4x4 Mega World camp­fire story

A stretch too far?

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Af­ter 40 years of work­ing for the mine, Oom Frikkie de­cided enough was enough. He sold his house, pos­ses­sions and his mid-size sedan and pur­chased a size­able plot with a few bun­ga­lows scat­tered on it on the out­skirts of Uping­ton. Tant Sarie al­ways wanted to run a B&B, you see.

Look­ing at his wife’s new­found pas­sion for en­trepreneur­ship, Oom Frikkie de­cided he, too, needed a busi­ness ven­ture. Af­ter five min­utes of deep thought, he de­cided to be­come a 4×4 tour guide, tak­ing adren­a­line-seek­ing trav­ellers to the dunes near his plot. “How hard could it be?”

Tant Sarie just nod­ded en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, glad that her hus­band had fi­nally found a hobby.

And so Oom Frikkie set off for the lo­cal Toy­ota deal­er­ship. He bought a brand-new Land Cruiser V8 tur­bod­iesel and had some ‘dune ex­pe­ri­ence’ fly­ers printed while he was in town. The guy be­hind the desk seemed in­ter­ested and asked whether Oom Frikkie had pur­chased his re­cov­ery kit yet.

“Of course,” pro­claimed Oom Frikkie, while silently won­der­ing what a re­cov­ery kit was.

And so Oom Frikkie be­came an overnight ex­pert in 4×4 driv­ing at the univer­sity of YouTube.

The next day, the first of Oom Frikkie’s cus­tomers ar­rived. He had seen on YouTube that a safety brief­ing was re­quired, so he told his group his new­found mantra that he had al­ways ap­plied dur­ing his long two-day ca­reer as a 4×4 ex­pert. “If you feel like the car are go­ing to get stuck, you just gooi some more frot­tle.”

The group pro­ceeded to the first dune and up went Oom Frikkie with his proud wife seated next to him. In his de­fence, he al­most made it, only get­ting stuck on the crest, the Cruiser beach­ing it­self in the soft sand. Af­ter goo­ing ‘frot­tle’ for a good 30 sec­onds, Oom Frikkie gave up, walked down and ad­dressed his semien­thu­si­as­tic fol­low­ers.

“You see, that was not my fault. Mother Na­ture can be cruel and these dunes can be mys­te­ri­ous. They grow very quickly, be­cause wind. I had enough power when I started, but the dune grew while I was driv­ing up. It’s just how na­ture works, guys.”

“But don’t worry,” said Oom Frikkie. “Now I can teach you about re­cov­ery.”

“You there,” he said to the near­est Hilux owner. “Re­verse up the dune close to my bakkie.”

While this un­for­tu­nate soul strug­gled to re­verse his bakkie up the dune, Oom Frikkie got his re­cov­ery kit out of his ‘bak’. He found the strap and guessed that it was just what he needed. So, he tied the one end around his tow bar and the other end around the other bakkie’s tow bar.

“Now lis­ten, ne,” he said. “I’m go­ing to jump up and down on my bakkie’s bak, be­cause we are need­ing grip. You guys just gooi.” Like fa­mous French gen­eral Napoleon he jumped onto the Cruiser’s bak, to di­rect pro­ceed­ings.

Un­for­tu­nately, he for­got to tell his stu­dents what gear to use. Hilux guy guessed cor­rectly, but Tant Sarie just kept it in the gear it was in: first.

Oom Frikkie kept on shout­ing, at the top of his lungs, for them to gooi, even tak­ing up a Napoleon-like stance... right up to the point where the strap snapped, swung round and oblit­er­ated the Cruiser’s rear win­dow, miss­ing Oom Frikkie by the small­est of mar­gins. Thank­fully, there were no in­juries, just a rather bruised ego.

Le­gend has it, the Land Cruiser, with its shat­tered rear win­dow, has been parked un­der a tree on the plot ever since...

Moral of the story?

Don’t be like Frikkie. Rather go on a proper 4×4 train­ing course and learn how to safely re­cover a 4×4 stuck on a dune. And learn about tyres pres­sures, re­verse gear, and other such triv­ial 4×4 mat­ters.

Above: When it comes to 4×4ing, ev­ery­one’s an ex­pert. But there are ex­perts and then there are ex­perts.

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