*Don’t take the basics for granted*
Getting stranded in a safe place is bad but getting stranded in a dangerous place is terrible
By: electraglide4me
04 November 2007

Today I learned the very basic preparations in my suburban, the BOV, weren’t as cut and dry as I had thought. Simple little things are taken for granted. First, my spare is aired up, in good shape and good to go. Secondly, my jack and lug wench is in its case right there under my jack and ready to be put into service if needed. Any other day I would have had a 4-way wrench and portable air tank with me among several other “just in case” items but as fate would have it, I’d used it in a shed at home and had not put it back. No problem though, I have the basics onboard.

After work I went into the parking ramp and found my truck with a flat on the right rear. I figured it was no big deal and this would put me 30 minutes or so late to get on the road. I dug out the jack, wrench and tire and began to get lined out to change the flat. I figured to crack the lug nuts loose when I had the jack in place and a few inches of lift on it. This is when I realized that the factory wrench won’t fit the after market lug nuts that apparently went on when the previous owner bought these wheels. Therein lies the hidden cost of such vanity, I would have stuck with stock rims. I called a tow service to come out, telling them I had a miss-matched lug nut/wrench situation. When the guy got there he pulled out his 4-way and proceeded to try and give himself a hernia cracking the nuts loose. They weren’t going to budge. I guess when the brakes were serviced 6 months back the mechanic torque them on with air a lot tighter than should have been. The driver did have an air tank so we aired it up and drove a couple miles to his station to use the impact to get the wheel off. One problem solved but momentarily there I was dependent on someone else in a situation that should have easily been handled on my own, this brought to light a bigger problem. I do not want to get “put into the wall” because I neglected to check my gear properly and completely.

I’ve had this truck four years. In that time I have changed one tire but it was at home where I had my floor jack and I had an impact to do it with. If I had been out in the middle of nowhere or worse, somewhere I needed to quickly get away from, I’d have really been up the creek without a paddle. I took for granted that I had what I needed and would be capable of performing a simple task that I have done many times throughout the years. I overlooked very basic vehicle preps that I and I would imagine others too just assume that since they’re there, in working condition, etc. we’re covered. I’m kind of glad this happened today though. I will look for other obvious little details that perhaps I take for granted and ensure they’re going to come together as intended when I need them.

I should have checked and properly tightened my lug nuts myself with the equipment I would be using in a break down scenario. I should have known this wrench wouldn’t fit because I should have checked it a long time ago. I like to think we learn from our mistakes and the upside will be that I will be more apt to catch other shortcomings in my preparations before they become a problem.

This just goes to show you that nothing can be taken for granted because that opens the door for Murphy to walk in and kick your Arse & he will.

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