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