Getting tight on the build

We’re still waiting for the tail-lift, but I’ve been over to OEC to see it progressing. Paul is waiting for some solenoids to arrive to operate locking-pins to secure the lift in it’s various positions (to take the strain off the hydraulics when the lift is stationary). Even on it’s work-stand it looks a work of beauty! It’s incredible to think that the steel components were cut using high-pressure water!  The wait is frustrating as I can’t really use the Azalai ‘casually’ until the access is resolved – and therefore I can’t prove it for my use, least-ways not to the degree needed to be expedition assured. I have asked OEC to give us a delivery deadline on this as frankly, come the New Year, we will only have 16 weeks max to shake-out any glitches and then resolve them.

Further, until the lift is on I am unable to independently transport my wheelchair in the van. This is another, significant limitation in my being able to get out there with the vehicle too.

It would be really cool if the ramp was fitted in time for the Land Rover Driver Training course provided by Land Rover Experience early in the New Year. We have booked camping so it really would be a boon!

The whole thing (including hydraulics) will be pushing 90-100kg so it’s no insignificant drain on payload, but it is probably as light as it can be.

Some additional mod’s lined-up for OEC to provide/fit over the next couple of weeks are: Uprated headlamp bulbs (the Defender’s standard issue really are poor), fitting a socket for Anderson jump-leads, adding an additional curtain to retain items in ‘the bathroom’ of the Azalai (basically to stop me knocking stuff off the shelf into the toilet), fitting replacement rheostats for the defective seat heating ones from Exmoor Trim, and mounting a shovel to the front wing.

We have had a very kind and generous donation from Amber’s Fund and wish to record our appreciation to Richard Baker and the Trustees. Rachel and I agreed early on in the project that when people choose to donate to the Indlovu Trans-Africa Drive, that we would in turn incur an arbitrary 10% ‘tax’ of a donation to Motivation.Org.UK from our salaried pay. This together with direct donations from individuals has now reached over £1000 I’m pleased to say. Our target is £3000 (at least) so please consider donating  to Motivation directly if you haven’t already. If you are a UK taxpayer the money can be gift-aided too, which adds to the amount Motivation get at no extra cost to you – courtesy of the Taxman.

I’d also like to thank TCT’s Brixham Zone for their kind support and words of encouragement following my leaving work at the end of last month. It was another reminder of how many good people work for the NHS in Torbay. Good luck for the future and best wishes to you all. Please do stay in touch via the website and email.

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