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207. Ground Transport

05/12/2015

It’s amazing to think that operating a WWI aircraft with a rotary engine seems to be so much simpler and more reliable than a ten year old car.

You may remember that the first time we tried towing the
Scout trailer behind my ten year old Skoda Octavia, which was just nicely running in at 240,000 miles, it was promptly dumped in the hedge when the trailer jacknifed.

We were advised that the best tow vehicle by far was a LandRover Discovery, with its 2.5 tonne weight and air suspension, and so I bought one.

It was ten years old, but looked in good condition, and since then it has given a quite astonishing amount of trouble, having been in for major repair no less than six times in five months.

Much of the towing this summer has had to be done by friends, or other last-minute arrangements and it’s far more worry than flying the aircraft.

The last time was the final straw, when the fuel pump packed up on the way back from Manchester late at night. I nursed it all the way back, sometimes at speeds as low as 20mph, and it finally died about one and a half miles from home at 0030, so that I had to walk the last half hour.

It’s going great now, but it’s reliability has been so poor that I took the decision on that unlit single track road at 0100 to raid the pension fund – again – and I’ve just taken delivery of a Toyota Hilux that’s still in its warranty period.

It feels really nice, and I’m hoping that at last our worries on the ground will be over. It’s not as heavy as the Discovery, but if necessary we can put some paving slabs in the back to load it up a bit.

2015-12-05 Toyota Hilux

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