06 December, 2012

Bush Truckers!

       So early this week a guy came into the shop and asked about hiring us to haul a small excavator with our 6x6 5 ton truck (M813A1 for those who care).  I gave him an estimate of what it would cost, he was quite happy with the price, even paid 100% up front.

Loaded up: I was impressed with the loading ramp they had built--looks like somebody's been measuring our truck's deck height!  all photos courtesy of Marty.
       Now at this point some of you might (logically) be asking why a bunch of missionaries with a truck would be charging at all.  That's a fair question.  The reason is because if we didn't, we wouldn't be able to do it at all.  So we charge enough to cover our costs, but then we have to be careful not to undercut our competition, because we aren't here to steal anybody else's business.  So whatever we take in that is over and above our operating costs gets plowed back into other areas where we don't charge enough.  A real business would be interested in turning a profit, as part of a non-profit organisation, we are usually content to simply stay out of debt.  In the case of our off-road trucking service, there is nobody else locally who can carry loads as heavy as we can on rough dirt roads.  If there were competition, we'd probably have to raise our rates to keep from undercutting them (convoluted, I know).

       Anyway, back to my story:  I'm the shop manager this week, as the incoming manager doesn't get here until sometime next week and the outgoing manager's last day was last week.  So I took the job and took Marty and Evan with me, as there is a good chance that either one of them could end up doing these trips in the future and I knew that the experience would be good for them.

       It was a short haul, a little under 3 hours total time.  It was pretty straightforward, a beautiful day, nice and dry, the roads were all there, no big washouts, only a couple of bridges to deal with, and those were short and in reasonably good shape.

Me saying, "DON'T LET THAT BUCKET HIT THE RADIATOR!"  We ended up chaining the bucket to the bumper and putting a chunk of 6x6 timber between it and the grille.  The chain came loose while we were driving, but the timber and the very sturdy steel grille did a good job of preventing any real damage.  When we got back, I touched up the paint on the grille.  Notice some of the kids wearing winter coats?  It was a warm, beautiful day, but style so often trumps comfort.  These coats probably came from one of PNG's excellent second-hand clothes stores, and most likely came from New Zealand or Australia. 

Photos like this make me realise just how Mighty my beard has become.  The morning glance in the bathroom mirror doesn't do it justice.  Ned Kelly, eat your heart out.

No matter where you go in PNG, natural beauty abounds.

1 comment:

Engelandmoto said...

The Discovery channel will pick up your reality show now for sure. Great explanation of why you charge for the trip. You have a talent for writing.