4x4 Mega World campfire story
A stretch too far?
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.