It’s the kind of move that sends chills down the spine of most country-drivers, but Bec Minge’s epic fuel fail is well worth the laugh.
Group Administrator and loyal Ramsey Bros team member for 14 years, day-to-day operations rely heavily on Bec’s attention to detail and can-do attitude — but there was a time when she first started with us that truly put these skills to the test.
“It was in my early years with Ramsey Bros that I was asked to jump in a company vehicle and meet another employee about half way between Lock and Cleve. I was keen to help, so grabbed the keys to a Mitsubishi Triton belonging to one of the Parts guys. The only catch was it didn’t have much fuel, so he suggested I fill up.
“I loaded up the ute and headed over to the roadhouse, keen to get the job done. I was standing at the bowser pumping diesel into the ute when things started to go astray. It kept clicking over and not letting me put much in — I couldn’t figure out why and kept looking at the dial, wondering what was going on.
“There was an Ambo filling up next to me and he asked if I was sure it took diesel. I was sure it did. There was nothing to say it should be unleaded and I’d only ever driven a diesel ute so assumed it was all good. I couldn’t get much in there but it seemed like enough to make the trip, so I headed off.”
Bec managed to get about 25kms down the road to a tiny little town called Rudall where she slowed down to go over the train line. Sure enough, as she put her foot down to cross it, the ute came to an abrupt halt and wouldn’t go any further.
“I called the office and told them the ute had stopped and I couldn’t go anywhere… only to be told it was definitely not a diesel engine. I died a little — I’d poured litres of diesel into an engine that took unleaded.
“I had to call my colleague and sheepishly ask them to keep driving to where I was — the poor thing had to meet me there. And then to top it off, the same Paramedic I’d seen at the roadhouse pulled up and asked if I was ok. I was fine, but highly embarrassed,” Bec laughs.
This well-known tragic-fuel tale has been a running joke for many years in the Ramsey Bros office.
“No one was letting me forget this stupid error quickly… someone even made a sticker that said ‘Unleaded only’ and stuck it to my desk at work as a constant reminder. I still get ribbed for it every now and then, so needless to say I haven’t quite lived it down. And every time I pull in to fill up? I find myself double checking, regardless of how familiar I am with the car I’m driving!”