Comment

MIND YOUR BUSINESS: Setting up 'mobile office' right could save time, lives

By Ken Solly
January 16 2022 - 11:19pm
BE PREPARED: You don't have to pack your car to the brim but having a few specific items in place when traveling can help during times of need. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

During harvest it is interesting to note how so many farm utes are converted into a mobile workshop on a quest to undertake maintenance and repairs in the paddock.

Besides the tool boxes, grease guns, oil drums and air compressor, there are replacement bearings, belts, bolts and spare parts in readiness should something go wrong.

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Down time can be costly so any time saving that can be gained by having tools and parts on hand should be part of the overall preparation for harvest.

It is a wise move to go into harvest with the essential tools and equipment on hand.

In my early days of consulting, I turned my car into a mobile office and workshop - time and time again it would get myself and others out of trouble.

My car would have four heavy duty carry bags in the back, which I considered essential in carrying out my work.

My tool bag contained a full set of spanners, socket set, wire cutters, hammers, files and accessory tools.

My "Get out of trouble" bag contains a set of jumper leads, a towing strap, battery charger, trailer net, tie-down straps and a small coil of wire.

The third bag had a sleeping bag, a sheet, some spare toiletries and a spare hat.

The final bag had a woolen blanket, Drizabone coat and a travelling rug within.

It does not stop there - there are other useful items under the front seats.

A fold up wood saw, a small sledge hammer, a large shifting wrench and a roll of toilet paper are under the driver's seat.

Under the front passenger seat is a first aid kit, a shoe shine set and a clean pair of underpants.

Then there is a whole range of smaller items in the centre console and the glove box - sanitiser, tissues and bottles of water to name a few.

There is also my sheep consulting box that finds its way in and out of my car, containing many manuals and fact sheets covering sheep management, reproduction, nutrition and diseases.

On many occasions I would be conducting a session on farm in the winter and at home time the question would be, "Ken do you have a set off jumper leads", after someone forgot to switch their lights off.

I hope I never have to use the woollen blanket - it is there should I be caught in a fire and have no way out. I would wrap a couple of layers around me and lie as low as I could get if I became trapped.

One of the most important small items is a box of matches. Again, if caught in a fire I could burn a patch and drive myself onto it to save myself.

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On one occasion I used the travelling rug to belt out a fire that had just started from lightning on a roadside.

The tow strap has pulled many a person out of a bog and some of the items I have on board are purposely there should I be first on the scene at a car accident or be in one myself. Euthanising injured animals is another consideration.

The underpants may have you a little intrigued. When you travel a lot, you become dependent on take -away food and I have fallen foul to food poisoning - a spare set of jocks never goes astray in that situation.

While I need to remove some of the bags for a short time to transport more people or other things, I would have them all on board for 98 per cent of my travels.

Feeling useful is one thing, saving time and possibly a life is another. I feel well prepared should a need arise on my travels in the future.

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One way of ensuring members of your family are similarly equipped would be to give them some of these items as Christmas or birthday presents.

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