6th February 2021

Goodaye all, a short note for this week after the long WA trip instalments. Thanks to all who commented and said they enjoyed it. The workshop found the shifter for the AMT was producing the codes, not the harness and I thought I was getting another day off and whilst they had a new one picked up out of Melbourne, I ended up going down in another truck, supposedly as passenger but ended up driving (thanks for tea and lunch Jack) and picking another one up, to go back to Dubbo.

Back in mine Wednesday, took part in the “Stop the Bridge” convoy in Dubbo with the long term aim to procure a by-pass for Dubbo, instead of a bridge that is said will stop flooding of the Newell, but from all accounts won’t, so why have something that will not provide a solution.

I got a call on the way home from WA from a mechanic in Bundaberg who asked me about suzi coils. He said he had been called out to a crash where the suzi coil had been pinched and the trailer brakes had failed. He then asked a number of drivers and 8 out of ten did not really know what the suzi coil lines did and I find that a bit scary.

Years ago I had another tow truck operator contact me following major crash involving a fuel tanker and it was found the push/pull air connections had failed. Now I have certainly seen suzi coils rubbing on checkerplate and they can be damaged when pulled too far or get caught when going round corners, but when you think about it, how often are they checked, unless they fail or you hear an air leak and now with many trucks fitted with park brake alarms, you can’t check the trailer brakes for air leaks without the horn blaring.

Have any of you had either of these problems, are you even aware of the issue and will you check your suzi coils and the air connections, next time you hook up?  Normally you will know when the connections are getting worn, they will feel loose and or leak, but you can only check when air is applied.  To link the two problems, the Bundaberg fellow has twice now, when explaining the problem and having checked and found no leaks, pulled the air connections to ensure they are OK, had them come off in his hand. He also said some drivers did not know you must turn them to lock them away from the hook up alignment. It is both an issue with a possible lack of training for new drivers and complacency with older ones.

A couple of you commented on a need for a new horse and yes, it was a bugger of a couple of weeks. But for a truck now nearing ten years old, traveled close to 2 million k, mostly with b-doubles often at 67 tonne or more but with a few roadtrains and triples involved as well, it has been and continues to be, a terrific workhorse. There is not one part or panel I can think of that I have not modified or changed in some way, mostly minor and often cosmetic, but Kenworth have done a good job with the K200. That does not mean I would not welcome the chance to help them make it even better. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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