Friday, September 21, 2012

A new front drive shaft assembly

In the last couple of weeks our truck had begun making some rather loud noises during turns in the district building parking lot.  I first thought I had driven over something, but the lot was smooth.  We knew we needed new tires and the alignment is way off (which really wears the front tires) and had a bunch of other things that we knew needed repair so Markus came to check it out last week.  The verdict:  The worst of the issues was that the front bearings were wearing out (along with several other preventive maintenance issues).  Wednesday I took the truck in to have the Motorcare mechanics take the time to take the wheels off and have a closer look and get an estimate.  Thursday afternoon the new part came and we scheduled the repair for today, Friday.  After 5 hours the truck feels a whole lot safer!  The right outer boot (that keeps the grease in and the grit out) also needed replacing so we had it replaced too (unlike 3 months ago when the left outer boot was identified as needing replacing but wasn't).

The old front drive shaft assembly

Aziz holding the new front drive shaft assembly

Aziz is the mechanic who carried out the 37,000 km maintenance 3 months ago.  He is very thorough and reminds me of a valued mechanic we've known for decades in Sandy, Utah;  Gene Foulger of Certified Auto.  Gene would always gently point out the long term value of preventive maintenance and carefully explain everything.  And when Gene or his shop mechanics would repair something, it was genuinely repaired.  I think Aziz is like that too.

Aziz putting the drive assembly in place

We'll be trying to stay on paved roads for a while until the other truck issues get taken care of.  We're looking forward to visiting the Kenema Branch this Sunday for their branch conference.  The road there really nice and smooth!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Our truck got "clamped"

Friday, 7 Sep 2012 we got “clamped” when we parked where we usually park when we go to the Freetown Market. There were no signs indicating the particular area was restricted or any different from where the cars were parked ahead of where we parked. When we came out of the store and found our wheel locked we saw the two “officers” lingering on the other side of the road who had just moments before put the “clamp” on our truck. Neither of the phone numbers on the notice that was left on the windshield raised anyone. However, the store manager knew who to call and promised to take care of it. We came to understand that the store owner paid to have the section of the street directly in from of his store exempted from the patrol that puts “clamps” on vehicles. We were relieved to not have to pay the Le 100,000 “penalty” and certainly were not going to pay the “officers” to just unlock their “clamp” and let us be on our way. It only cost us about a 50 minute wait.