After we’d established that my business card, or copies of it, were being put in one of the mining company’s vehicles that came up towards our area, and that again Alex’s stories weren’t overly humorous, we fell into a bit of a silence.

On the bitumen you might think my job was a little easier because it wasn’t as rough as the dirt tracks, well really that would be slacking off and it’s when people slack off that accidents happen! Actually I’m not that anal about things, it was easier on the bitumen but considering my main job on the way home was stopping Alex’s vehicle from jumping off the back of the tray I still had to pay attention.

I’m not picking on the roads department here because we are a long way from anywhere but honestly some of the dirt tracks are smoother than the bitumen highways up where we are. Because I’m not a speed demon stopping the bounce of the piggy backed vehicle is a little bit easier than it sounds and I do manage a pretty mean job with the chains and straps, but movement can still happen.

Here’s what I do to try and make my job easier when doing such a task. Are you interested? Do you really care about such things? Or do you just want me to get on with the next exciting story? Aahh Of course you want me to talk about this topic because you realise that my life isn’t all fun and frivolity but it’s the common sense and brilliant work ethic too. It’s that brilliant work ethic that makes my stories more interesting isn’t it. (Note that was a statement and not a question because I know the truth!)

Ok so here is a simple trick that I use to make sure things aren’t getting out of hand behind me. Actually you too could use the same trick if you ever find yourself in a position where you are towing a trailer or something like that. It’s a handy little trick and it’s not copyrighted or anything like that because someone taught it to me and allowed me to use it. Have I built up the excitement and anticipation yet? (interestingly enough as I typed anticipation then auto correct offered to fill it in as anti-climactic, I think my computer knows more about me than I’d like to admit. Anyway back to the excitement.)

Before we left the point where Alex parked his vehicle under the shade of the tree I sat in the driver’s seat of the Beast, in as close to my normal driving position as I could get, then I took a moment or two to look in the mirrors, both left and right. What I was looking for was points of reference. Where Alex’s vehicle sat in the mirrors, the position of things like the mirrors, the bullbar, the extremities of the panels, anything that I could take a mental picture of. I would do that for both sides and then I would continually use that mental picture as I drove along to make sure the vehicle wasn’t moving.

The rough dirt roads are as you would expect a great place for a load that bounces up and down on its own springs to move across the deck, but the bitumen can be just as bad. The dips, lumps, potholes and rough sections on the bitumen might not be as rough as the dirt but it’s the constant vibration of many smaller and regular bumps than can cause just as many problems. To have those mental images in my mind as I’m driving means that I can see the smallest of movements by the load and watch things closely to decide what action, if any, needs to be taken.

See what I mean by being a handy piece of information you too could use if you were towing a trailer or any load really? Too many numpties in this country hook a trailer behind their vehicle and assume that because they have a license, which the pulled out of the Corn Flakes box, they can cart whatever load they want. Very few even understand how the weight of a loaded trailer effects their vehicle, even less understand how to drive, and even less than that understand how to drive to prevent stupid accidents. Honestly if I had a dollar for every rescue I’ve been to where the trailer caused the accident because the idiot driver either forgot they had it on the back or simply had no idea what to do after they forked out eighty thousand dollars for the caravan to tour the country, well I’d have a lot of dollars.

“Steve at Halls servo. You got a copy?” I said while holding the button of the CB radio microphone.

Had Alex not been in the Beast I wouldn’t have removed the CB mic from its hook but a strange thing happens when most passengers see me use the CB without removing the mic, they have to talk. “Oh you can do that without pulling the mic down?” or “Doesn’t the mic need to be closer?” or the classic and well thought out, “does it really work from that far away.” It’s not bad for me but people on the other end of transmitted signal don’t always think the same

I waited a few moments before trying the CB again because more often that not Steve wasn’t sitting by the CB in his office he was actually working. After the second message we heard his reply.

“Copy Dean. How’s it going.”

“Good mate,” I got straight down to business, not because the CB isn’t a place for chatter, because it is, but because that wasn’t the right time for chatter. “We’ve got a Playdo,” a common nickname for the Toyota Prado Alex was driving, “with two flats, punctured radiator and a few cosmetics. You in a position to take care of it in about thirty when we get back.”

“Yeah Dean. No worries. Pit two. If the door’s not open you know where everything is. I wont be far away by then.” Steve said.

What Steve meant with such a comment was that if he wasn’t at the garage, he wouldn’t be far away and I knew where the keys were to open up the door for pit two so I could roll Alex’s vehicle in there.

“Thanks Steve, cya soon.”

Previous Outback story here.