Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Refinements

August 9, 2016

Been a busy week but I had time today to download a trial version of Photoshop and try to tidy up the aerial photo I took last week. After watching a few YouTube videos and how-to instructions I managed to crop, align and touch up the pic a little. I actually took out one truck, a car, various horse feed buckets, rubbish bins and assorted bits cluttering up the original photo.

jDarlingDownsSurveyJPEG1

There is an imperfection in the black border in the top right corner which has been taken out in the high-res version of this picture.

Here’s another couple of photos I took this week with the DJI P4.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0056.JPG

Donkeys near Nifty

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Windmill near Mt Magnet

Last Minute Preps

March 23, 2015
Load Plus half leaf

Load Plus half leaf

Today I got the Load Plus half leaf added to my rear spring packs in an attempt to jack up the rear of the Hilux, which was straining under the load I plan to carry. I’m pretty sure it levelled out the vehicle a bit and I won’t really know how much it will improve cornering until I leave tomorrow. But it is a quick cheap option that may not stack up against a full suspension upgrade but is intended to solve a problem simply. Frankly, I didn’t have time to do anything more complicated than this in the short time I have left before departure and at $125 from the local Ironman 4WD store I can’t really complain.

Installing

Installing

Supporting the chassis

Supporting the chassis

All that remains now is to pack clothing, food and cooking equipment and personal items like laptops, iPads, iPhones and assorted charging cables. I’m thinking I’ll go and buy the food this evening and pack everything else tomorrow morning – the fridge can run overnight in the Hilux. I know I’m going to forget something. Lets hope it’s just a minor item and not something important like my wallet or passport!

Quick Clip – Homeward Bound

December 1, 2013

Just a quick clip I threw together after finishing unloading in the Gt Sandy Desert at Telfer gold mine and the Nifty copper mine. Trailers all hooked up and heading back to Perth, albeit a little covered in dirt.

Bleh

August 6, 2013

Home. Tired. Raining. Might have a headache, my head really can’t decide. So I poured a glass of red wine to help it along. Even the wine doesn’t seem to be as good as I remember – a Oyster (something pretentious) Pinot Noir. Too late to get my money back now I suppose.

Left last Monday with a triple roadtrain for Tom Price and got there on time even though it leaves me pretty tired and technically with enough sleep but in reality wishing for more.

The new truck seems to be going well with a few small problems but nothing major. Well, the gauges and dash lights do come on eventually after I hit the right bump in the road. But mechanically there hasn’t been any problems. Even the coffee maker is working flawlessly, thank Christ!

After the Tom Price run I had 2hrs in Perth and didn’t even bother going home – just refuelled, showered and hooked up the Telfer/Nifty trailers and headed back north again. I had prepared for this on Monday by buying food and packing clothes for eight days living in the truck. Nothing worse than running out of clean shirts or having to buy the junk they pass off as food in the piss poor excuses for roadhouses in the Pilbara.

The Telfer/Nifty food run was straight forward and uneventful. Telfer mine was having a scheduled maintenance shutdown and had extra staff in camp so their food order was bigger than the previous few weeks, which meant Perth couldn’t jam any Port Hedland freight in the trailers for me to unload on the way up. Always a pain in the arse that, under enough pressure to get to Telfer in time without having to spend more time unloading (with only myself driving the forklift and operating the pallet jack – jumping in and out of the trailer with each pallet) half to two thirds of a trailer of snot before I get there.

Between Telfer and Nifty camps some poor barstard had had a trailer burn to the ground, probably a wheel bearing collapsed and caused the fire. They were recovering the burnt out wreck as I went past. On the way back out of Nifty one of Jamiesons quad side tipper roadtrains was stopped on the top of a hill with the bonnet up so I did the right thing and stopped to see if I could help. Same model truck as my new girl but done a few more kilometres – looked like electrical problem but he seemed to have it in hand and the next truck coming along had a satellite phone so I left him to it.

Passed a mob of camel on the way back towards Marble Bar. Never really trust them, they always seem a bit skittish and never seem to know which way to run.

Back into the “well appointed” BP fuel bowsers at Wedgefield, Port Hedland. Only a short wait to get on the pumps then around the corner to the slightly dilapidated  shower facilities at the Toll Express yard were I bumped into Allan Scari – a top bloke with a heart of gold I’ve known for years. Would have been nice to sit down and have a beer with Allan and the rest of the fellas but I really had to keep moving.

The next day was a bit of a loss. I should have made it back to Perth that night and home by 7-8pm but I reckon I must have caught a small dose of some bug – didn’t feel full on crook but I was definitely off my tucker and struggling to make a good mile. I ended up calling it a night about 2hrs from Perth.

The next morning at 4:30am I was up and feeling better and running down the last stretch into town. From the Kewdale yard it was back to Forrestdale to drop off the truck and home with 8 days worth of dirty clothes to run through the washing machine.

