Laurie's cannonball coconut leaves an impression - when bush-bashing expect the unexpected

August 02, 2011
Laurie's cannonball coconut leaves an impression - when bush-bashing expect the unexpected

The first and second principles of Four Wheel Driving (4WD) = If in doubt: Stop, get out and look. Then: Think assess and decide. GoSee applies these rules often as we deal with many Recreational Vehicles (RV's), camping, towing, load situations, boating and living in general.

This is the fifth in the series of GoSee hands-on evaluations of Rola Heavy Duty roof rack options.

As we thought about the extreme demands of offroad work GoSee reached for a Big Gun in the online armory of the Rola Roof Racks website. A Super Duty 1200kg lashing capacity 4.6m Ratchet Tie-down. Sure the Heavy Duty Roof Rack bars and the Vortex Luggage Tray atop them provide a substantial base on top of the Toyota HJ60 GX Sahara.

And eight straps on the Platypus Cargo Bag are fine support for touring on bitumen and good graded dirt, but offroad reality is another matter.

So the two-part 4.6m webbing tie-down is the answer when we assess the possibility of rough and tumble touring levitating the roof-top load. In this case the trigger for the Big Gun tie-down decision comes from life experience with Laurie's lost coconut.

Your correspondent remembers the moment when Laurie lost his nut. He and Tim and me were hammering South from the Northern Territory bound for Blackall. The big green coconut was Laurie's pride after he liberated it from high in a Darwin palm tree, pretty certainly illegally as we were in a Botanic Garden at the time.

Anyway there was no room for it in the vehicle so Laurie lashed it into the spare tyre on the roof rack. Later we took the right hand front shock absorber strut off the vehicle when we hit the gap in the bars of one of the many cattle grids on an average track.

Yes, one bar in the ramp was missing and we were going hard. There was a bloody awful thump, but somehow we all came through. All accept Laurie's coconut. It must have gone up like a spaceshot from its roost on the roof rack until gravity took over and down it came like a big green cannonball.

As we skidded forward the paths of car and coconut coincided and it thundered into the vehicle's bonnet and hurtled off into the bush.

It shocked the shite out of us. Changed the shape of the bonnet too. Laurie whinged about that lost coconut for days.

Point is when it comes to bush-bashing expect the unexpected. Please follow the pictures to see the Rola Super Duty tie-down in operation.

Ratchet Tie Down 38mm x 4.6m Single Pack (RTD 146) 1200kg lashing capacity. Heavy Duty applications. Rubber coated levers and hooks.

Reusable packaging converts to storage case. Complies to voluntary safety standards AS/NZS 4380 in Australia and New Zealand. RRP $A 34.95.

www.rola.com.au

Editors Note: Blackall on the Barcoo River is in central-western Queensland, Australia, about 960km from Queensland's capital, Brisbane. The Landsborough (Matilda Highway) is the main road link. Four Australian towns Coolah, Merriwagga and Gunbar in New South Wales along with Blackall, Qld, lay claim to being the home and basis for the Aussie expression Beyond the Black Stump in the vernacular. Fire blackened tree stumps were markers for carriers and teamsters in the 19th century. In the Outback sense it implies a place remote from civilisation. In Blackall in 1887 surveyors working on Astro Station used a black stump as a base to set up their equipment. They were working on mapping inland Australia. So country to the west of Blackall was referred to as Beyond the Black Stump.

Please follow this link to the first Information Article in the Rola Roof Rack series -

Editors Note: Also see:

Editors Note: Follow the Beanie Bunch adventures through these links -

Rola rachet tie-down hooks on luggage  tray front cross  bar anchor point.
Rola rachet tie-down hooks on luggage tray front cross bar anchor point.
4.6m Rola  rachet tie-down RTD 146 webbing flicks over the Platypus Cargo Bag.
4.6m Rola rachet tie-down RTD 146 webbing flicks over the Platypus Cargo Bag.
Rola  rachet tie-down webbing feeds through ratchet slot. Pull it tight.
Rola rachet tie-down webbing feeds through ratchet slot. Pull it tight.
Pump the ratchet handle to tighten 4 to 6 times.
Pump the ratchet handle to tighten 4 to 6 times.
Lift spring-loaded bar to release.
Lift spring-loaded bar to release.