Saturday, September 8, 2007

Four wheel driving.

It was a most exciting trip to drive to El Triple.
This because after the hurricane the roads were partly washed away.
Reaching destinies was only possible for the brave and well equipped.

Going to El Triple means that the Fuso Szulc is heavily loaded with supplies.
The water and propane tanks filled up.
Food for 21 days.
Fruit and vegetables.
Fruit juices and soymilk.
Toasted bread, margarine, cheese, marmalade, raisins, and cereal.
A heavy loaded truck is harder to have negotiate difficult dirt roads.

One rule though negotiating difficult dirt roads is to go slow.
Second important rule is to get out of the truck to inspect first extra difficult terrain before to drive on it.

For most part of the road to El Triple the Fuso Szulc was the first to show up after the hurricane Henriette of last Tuesday.
This is a reason for extra caution.
When no tracks can be seen of cars already having been driving on the road, one cannot be sure the road is actually negotiable and open.
And the last thing one wants is to get stuck out in the boondocks with a heavy loaded Fuso Szulc.
If that would happen digging out is no option.
In any case, no digging helps when stuck in the mud.
Only a 4x4 tractor could possibly get a heavy vehicle out of mud.

On the road to El Triple there were many situations that the four-wheel drive system had to be activated.
And in one situation even in combination with the low gear.
Twice, advancing had to be stopped because the front wheels were going too deep into the mud.
Up till the front axle.
But each time it seemed to be piece of cake for the Fuso Szulc to get out.

Often, when a deep dip in the road needed to be crossed there was the option to stay on drier ground by using the left or right bank.
But in many cases those banks were obviously in an angle.
To the left or to the right.
And sometimes so steep that it was feared the Fuso Szulc might roll over on its side.
The Fuso Szulc is relatively high and has the weight of 6 solar panels and the Datastorm satellite disk on its roof.
There is a maximum to the angle it can take before to collapse on its side.
It is unknown what that angle exactly is and there is no ambition to test it and find out.
When a bank looked steep, the middle of the road was kept and the Fuso Szulc plunged in the water and the mud.

The Fuso Szulc simply has a fantastic four wheel drive system that includes limited slip differential, an invention made in 1932 by one of the contracting companies in Germany of Ferdinand Porsche.
Those deep dips were crossed like blowing comfortably the nose in a large handkerchief.

Possible visitors getting at El Triple now will wonder how the heck the Fuso Szulc got here as the roads are like in hell.
The answer is simple.
The Mitsubishi Fuso FG 4x4 is a very well built truck with an excellent four-wheel drive system.
Who needs a Mercedes Unimog ?

At El Triple not much has changed because of hurricane Henriette.
It can be observed that lots of rain came down here and nature is slowly turning greener now.
The ocean has dumped some uprooted trees and a cactus on the beach.

After a most exciting and fantastic week in La Paz it is back to the simple and solitary life.
Because of the almost impassable roads, more far away from civilisation than ever.


To learn more about limited slip differentials, click on:


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