I took everything possible out of the front of the lorry to reduce the front axle weight, which you will remember was caught out by the roadside VOSA inspection I was subject to on my way back to my yard the other week. I then took the vehicle to my commercial engineers and they did some expensive things to it for the MOT and took it to be MOTd. It passed fine but the front axle was still too heavy. It is weighed as part of the brake test. It is strange that a vehicle can weigh heavy at the MOT and yet still pass the test. The nightmare continues.
I believe it always has been front heavy. Even in its young days in 1985 when it was born as an NHS health vehicle screening for something. So for 30 years it has travelled round, front a bit heavy, through quite a few MOTs with several owners until last week when the Jobsworth put on the Weight Prohibition and I had to have a police escort back to my yard. It wasn’t a good day. And it all became worse today.
The MOT station didn't know how to remove a weight prohibition. A weight prohibition has to be removed. There was no information on the paperwork as to how it can be removed. Eventually a phone call to VOSA confirmed that it needed a specific appointment at the Check Point where it had been weighed. I will spend a couple of days taking out the wheelchair lift that is still in the front porch/workshop and which I have never used. I am unlikely to need it in the future (am always avoiding ambulances). This will reduce the front axle weight a little and maybe enough. If it is still too heavy after that I will have to have the plate changed from a 6 ton to a 7.5 ton plate which will certainly be expensive in time and money. Probably new larger tyres and maybe new front springs. Credit Card job, just when I thought I was going to be alright. It also meant that I couldn’t drive back to my yard until it’s all done as if I take it on the road with the Weight Prohibition is still on it then it’s a £5000 fine. Great.
In the meantime I’ve been staying with friends in Ruthin. They have a very beautiful house overlooking the Clwyd Vale. They also have a weighing machine in the bathroom. They are the only people I know with one of those. Mind you I don’t know many people enough to spend a long time in their bathrooms. So I’m sure you’ve guessed it, yes I’m overweight too. My front axle needs to lose about a stone if I’m to leap around again as usual this summer. No more cream or chocolate. At least from tomorrow when I have eaten the last of my current stash.
My Ruthin friends have also just dropped a bombshell on me that I can’t stay there again because they don’t like my dogs in their house. So another prohibition. Why didn’t they say so before? I’ve stayed there maybe three times. I keep a very close eye on Mimi and Blue while we’re there and always have them washed and groomed before we go because they live in an immaculate house. I scrupulously clean their feet if they go outside and I’m on their case the whole time we are there because these people don’t have dogs and some people don't like dogs. The thing is though that they offered originally to put us up at their house while the lorry is being fixed. Sod it. Love me, love Mimi and Blue, I say. The guy who services the lorry has kindly said I can live in the corner of his yard while the problem is sorted.
And all this on Eclipse Day. Very inauspicious changes. Ah well it’s one of those things. Another reason why I have the growing feeling that it may be time to move on.
Does all this get to me? Not yet but I have this feeling it will. Living in the car on coffee and adrenalin, rushing round making calls and talking to people about the lorry. Back to the commercial vehicle yard tonight. I’ve taken the generator over there with my small trailer so I shall have the tv and electric light.
And Six Nations tomorrow. It could be worse.
All the best from a road near you,