What happens when the biggest and baddest vehicle breaks down

alanymarce

Well-known member
A few years ago we broke a rear axle in the middle of the Simpson.
We considered several options.
1. Continue to drive on the front axle while being towed by our friends Canter.
REJECTED due to the extra strain on both vehicles that risked even more serious damage.
Hi: I'm wondering whether you considered simply continuing on the front axle, without being towed? Please don't assume any criticism - simply interest. We had a failed front differential once and (long story made short) disconnected the front prop shaft and drove (carefully) to where we could get the diff fixed. Now: different vehicle, easier conditions, but it was a simple first aid solution. I'm guessing you thought that the load on a single axle crossing the more challenging dunes would be too much?
 

Peter_n_Margaret

Adventurer
Hi: I'm wondering whether you considered simply continuing on the front axle, without being towed?
Could not even get up the first little dune (in the pic) in FWD to get a better place to camp (even dropped the rear tail shaft to try), but we have driven on just the front axle on hard roads in the past with no difficulties.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
 

alanymarce

Well-known member
Could not even get up the first little dune (in the pic) in FWD to get a better place to camp (even dropped the rear tail shaft to try), but we have driven on just the front axle on hard roads in the past with no difficulties.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
Thanks for replying - oh well - more time to enjoy in the Simpson (as you said). Safari Njema!
 

Jacobm

Member
After watching some videos of the recoveries and salvage that SMIT Salvage and Mammoet have done, there's only three obstacles to recovering ANY vehicle in ANY environment - time, money, and effort. Any sufficient application of 2/3 of those should get anything unstuck. I highly doubt anyone here is driving something to such a place that it could not be recovered from, unless they somehow push it into an active volcano. A mechanical breakdown is rarely, if ever, so severe that the vehicle couldn't be fixed where it sits, parts and time allowing. Getting something so big so stuck that it can't be recovered is also pretty unlikely, though I imagine there comes a point where it becomes insurance's problem to cut it up and haul it out - I'm picturing something like an Earthroamer HD over the side of the Bolivian Death Road in that instance.
 

Riptide

Explorer
It is an MK48 with articulation. Basically a wiggly Henry. I have owned it for several years. Bought it from Uncle Sam. It saw service in Afghanistan.
Can you drive it with just the front half? That thing is so cool.
 

Peter_n_Margaret

Adventurer
This is the Simpson Desert recovery vehicle. It has a tilt tray.
P1030294cE.JPG
Last price I heard was $300 per hour from when he received the 'phone call until he was back at the bar in the Birdsville Pub and depending on where you were in the Simpson, that could be several days at 24 hours per day.

This vehicle was originally brought into Oz as a "demonstrator" for the mining industry. The mining industry did not buy it so the current owner bought it at auction, sight unseen, and built a camper body on it. He and his family then spent a year or 2 touring Oz in it but it was not a good touring vehicle because the outback tracks in Oz are typically Toyota width, and wide vehicles have lots of tyre staking problems. So when he got back to Birdsville he converted it into a recovery vehicle.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
 

HAF

Active member
Can you drive it with just the front half? That thing is so cool.
The answer is yes. The front part is called an FPU (Front power unit). It has a 450 HP supercharged 2 stroke diesel that is partially mounted in the drivers compartment. The rear section come in the form of a trailer, a crane, and self loader (shown). I have the trailer section that the truck came with. To replace with another, one unbolts a large connection between the FPU and rear section. Disconnect the rear unit drive shaft and un-plug hydraulics and air lines with quick disconnects. Once split, you can drive the FPU-but is not suited to cruise around with-its tippy.
My MK came right from Afghanistan-it was in a desert and is perfectly preserved. It has a lot of power, especially when the go pedal is pressed to the floor. It makes a wonderful noise combined with endless power. I have no real use for it other than playing with it through the trails I have on a remote site I own. Mechanically-coolest thing on earth!
 

billiebob

Well-known member
That is just trying to stir the pot.

You can actually avoid everything but the pandemic
Not sure thats true, My sister was on a teacher exchange in Lebanon 2006? the July war, end of the school year, June she went to Dubai, while there, the conflict erupted, she got hundreds of emails saying "DO NOT GO BACK", come home. In International travel things can change in an hour. We had an exchange student in Turkey 2016, she watched the demonstrations from the roof of her host families business, and we had her home in days.

No, pandemics are far more predictable than political unrest.
 

LocoCoyote

World Citizen
The answer to the question you posted is:

the same things happen as when a smaller vehicle breaks or gets stuck...
 

BeNimble

Member
The answer to the question 'has this been given much thought?' is NO. Something bigger and badder will come, just costs even morer and morer expensive.
 

roving1

Well-known member
I'm enjoying this thread immensely. Here's a pretty good story from Ramsey on the SMB forum many years ago. RIP Ramsey, you were a good dude.

Ouch. Doesn't look burnt up looks more like whatever spacer they used to go to singles just over leveraged the spindle and bent it right off...Or they hit a tope at full clip lol.
 

Riptide

Explorer
I have no real use for it other than playing with it through the trails I have on a remote site I own. Mechanically-coolest thing on earth!
That describes the reason for about half of what I own. I'd wear that thing out!
 

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