The Forgotten Continent Expedition

dhackney

Expedition Leader
We spent Oct. 2003 to Oct. 2004 exploring the world via motorcycle.

We did some exploration via sailboat in 2005.

We spent from Sept. 2006 to June 2007 building an expedition rig to explore via four wheel overland.

We tested the rig in the U.S. from June to Oct 2007.

We shipped it out to South America Dec. 2007.

Our previous and current travels are at: http://www.hackneys.com/travel/index.htm

The rig build site is at: http://www.hackneys.com/mitsu/index.htm

The rig test site is at: http://www.hackneys.com/travel/index-2007-trips.htm

We plan to travel full time for the next 2-3 years. We're starting in South America, then plan to explore SE Asia. We'll decide after that what follows but we'll almost certainly return to the Himalayas to visit friends we made when we were there via motorcycle.

This thread will be about our exploration of South America which, for most people in the U.S., is the forgotten continent.
 
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dhackney

Expedition Leader
The Long, Dark, Dead End Alley

Have you ever been in a new city, in a new country and done something that broke every safe traveling rule you’ve ever been told or learned?

Have you ever been in a new city, a gritty port city, a city renowned for danger around every corner, a city every native of the country you meet warns you about?

Have you ever been in a new city, a gritty port city, after dark, when all the storefronts were locked down, and the streets were empty except for the hunters and the prey?

Have you ever been in a new city, a gritty port city, after dark, and walked down a long, dark, dead end alley?

We have.

Click here for the rest of the story: http://www.hackneys.com/travel/chile/darkalley.pdf
 

RoundOut

Explorer
All that for some Chorrillana? You guys have stones! I have trouble crossing from Del Rio to Ciudad Acuna! Seriously, with my kids in tow, my wife practically had to drag me across the border to go for dinner one night.

Awesome story Doug, you write so well. I am looking forward to reading about your other adventures. Godspeed.
 

grahamfitter

Expedition Leader
Great story, Doug! Its nice to be reminded that not all shadows have monsters lurking in them. :)

Cheers,
Graham
 

dhackney

Expedition Leader
The Docks

The ship carrying our Fuso, Seaboard's Thor Nectar, arrived late morning on Saturday, 12 January.


Thor Nectar

Jorge and I spent from 2PM until 2:30AM watching the ship unload, hoping to see the Fuso come off. We were unsuccessful and finally gave up.

Fortunately, we had all the activity of a working dock area to keep us occupied, so we were never bored.

It also gave us the opportunity to observe the equipment and rigging techniques used to unload the ship.

For the first four hours, nothing much happened as the ship's power was out, keeping its cranes in their at-sea, locked down positions. This limited activity to what a mobile dock crane could pluck off the ship without fouling the ship's cranes.


Thor Nectar without ship's power, ship's cranes locked down.

They eventually restored the ship's power, the ship's cranes were swung aside and containers started to come off the ship.

We spent most of the late afternoon and evening watching the dock crane and a crew of at least 20 working on rigging something off the ship. We couldn't see the cargo, but could see the large lifting frame used to shuttle various slings, chains, etc. onto and off of the ship.


Large lift frame

We were convinced they were working on the Fuso, but alas, it was a medium sized Cat hoe. I estimated at least 50 man hours were invested in the rigging and lift.

About 9PM, just as the day's light was fading, they began to pull off the Kenworths that were on the foredeck. They used the ship's forward crane, a 20' container clip, four cables rigged down from the clip, and a cradle assembly under the front and rear axle.

The crane lifted the cradles onto the deck, the deck crew muscled them into position and then the crane lowered the frame with its four dangling cables down over the Kenworth. All the while, the ocean swell was rocking the ship, the crane, elevated well above the deck, was swinging back and forth with the swell, and the four hanging cables were swinging too. All this added up to four large diameter cables dragged back and forth down the Kenworth as the deck crew attached them to the cradle. Finally, after much wrestling, the crane jerked up the slack, whipping the cables against the Kenworth, and lifted it off the deck.


Kenworth being craned from the deck to the wharf. Photo by Jorge Valdes

As we watched the first Kenworth lifted off the deck and swung to the wharf I turned to Jorge and said, "If they use that small frame, cables and cradle on the Fuso they will destroy it."

Late on Sunday, 13 January, we went down to the docks to inspect the Fuso, which came off the ship sometime after we gave up the vigil in the early hours of that morning.

Unfortunately, the deck crew had chosen not to use the proper frame for extracting the Fuso. They used the same small frame and careless techniques they used on the Kenworth.

As the front cables whipped around, one caught behind the driver's mirror and bent out the cab door.




Detail showing freshly scraped mirror bracket, ripped bracket weld, bent door.


View from inside the cab, driver's seat.

When they lifted the Fuso, the too narrow frame caused the rear cables to pinch the top, crushing the top corners. The cover was, of course, destroyed.




Rear axle cable lift damage, passenger side.


Camper top corner detail.


We've located a new door in Santiago if the original cannot be restored to air and water tightness.

I suspect the unloading crew was under severe time pressure. The ship is scheduled in port for 24 hours and they were running at least four hours behind due to the ship's power failure. Using the proper lift frame, the one used for the Cat hoe, would have cost them time, probably at least 40 minutes. They were unwilling to lose the time, so instead we lost our rig.

We are still awaiting the truck to clear customs so we can remove the cover and inspect the camper shell itself. If it has been compromised, this will be the world's shortest expedition...

More to follow.
 

RoundOut

Explorer
dhackney said:
I suspect the unloading crew was under severe time pressure. The ship is scheduled in port for 24 hours and they were running at least four hours behind due to the ship's power failure. Using the proper lift frame, the one used for the Cat hoe, would have cost them time, probably at least 40 minutes. They were unwilling to lose the time, so instead we lost our rig.
I guess their demurage charges would significantly excede the cost to repair your fuso and camper shell. Not too concerned about customer service, for sure. Makes you want to blast them, huh?
:gunt:

dhackney said:
We are still awaiting the truck to clear customs so we can remove the cover and inspect the camper shell itself. If it has been compromised, this will be the world's shortest expedition...
I sure hope you guys can get that repaired instead of giving up so soon.

I pray that you will have favor with all those you need to continue your expedition!

:26_7_2:


.
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Doug,

Sorry to "hear" that about the camper. Shipping is always a gamble. Luckily when we shipped our Troopie the only "damages" was a missing toolbox and a few other minor items.

But I am convinced you can find a way to fix the damages without compromising the expedition.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Desertdude

Expedition Leader
That is disheartening... Additional time and expenses are something to consider when shipping custom vehicles.

We'll be following along on your journey, sending good vibes your way.
 

lowenbrau

Explorer
Arrrg, that sucks!

Doug, forgive me if you've already answered this but I thought one of the features of your design was that you could take the camper off and put the whole deal inside a container. Why didn't you choose this option for this trip?
 

dhackney

Expedition Leader
lowenbrau said:
Doug, forgive me if you've already answered this but I thought one of the features of your design was that you could take the camper off and put the whole deal inside a container. Why didn't you choose this option for this trip?
It would be possible to design a Fuso based rig with that capability. The chassis itself will fit in a high cube (tall) container. If you built something based on the Simpson system you could drop the camper and insert it into the container, then put the Fuso in.

The camper we used for our rig is too wide for a container.

I designed and built the rig to enable removing the camper if required, but it's more for service and repair capability than shipping.
 
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