Station vehicles, number 2.

February 10, 2011

Out fencing at Kilcowera Station.
Out fencing at Kilcowera Station.

All this brings to mind the things we do with our Toyotas, the possibilities are endless . There are of course the obvious things: towing things, carrying things, pushing things over, driving through rough terrain, using it as a camping vehicle but over the years there have been some more interesting moments with our cars. 

Many, many times I have had the boring job of using the vehicle to pull things up via a gin pole (sorry!!!!!) – bales of wool out of the shearing shed onto the truck, thick soupy sludge out of a stock water tank that had to be cleaned out and pulling windmill gear up out of the hole when we needed to replace the pump or the columns. This is not a bad job at all as you can sit in the air con and listen to the radio but one can’t get too complacent while doing the job as things can go wrong at any time. 

Not too long ago Greg had his bulldozer blade off for some reason or another and when it was time to reattach it he needed help.  He had everthing lined up and I was to drive the Toyota.  This great heavy thing just needed a gentle nudge to get it into the right place so it would all fit again.  So low range and away we went, the thingy slid across and down into where it was supposed to go and bulldozer was together again! 

Way back when Polo was still being played in all the small towns out here, Thargomindah was having a street parade as part of it’s annual Polo Carnival.  Well, I saw a horse standing on the back of a ute in the parade.  There he was, driving down the main drag: bridle and saddle on, all his bandages on, all ready to go.  He wasn’t tied up but just perched up in the back of the Toyota.  Most of the polo ponies were used for mustering and were very well bred, quiet and manageable horses. 

Toyotas are good at pulling wires out of old fence lines: you just get the 5 or six wires and tie them onto the towball and pull away.  You can get rid of a fence fairly quickly, we often reuse the wire for another job and use the old fence posts for firewood.  You can also pay out the wires for a new fenceline from the vehicle using a spinning jenny on the back. Various parts of the car can be used for straightening steel posts or pipe or you can use it for breaking things too !  

When mustering cattle it’s handy to have a Toyota around just in case there are some bad eggs in the mob.  Sometimes a little nudge with the vehicle is all that is needed to convince a cow she should stay with the mob and not attempt to be a freedom fighter.  A neighbour of ours uses a Tojo all the time as his mustering vehicle after too many busters off his bike.  I am in total awe as to where that man can take that vehicle, he fairly crashes through the scrub – just don’t get behind him – cause he doesn’t look where he’s going! 

A few years ago we were camped on the Nullabor Plain right near the Bight so we could watch the whales sailing past.  A storm came up in the middle of the night and started lifting our tent which wasn’t held down by much, just us really.  You can’t get tent pegs in very far in that limestone ground.  So while I valiantly held the tent down from the confines of my swag, my brave husband shifted the Toyota and positioned it between us and the Great Southern Ocean and tied the tent to the vehicle.  A few hours later the wind shifted 180 degrees and he was out there again, moving the car around to the other side and reattaching the tent. It was a fairly disturbing night, and we didn’t see any whales either. 

There was a wedding on the place next door a few years ago in the cattle yard and all the wedding party arrived in Land Cruiser utes, complete with white ribbons.  The bride traipsed around in high heels and the long white dress ,the alter was made of hay bales and it was a very nice day out. The celebrations lasted about 3 days with many of the brides relatives staying here at Kilcowera.

Greg & Toni unloading the 4 wheeler at Kilcowera Station, Outback Queensland.


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