“Ok, so the recovery part of this is going to be pretty straight forward.” I said to Alex as we stood at the rear of his Toyota which had run off the road and although it didn’t suffer much damage it did have a flat tyre. “We’ll hook onto the back of the thing with the winch and we’ll just pull you out slowly and gently. I’ll keep the Beast,” Alex looked at me with a hint of question as I referred to my trusty old girl, but I continued, “up on the road. There is no issue of being stuck here but if I can drag you up onto the flat of the road it will give us the best chance to find your friend because we’ll have full access to the whole vehicle.”

“When it comes to full access I think someone, or something, has already beaten you too it!” Alex replied with a smile.

“Well with a bit of luck maybe he can be persuaded to re-accommodate to somewhere better suited to his needs.” Matthew said entering the conversation and removing any doubt that he was just there for his looks.

“I don’t know about that, it’s warm, there is food, a new friend. The Toyota seemed like a fairly accommodating place.” I replied.

“All the same,” Alex said, “I really don’t think I need more than one large snake in the vehicle!”

Remember that sense of humour I told you about, the one that a person gains when they spend so much time in the company of themselves and themselves alone? That was again showing with Alex, he was of course harmless, but he was also not outrageously funny.

“I know what you mean!” Matthew said with a laugh.

I shot Matthew a look, he might have driving up to Halls recently by himself but he’d spent all his time since arriving with me, he had no excuse for such ‘solo’ humour. When Matthew saw me looking at him he shrugged as if he didn’t understand my cold steel glare.

I shook my head, walked back to the Beast to reposition her on the road and thought, ‘what is about men and jokes about their dicks when they get together?’ I couldn’t ever remember sitting down with another female I’d just met and joking about how big my bits were. Although I suppose if the conversation was based in the same area as the man’s dick women probably don’t want to boast about having a ‘big one’ do they?

Anyway back to the rescue.

No sooner was I parked in position than Matthew was on the back of the Beast retrieving the hook of the winch. Now you might assume that the hook was up at the winch, but it actually isn’t so just to clarify.

I, as do most towies with a flat bed, have no safe way of securing the hook of the winch cable if it’s wound up to the spool. You might see the same thing on a four wheel drive winch where the cable comes out of the winch and hooks to the recovery point under the front of the vehicle. It’s the same principal, with no where to secure the hook at the spool one makes alternative arrangements. For me those arrangements are near the back in the middle of the tray. There are two chains, one on each side that come from anchor points located about three quarters of the way down the tray. They are points used to help secure vehicles on the tray. But when there is no vehicle there I use chain from those points to hook onto the winch hook and it forms a not quite complete peace symbol on the tray of the old girl and stops those chains and the winch cable moving.

So while Matthew was unhooking the cable I was organising the other end of things, the winch into free spool, with some clutch so we could slowly pull the cable to where we needed it, and the tray. I prefer to lower and tilt the tray in a rescue like we were doing because it means the winch cable doesn’t have to do its thing while running over the end of the tray. In the short term the edge of the tray wouldn’t ruin the winch cable but under the stresses of a hard recovery with the dead weight of a vehicle and what it could be stuck in it’s always good practice to not have anything for the winch cable to rub on and tilting the tray achieved that.

Matthew plonked his arse on the back of the tray and rode the tilt down until his feet were on the ground at which point he stepped away and pulled the cable with him. It was the sort of move one of those goony birds in the never dirty dayglo jacket from Work Cover would have a fit over, it wasn’t unsafe, it wasn’t stupid but it also wasn’t the way it was written in the book only they understood. Don’t get me wrong I am all for safety, I don’t risk my life and safety for any one but I also understand that there is a difference between safety written in a book which is what those Work Cover people understand, and safety on the real world. Just like a daylgo shirt with reflective strips wont stop you getting hit by a truck (it might make you a better target actually), what Matthew did was not unsafe. So again Mr. Work Cover in your air conditioned office in Perth, if you are reading this and think you have a reason for visiting me and teaching me how to ‘work safe’ don’t bother, I understand more than you will ever understand from you luxurious corner office with a view of the park and the ocean.

Wow, that escalated quick.

Back onto the rescue.

Previous Rescue Story here.