by John Robertson
On the 18th we had a good roll of members including an appearance by Russell and with new member Alan. Paul set up yet another good training exercise for us. We took all three trucks and drove in 4-WD, about 100 metres apart, down the very steep, rough National Park track which leads through the forest from the green waste dump to the main road. On the way TM1 directed a number of stops to extinguish notional fires to our left or right using one or two layflats. Comms on Ch16 were, as usual, difficult on the east side of the Mountain back to the Station and sometimes difficult even between vehicles. Using Ch77 largely, but not entirely, solved the problem.
At the main road we got together in the lay-by swapped over drivers where possible and then repeated the process back up the hill. The road was a lot rougher than most of the bush we have to drive over and was a good test of vehicles and drivers. 41 and 51 did fine but 52 failed in one important respect – the motor on the pump would not start. Investigation showed that the plug lead on the motor had shaken loose. How much better to find out in training rather than at a fire! This is but the latest in a series of niggling problems with 52 – it is an excellent truck but it does have that ‘Monday morning build’ air about it. Ch77 for comms on the east of the Mountain was a good find.
Our new recruit, Alan, took a full part in the action and did very well.