To say the last week has been emotional, would be an understatement of enormous proportions. To have come so close to getting my truck registered, only to find that the transmission was damaged, was to say the least, heart breaking, but if I’m to make it around Africa I need to have an “OK, problem, let’s solve it” attitude, so that’s what got me through the last few days.
Finally, following the repairs at Emirates Motor Company, my truck arrived (again) at Tasjeel in Warsan on Tuesday 24th January, and this time I was determined not to leave without a registration card. Which is just as well, since in the end it took me SIX hours to obtain the necessary approvals, during which time the vehicle was inspected on three separate occasions, by about eight different people in total. I spent 90 minutes sweet talking the manager of the test centre, persuading him that since Oberaigner was a Mercedes, n approved vehicle modifier, that the rules of ‘no modifications to chassis’ could not possibly be applied to MY vehicle. Thank You Henrique Pimental of Daimler Middle East for the letter confirming Mercedes’ relationship with Oberaigner.
Plates, plates! I got plates!!
Then there were the inevitable “But it has to be registered as a commercial vehicle”, “But it’s a heavy vehicle not a light truck”, “We don’t have that engine option for a Sprinter on our computer” and other such tiresome arguments to overcome, but I got there, having displayed the patience and understanding of a saint. Anyone who knows me will understand that for me to display such behaviour is nothing short of miraculous, but NOTHING was going to get between me and those number plates this time. So it was that at 8.20pm, more than five hours after I’d first arrived, I walked out of the office with the personalised plates in my hand. Having fitted them, I then had to walk back into the office, and spend another 40 minutes getting the registration card changed to show the correct gross vehicle weight. You see, I’d noticed that problem when the card was printed, but decided that ‘owning’ the card, and thus being able to have my plates printed, was more important than having correct details on the card. So when I raised the issue AFTER fitting my plates, well, they really had no choice but to correct it, right? I wasn’t born yesterday……
The video below is rather long, but it covers the whole gamut of my emotions, from receiving the truck the first time, realising it was damaged, getting it fixed, returning to Warsan and ultimately, my first drive of the truck on a public road. Bear with me for the plate fitting sequence – it gets better at the end 🙂
I hope you enjoy the video as much as I enjoyed driving those first few kilometres.