The term “bush mechanics” is common in 4WD touring circles and it’s usually accompanied by a comical video clip or story demonstrating the lengths that some will go to to fix their trucks when they’re out on the rough stuff. We aren’t ones to advocate two-by-fours in the place of broken leaf springs, or cable tie sculptures resembling a sea urchin holding mechanical components together, but what happens if you’ve suffered some damage mid-journey and need a fix to continue your off-road travel plans?
We recently came across a customer who was involved in a collision mid-trip, in Cairns. His D-Max had been rear ended but only minor damage was sustained, partly due to the steel rear bar and wheel carrier fitted (should’ve seen the other car!). The impact had however pushed the bar into the rear tailgate which prevented it from opening and allowing access to the tray. When he called to lodge the claim he explained that with a bit of “creative” work, he could get enough clearance to allow the tailgate to open and continue his trip, which consisted of another seven months touring across Darwin, Broome, Perth and Adelaide before heading back home to Victoria.
It’s important to point out that most insurance policies have an “emergency repairs” provision, but I wonder how often this gets claimed on for a policy on for say, a Hyundai Sonata? I guess that’s why this benefit is never really advertised by mainstream insurers! But this coverage is much more important to us as off-road travel enthusiasts so not only did we include the coverage, we also increased the amount covered up to a market-leading $1000. The higher amount was deemed important given the type of vehicles we’re insuring and increases a driver’s chance of continuing on rather than setting up camp until their truck is repaired.
So going back to our customer with the D-Max: he was able to take the vehicle into a local panel shop where the team removed the bar and made some adjustments to allow some more clearance. During this process care was taken not to compromise the integrity of the unit as a wheel carrier, so no functionality was lost and the tailgate was free to open.
Importantly, the cost was covered and our customer hit the dusty trail to his next destination.
Does your insurer offer you this coverage? It pays to know.