“Bloody typical! You go out for a nice quiet drive in the country and the cops are on you as soon as you leave home.” I said into the microphone of the CB radio when I saw Nick’s police issues four wheel drive ahead of us.
There was a moment of silence on the radio and I knew Nick must have been thinking of his response.
“Typical! You’re out of the office, minding your own business just doing your job and then some loud mouth comes along and has to ruin it!”
My turn. “He’s probably sitting there with his big, bad radar gun, pointing it at little old ladies as they drive past hoping they stop for his flashing lights so he can ask them for a date!”
I waited a few seconds for his response, the distance between us was getting less as the Beast came towards his stopped vehicle. He waited until we were about a hundred metres apart before he responded.
His first response was to flick on his red and blues, then as the lights on the roof of his vehicle flashed I heard his voice on the radio. “Pull over ma’am.”
In the seat next to me Matthew started laughing loudly, which of course started me laughing. Had I been by myself I probably would have tried to hit back at Nick with another line, it might not have been very good or even funny but I’d do it just to keep the ball rolling. But the way Matthew was laughing even if I delivered a ball tearer of a line it would have been wasted because he wouldn’t have heard it.
We were still laughing as I pulled up beside Nick who had a smirk on his face. He obviously hadn’t been able to hear us laughing but I’m sure the few seconds of radio silence hinted to him that we were and he was proud he’d gotten the last word in.
Although Nick’s four wheel drive is “bush” modified, in that it has things like bullbars, driving lights, and lifted suspension for better ground clearance, it was still not as high as the Beast and that made talking through the driver’s windows as we parked side by side annoying. We did do it occasionally but I always felt I was looking down on him and that wasn’t fair in my mind, besides we had radios.
For that reason we didn’t hang around chatting, we did little more than greet each other, I had a go at him for being a smart arse, he told me I started it and then we headed off. Did I tell you why we were using two vehicles? I don’t remember.
Well it’s simple really, despite having the room for him in the Beast he was on official police business since the call had been put into his station. That by itself didn’t mean he needed to be in a police issue vehicle, however when the chances were high that he’d spend most of the time on the bitumen he took his vehicle just in case he was needed to go elsewhere. It was different to the day we chased the silly criminal through the bush, Nick wasn’t going to get called away, but jobs like this little rescue he didn’t always need to hang around once he had assessed that things were ok.
On the road Nick lead our two vehicle convoy. He could have been like city cops and sat behind the Beast with his radar switched on hoping some speeders came our way and didn’t see him there, but Nick was one of those coppers who thought a visible police presence was better to keep road users within the speed limit. Also it wasn’t like Nick was in ticket mode, if he saw someone speeding and worthy of giving a ticket he would but it wasn’t like we’d see hundreds of cars on out trip. We chatted fairly constantly on the radio during our trip but none of it was overly entertaining, just chatter.
When we arrived on scene we realised the report that had filtered to Nick by the travellers was fairly close to accurate.
What we had was an eighteen tonne Isuzu pantech removalist truck, not a bad estimate from the couple reporting given the physical size difference between what we had and the fifteen tonner they guessed was almost nothing. Hooked to the rear of the truck was a triple axle boxed trailer of about five metres long, as wide as the truck, nearly as high and probably good for about another five or six tonnes.
Our two removalists, Nathan and Derrick, were both polite jokesters that came off as decent guys who weren’t to embarrassed to ask for help. They’d been on the road for two days and were both a bit road weary but they were still happy go lucky and really thankful to see us.
As I suspected the truck was sitting just far enough off the well used and hard packed sand of the parking area. Talking to the guys I learnt two things, firstly that they pulled up in the dark and picking the difference between the two surfaces was difficult and secondly these guys weren’t numpties.
Unlike many people who got their vehicles stuck unexpectedly these guys did not try and plant the right boot on the loud peddle and try to drag themselves out with roar of an engine. As soon as these guys realised they were stuck they stopped what they were doing and looked for options.
Had they buried themselves in the sand, like Mr Beckham a few days earlier, I’d have had no chance pulling them out. The Beast is a strong old girl but even she has her limitations and a loaded truck buried up to it’s axles in sand would be one of those limitations. That’s not to make light of what the old girl had to do, she was still going to work hard getting the truck back on the hard stuff, but I was fairly confident that she was going to succeed.
So how was I going to get an eighteen tonne truck with a six tonne trailer unbogged with a Beast that weighed about a quarter of that?
Previous Desert Rescue story here.