So we were just about there with vehicle preparation, just a quick trip to Matford Land Rover to get a spare set of keys. Unfortunately whilst in their custody, the Azalai took a bit of a bump to its roof-rack. (Accidents do happen so importantly…) The Dealer was good as gold and covered the repair, but as this happened late Friday; with shipping delivery due the following Wednesday, some quick thinking and work by OEC was needed…..
On Monday Richard (OEC) quickly got to work and spent the whole morning attaching cargo rail to the space vacated by the roof-rack and on the immediately posterior section of sloping roof. This solution has some advantages in loads larger than the constraints of the original roof-rack can now be accommodated. OEC had sourced another wheel and Tyre. The plan was now to stow this wheel and a pair of empty jerry cans on the roof (50kg total – if the cans need to be carted full then they can travel on the tail-lift).
For shipping we decided to put the wheel and the cans on the tail-lift to accommodate the container’s height limits- that was Monday p.m. By Monday evening we noticed that the tail-lift had ‘dropped’. Not seeing any obvious cause a panicked and final dash to OEC Tuesday morning revealed that the distal levers had bent somewhat under the 50kg load. The fabricators had cut holes in them (to save weight). OEC’s Paul had questioned this at the time – but was reassured that they would be fine! Luckily we found out in the nick of, and with some quick welding to make them more RSJ like – we were away.
The upside of these late running repairs and mods is that we know problems will arise but that they can be solved with the right people and resources (thanks OEC). The downside is that our packing and checking time was forced to the evenings. I had ten hours’ sleep total, Sunday through to Tuesday – and indeed on Tuesday went to bed at 0030, to awake at 0300 to drive the Azalai up to Tilbury with Rachel……