Thor has driven the Tanami three times (up and back in 2018 and ‘back’ in April this year), however its only ‘up’ attempt was the most exciting. Our second day on the Tanami, we were making good time, but the corrugations were getting worse the further west we travelled. So, as you do, we began to increase the speed to tackle the vibrations.
Things began to go OFF TRACK when … hubby was crusing, getting more confident in our set-up [this was our first trip with Thor and the TrakShak]. And, when I say crusing, perhaps a little faster than one would have recommended. On the upside the speed was definitely keeping the corrugations bumps to a minimum.
Suddenly with a thump the car was travelling with a dead weight, and as I turned my head to watch hubby’s face contort in horror … out of the corner of the back seat passenger window I watched our tyre, actually wheel … AND stub axel bounce its way into the distance. WTAF [G rated version … what the heck!]
Thankfully the weight of Thor kept us safely on the road and we pulled over to the side all arms, legs and fingers attached. Inspection of the empty wheel arch provided no answers, other than we were incredibly lucky. It seems the bolts between stub axel and axel plate had come loose/sheered through, anyway they had disappeared.
Shoes on and I was trekking off into the desert to find the wheel. Found hundreds of meters on the opposite side of the road over a small dune between some tussock grasses [you will note it travelled across the road] laying happily on its side … fully inflated.
In the meantime, Munga [Hilux] had caught us and it was time to get us back on the road.
As is the magic of folklore, best part of this story was that between the two cars we managed to have a spare stub axel [on the TrakShak … unbelievable], a new tow bar hitch [ours was twisted beyond repair … Munga had a spare], and every piece of kit [not always our luck] to get up back on the road in under an hour.
That night around the camp fire over a wine the occasion was marked in the history books.