Stitching by torchlight

On one of my recent trips to Mount Isa I arrived at the yard to inspect one of our FatigueM8 trial units. Walking through the gate, there was a small group of drivers preparing to start the graveyard shift (approximately 6pm at night). They greeted me with a smile and asked “are you here to fix the steering wheel?”. I’m not really sure what gave it away, but I said, “yes, that’s me” and one of them piped up and said, “can you fix the cover, it’s coming loose and if it gets much worse someone will pull the {insert adjective here} off”.

This particular unit is installed into a quad-trailer road train, which operates 24/7 in and out of the mines around Mt Isa (read more here). It’s the most extreme conditions we’ve had our FatigueM8 installed in. On this particular night it was still 30+ degrees and the yard Forman commented that “yesterday the temperature top 50 degree’s in the shed”.

After a brief chat with the team I wondered into the main shed and found the Truck. Climbing up into the cabin I quickly saw what they meant.

Some of the stitching had broken and the cover was a bit loose. Interestingly my interpretation of where the stitching broke was where I believe most of the right-handed drivers would be holding the wheel or resting their hands on the wheel.

On this, and most trips now I travel with a complete replacement FatigueM8 unit. I set about replacing the steering wheel cover and it was well into the evening.

A resting install of the cover takes about 45 mins and this was the first time I’d stitched one under torch light!! The end result was solid and the unit was back ready to hit the road when the 5am crew came in the next morning.

Catch next time.