Year in the Wild Blog

Tankwa Karoo Roads 1 – Year in the Wild 0

The gravel roads in the Tankwa Karoo are long, hard, corrugated and covered in sharp stone. My Goodyear tyres have coped really well (after deflating them to about 2 bar), but the long-range aftermarket fuel tank on my Everest developed a hair-line crack…so this morning I discovered a puddle of diesel underneath my car.

I headed straight to the workshop at Tankwa Karoo NP and Garret de Vries and Lofty Baadjie took it all in their stride. “Moenie worrie nie,” Garret said matter of factly, “ons sal a plan maak,” he said as if a cracked fuel tank is something he fixes every day (which wouldn’t surprise me, as the roads out here are BAD!).

Lofty and Garret jacked up the car, drained the 100 odd litres of diesel out the tank, removed the fuel tank, and identifiedwhere the crack in the welding was (at a corner of the tank where the welding must have been chipped by a stone). They dried the outside of the tank (which was covered in diesel), then applied some Pratley steel putty and let it dry. They then refitted the tank, refilled it with the diesel. They fixed it!

It all sounds rather easy, but they spent the entire day doing it, meaning they couldn’t do their scheduled work. Thanks very much Garret and Lofty!! And thank you also to Wallace and William, and Audrey and Julianna in the office. At the start of the day I was thinking I may have to limp back to Cape Town to get it sorted out, but now I am going to sleep very well tonight under the Karoo stars…

Thank you also to Andre at GFS, who fitted the aftermarket tank. He was a great help on the telephone.

Despite the fuel tank problem, my Everest has been such a pleasure to drive…I feel almost invincible in it on these tough roads. I’ll need to slow down a bit now I guess!

Injured...but not for long...soon to be back out in the Wild!

Injured...but not for long...soon to be back out in the Wild!

The hairline crack evidence...and smoothing the surface before applying the Pratley putty

The hairline crack evidence...and smoothing the surface before applying the Pratley putty

Garret de Vries and Lofty Baadjie take a look at the damaged fuel tank

Garret de Vries and Lofty Baadjie take a look at the damaged fuel tank

Garret de Vries under the vehicle, bolting the fuel tank into the Ford again

Garret de Vries under the vehicle, bolting the fuel tank into the Ford again

The Pratley steel putty seems to be working!! No leaking! yeehaa!

The Pratley steel putty seems to be working!! No leaking! yeehaa!

William and Wallace replacing the diesel...

William and Wallace replacing the diesel...

The wheel goes back on after the fuel tank is fitted...

The wheel goes back on after the fuel tank is fitted...

Smiles all round...the fuel tanks is fixed. Dankie manne!

Smiles all round...the fuel tanks is fixed. Dankie manne!

Lofty Baadjie and Garret de Vries at the Tankwa Karoo NP workshop...the A Team

Lofty Baadjie and Garret de Vries at the Tankwa Karoo NP workshop...the A Team

Back in the Wild, where she belongs...going "home" tonight to my cottage at Elandsberg

Back in the Wild, where she belongs...going "home" tonight to my cottage at Elandsberg

Thanks again to my sponsors for making it all possible. CapeNature, South African National Parks, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Eastern Cape Parks, iSimangaliso Wetland ParkFord, Total, Evosat, Conqueror TrailersVodacom, Digicape, Lacie, Frontrunner, K-Way, National Luna, Nokia , Goodyear, Global Fleet Sales, Hetzner and Clearstream Consulting.

One comment

Leave a comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>