The glass house mountains, a beautiful piece of nature or a savage truck swallowing beast? “Go on Dad,you got this!” the famous last words my 4×4 mad son said to me before my $3200 repairs bill. I’d tested the base of the muddy, murky pit and it was soft, but seemed doable. I’ve got a winch, the boy’s right. I have got this!
Before I knew it I was a sitting duck, a pig in the mud if you will. With the Landcruiser not moving under its own steam, a broken synthetic winch rope, a cabin filling with water and a wife threatening to call the SES to send a chopper if her boy wasn’t home by dinner I thought to myself ‘Dad, you don’t got this.’
As the cabin filled with water and our lunch floated past we climbed over the seats and out through the back door. Not my finest four wheel driving moment. The wisdom of a 5 year old boy and the enthusiasm of a father trying to impress his son ended in a mess. We used phones and Facebook to contact friends and people to come assist with the recovery.
My son and I enjoyed the time waiting by throwing rocks at targets, listening to sounds of the birds and playing noughts and crosses in the dirt. There is nothing better than showing our children the joys there is to the great scenery and bush land Australia has to offer.
I’m the kind of bloke that likes to take learnings away from every occasion. The biggest takeaway initially was making sure we don’t travel alone. Having mates around to assist in sticky situations is paramount. Our four hour ordeal could have been easily solved by a simple snatch to pop us back out the way we went in.
Secondly, always be prepared to be out longer than originally planned. We always head out with extra food, snacks and water. Luckily in this case we had plenty of water to keep us going throughout the afternoon.
The final lesson I learnt is what to clean after a deep dive into a mud pit. Two of the hardest hit items were the starter motor and the power steering pump. As the Landcruiser is rounding 400,000km this was considered a good opportunity to replace those items. Secondly the diffs and running gear were filled with water. Again, this opportunity was taken to replace the wheel bearings in the front and rear, and the swivel hub kit. While doing this we dropped and replaced all running gear oils.
A simple ‘go on Dad, you got this!’ turned an afternoon into a story. A story that may have cost us more than originally planned, but a priceless afternoon of fun in the bush with my favourite little man.
Have I learnt the lesson of not trying to impress my son? Probably not, but the experience we had was awesome! As soon as the Landcruiser is back on the road, we’ll be back out there!
There’s no experience better than seeing our great country, see ya out there!
Article & images by Taran Croxton