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The World. As seen by Ceri.


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August 2018.

The next two jobs were a lesson in why not to offer ‘backload’ prices on Shiply.  I had a Citroen Picasso to take up to Oldham, which I planned to do on the way to pick up the Range Rover, and a Skoda to take over to West Wales, planned as an outbound job when picking up the Bentley.   For various reasons dates couldn’t be aligned, so to make the best of the situation, I headed out to do the Picasso and the Skoda on the same (long) day.


An early start saw me collect the Octavia from a main dealer near Cannock and a pleasant drive over to the west coast, to an independent garage near Caernarfon.


Heading back towards England, I the Citroen was to be collected from a private address in Mold.  The guy had bought the car a couple of weeks prior, from a bomb-site car dealer in Oldham.  Due to developing sundry electrical problems the dealer had agreed to accept the car back. 

Regrettably, in my haste to reach the pick-up point, I managed to run into the back of someone entering a roundabout.  Classic case of three lanes of traffic going for a gap, except the one ditherer in front of me who hits the brakes.  Flippin’ facepalm. 



There didn’t seem to be a lot of damage from the Sorento-Polo interface, so I didn’t expect any comeback.  Unfortunately the older lady in the (leased) VW was on first name terms with the staff at the main dealer’s bodyshop, and she took it straight round for a quote.  Turned out there was genuinely a bit of damage to the bumper (of the sort that an ASer would not even notice in ten years of ownership). 


Following a week or so of wrangling, I persuaded her to let me send round a smart-repair chap who halved the cost of the fix.  I wasn’t going to involve my insurance at this point in my career, but it certainly wiped out my profit for the week.

Anyway, back to the Picasso, which I was warned may be a non starter.  Luckily it did start, but I made sure to leave the (auto) gearbox in neutral and the (electric) handbrake off when on the trailer – I wasn’t about to risk not being able to roll it off again.  Four 5 ton straps will hold a car solid on the bed, no bother!  Not many photos of this one due to my flusterment following the preceding rta.


When I eventually reached Oldham, the car started fine and everything worked perfectly, so I beat a hasty retreat whilst the lads scratched their heads over why the vehicle had been sent back to them.

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August 2018.

The last week of August and first job was a lengthy trip from Chesterfield to Sussex with this little Riley 1500.


Despite what you might imagine from the picture, it did actually start and drive fairly well.  Took me a few attempts to get it going at the delivery point – my inexperience with manual chokes showing itself – but got there in the end.


The following day I went up to another machinery auction.  This time the massive Euro Auctions site near Goole in East Yorkshire.  This was a repeat booking from the chap with the all-terrain forklift from a couple of pages back.


Two trenching machines were lifted on by the staff at Euro Auctions, but strapping them securely was a little bit of a challenge…  Mental note made to buy a few extra straps.


Having dropped the machinery in Middlesex, I headed straight out to Norfolk and the next task.  This was a 7 series BMW in E38 flavour.  By the time I reached the coastal village of Walcott, it was early evening and I car-camped in the quiet of the Norfolk countryside.

The following morning I arrived to a cup of coffee and an apology:  The BMW in question was still blocked in by a static caravan, that they hadn’t been able to move for reasons I now forget.  As the BMW didn’t drive, I needed the space to get the trailer right up to it, so the Sorento stepped up and got the old ‘van out of the way.


The E38 was apparently of a very unusual spec, having been used previously by the security services.  The seller reckoned the windows may be bullet-proof and there was evidence of additional lights, radios etc having been fitted in a past life.  I was concerned what effect this may have had on the weight, but as ever, the Kia had no issues with it.


I had a slight mishap as I tuned out of the guy’s yard.  A wide turn was necessary to ensure the trailer cleared the walled entrance, and as I brushed beneath a small apple tree, a branch snapped the aerial in two.  I never did fix it.


The BMW’s buyer was on the other side of the country, in Bridgwater, Somerset.  A long trip, thankfully uneventful.

Final trip of the week was to take a Defender 90 from Bedfordshire up to Keighley, West Yorkshire. 


Looks a bit wonky on the trailer with one flat tyre, but no point in pumping it up as, if it had gone down again in transit, the strap on that wheel would’ve gone slack.

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1 minute ago, worldofceri said:

It's not often Yorkshire is mistaken for Africa in a photograph.  

Though most of the equipment coming out of there doesn't stay in the UK for very much longer, so the scenes in Zimbabwe are probably quite similar tbf.

The economics are probably much the same.....

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Can never have too many straps!!!

in my previous life as a Yorkie chomper I have been known to use all my 15 straps, and 4 60+foot ropes....and still popped into the yard for more straps......The joy of Top Heavy cooling systems for Nuclear Powerplants!!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

A bit more from the archive.

September 2018.

I got a call asking if I could collect an accident damaged Range Rover Sport from Newbury Copart.  Does it roll and steer?  I ask.  No, but we will lift it off at our end with a forklift.  OK then. 


So, I popped my Copart cherry.  What I didn’t know until that day is that all vehicles from there are brought out using enormous wheel loaders fitted with fifteen foot long forks.  Makes light work of getting loaded.  The ‘Rover certainly wasn’t going to roll and steer, so I was a bit apprehensive heading to the delivery location in the back streets of Birmingham.  The customer’s unit required an awkward reverse off a narrow street to get in.  He lifted it up with his forklift and I drove the trailer out from underneath quick before the whole lot tipped over.





Next job was an H Van from down in Kent.  It ran OK but couldn’t be driven due to a distinct lack of brakes.


Reversing it off the trailer was interesting as it had no useable mirrors or working footbrake.  I could hand my head out of the window to see where I was heading, but not reach the handbrake at the same time.  The seller’s mate was filming the operation and he sent me the video. 

The following day I headed over to Birmingham to drag a dead Astra off a chap’s drive and take it a few miles down the road to a different address.  The drive sloped down away from the road, which was too narrow to allow the trailer to be positioned in front of the car.  So, I unhitched the Kia and towed the Vauxhall onto the road for loading.  The customer kindly offered to steer the Astra, but I quickly became perplexed and a little concerned that the Sorento couldn’t seem to drag it up this slight incline.  Jumped out to investigate, fearing seized brakes or something.  Do you need me to take the handbrake off?  Asked the customer. Facepalm.


Job accomplished, I headed down to Herefordshire to pick up this tidy M3 that was going to a tuning shop in Leamington for the fitting of some sort of super-duper performance exhaust.



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