Waiting for me at home was a little device called a Leap Motion (go have a look at the link) and that has been keeping me amused for the last few hours. Starting to get the hang of using it to drive Google Earth on my MacBook Pro. Can’t wait to see the new apps the developers manage to make for it. Early days yet but think of the movie “Minority Report” and using your hands to control and manipulate computer displays without touching anything and you’ll have the idea. Very cool shit.

Okay, I’m thinking the washing machine needs another load so I’m outa here.

Cheers, Mike. 

Luke Vernon – UK Lorry Driver, rants (video).

March 30, 2013

Luke Vernon – UK Lorry Driver, rants (video).

Well, it’s not just me getting screwed around with ridiculous delays – click the link above to see how they do it us in the UK.

Cheers, Mike.

Trouble In Paradise

March 4, 2013

The joys of transport, I didn’t know they existed. Sorry, in a bad mood. I’m sitting in an idling truck I don’t dare shut off. The problem is all the magic smoke leaked out of the starter motor and now it doesn’t work. Sounds silly but I saw it and it doesn’t work.

However you look at it – the starter motor fried and the only way to get the truck started was to tow start it. Right now I’m quite happy I’m not driving an automatic. As per Murphy’s Law I’m as far from home as possible this trip and its a public holiday and no one will answer their phones.

I do have the truck running after borrowing a prime mover from one person and a driver from another and tow starting mine. I need to keep it running for the next 48 hours. That should see me home and able to fit the new starter motor sitting in the shed waiting.

I can’t help but feel a bit “why me?” because it seems the last few weeks have been one drama after another. Yeah, yeah, things aren’t that bad but they aren’t that fantastic either. A string of flat tyres and blowouts, a sprained ankle, a cyclone, a fire, a stuffed alternator, a blown hub seal, a…well there’s more but you get the idea. All of this has put a dent in my savings plan for my new car and its kind of got me down a bit.

It’s not the end of the world and I’m sure this icy cold Little Creatures Pale Ale will help improve my short term outlook. Now…if I can get the top off…it’s…it’s not a twist top…and I don’t have a bottle opener….Nooooooooo!

Cheers, Mike.

Check, check.

March 1, 2013

Just a quick check in, still in the land of the living and until lately I have been quite busy. In the last two weeks we have been through fire and flood with tropical cyclone Rusty and fire on the outskirts of Perth.

Cyclone Rusty promised a lot and thankfully, for us down south of the state, didn’t really deliver. I had a few extra days off in Perth and then went out on a Carnarvon express run only to get mildy inconvenienced by a bush fire on the way home. Luckily I was coming back to Perth with only one trailer and was able to hit the back roads and dodge around the affected area.

Put the truck into the workshop today to get a leaking hub seal replaced and am scheduled to head out to Port Hedland tomorrow night with three trailers. After that I am hoping to get back into my usual routine of three trips in twelve days and every second weekend at home.

Prior to that I have been having a bad run with tyres. A string of punctures then several blowouts and even one wheel I couldn’t get loose from the hub (ended getting around it by jacking up the axle and chaining the axle up). I actually badly sprained my ankle when the wheel brace slipped from a wheel nut and I landed with all my weight on the side of my foot. Stung just a bit! I’m still limping about over two weeks later. That was when I decided to buy myself a rechargeable rattle gun (impact wrench). I had been trying to talk myself into laying out the cash for nearly two years now but good ones are pretty damned expensive. 

I ended up getting a Milwaukee 3/4 inch 18 volt rechargeable impact wrench with two 4 amp batteries and they threw in a bonus 1.5 amp battery along with a carry bag/cap/stubby holders.

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I’ve used it twice now and it will undo fully torqued ten stud wheel nuts. I wasn’t  expecting that – I thought I would have to at least partially loosen the wheel nuts before the Milwaukee would turn them. Perhaps to prolong the life of this expensive bit of gear I might be better off using the wheel brace to do the initial hard work instead of hammering away for five to ten seconds before the wheel nut slowly begins to turn for the first half to full rotation.

All in all, I am suitably impressed with the Milwaukee so far and can foresee it being a very handy tool to have with me in the truck while I’m away on the road.

Cheers, Mike.

Changing Tyres

December 26, 2012

<a href="” title=”Changing Tyres”>Changing Tyres

Just a quick time-lapse video all about dealing with those big black round things. Tyres. Actually, changing one in the heat and the flies in the Pilbara.

Cheers, Mike.

Run Over By A Triple

October 13, 2010

Just a quick post to show off a new video I made with my iPhone. Pretty amazing what you can do with a phone these days.

Tyre Check Video

September 20, 2010

I was a little bored the other day, had plenty to do but none of it seemed very interesting. So I started mucking around with a video editing app I had bought for my iPhone 3GS. The app is called ReelDirector and I’d had it for a while – I just hadn’t been quite bored enough to try it out.

Anyway, have a look at the two video’s I put together as an experiment and a way to get a handle on the app. The topic of each video just “happened”, definately no planning or forethought involved.

Mike.