that covered the first couple of hours of Saturday - come back tomorrow night for what happened during the rest of the day!

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