Is it possible for me and my Dad to drive a truck around the world? I have Cerebral Palsy and I spend all my time in an electric wheelchair. My Dad says why not and I agree. This is the start of an adventure of a lifetime.
Like many other potential Expedition Truck owners, who have nurtured a dream to travel, when you realise that your dream will become a reality, the questions then begin. What will the base vehicle be? What Euro fuel rating, what age and therefore what level of technology do we need? What axle configuration, what engine size or quite simply where do I buy a lorry from?
I have quite a lot of equipment, wheelchairs and medical equipment that I need to take with me wherever I go. I sat for hours with my Dad looking for trucks on the internet. We wanted to buy a new one and then we read that Low Sulphur Diesel isn’t available around the world and that the electronic brains of modern trucks cant cope with low sulphur at high altitude. All the older trucks we looked at were at really high mileages, somebody suggested we try ex-military trucks, they are quite expensive for their age, 20 years old, but they are very low mileage.
My dad came back from work one day very excited and told me that he had found a truck with an expedition truck builder who builds high quality vehicles. Sadly the company were greedy and we couldn’t afford the price they wanted to charge for the build. My dad got really angry that the we paid the company £5000 for absolutely no reason.
So again the search continued to find a suitable vehicle and someone to build it for us. Dad even suggested that he build it himself which I did laugh at. He takes ages to fix my wheelchair when it breaks down sometimes.
Dad went to Poland to visit a company that said they could build us an expedition truck just as we needed, but he said he was worried about going backwards and forwards all the time during the building and it would be difficult for me to get over there regularly.
Dad came home one day really excited, he said he had bought a truck, unfortunately he said it was in Holland so we couldn’t go and see it. He said the man who owned Mainstreet, the truck dealers, whose name was Erik was really nice and helpful (www.Mainstreet.nl). Dad said Erik arranged for off road wheels and tyres to be fitted to the truck in Holland and kindly arranged to bring it to the UK himself.
At the same time Dad started to look around in the UK for a coachbuilder that could build the truck. After may failed attempts of finding a company, Dad went to see Ian Parkin-Coates at Motorcraft Conversions in Doncaster (www.motorcraftconversions.com). He said he was really friendly and seemed keen to help me to get into an expedition truck. He said he could build it by September 2018, my dad said our dream might become a reality thanks to Ian and his company – I am really looking forward to meeting him.
Dad told me he went to Doncaster to meet Erik and his family after they kindly brought our truck over to the UK. The truck is now in Doncaster with Ian and his team.
I can’t wait for September 2018 to be here. Wonder where we will go first. I hope its Monaco. I love all those big yachts!!!!