A good country driver can usually follow his nose. Throw in a couple of well-travelled Ramsey Bros members with roughly 180,000kms of driving between them each year and you’ve got a recipe for a cross-country hike that’s a synch… or so you’d think.
A couple of years ago, Ramsey Bros’ Eddie Ward pulled up to the house of Group Sales Manager Tim Glover in the early hours, ready to make the trek to a compelling machinery auction in Dubbo.
“It may have been a sign of things to come that I was still asleep when the Director of the company turned up, but I put my skates on, threw a few things in a bag and saddled up next to Eddie for the 12-hour drive to NSW,” Tim says.
The two-day auction went swimmingly, with the Ramsey Bros team elated to have nabbed some incredible equipment from other dealers, before hitting the road again to knock the edge off the long trek home. They left early the next morning, with Adelaide firmly in their sights.
“Eddie’s renowned for his perseverance, so when he jumped behind the wheel with a mission of getting us home to our families before sun down, I relaxed,” Tim recalls.
The pair casually threw around ‘best-route-theories’ before succumbing to technology and punching the destination into the car’s GPS. They admired the countryside on the journey through Balranald, before passing what appeared to be Mildura, then merging onto a fast-paced highway. It seemed a little odd that the GPS took them left off the highway, but the boys continued on what they assumed could only be a revolutionary shortcut.
“It was uneventful, until the map led us down a dirt road… then another… and another and another, going from rough gravel to gritty sand. It was around the final corner, that we found ourselves at a dead end — smack bang in the middle of a citrus orchard!”
Not only were they gob-smacked by how they’d ended up in such isolation, it quickly became apparent that their Commodore Ute was firmly bogged right up to the axels. With no phone reception and not a soul in sight, Tim resigned to rolling up his sleeves.
“I swung open the door and started digging, one gritty handful at a time. It was tough-going, with Ed revving the ute while I burrowed down and we enthusiastically threw directions (plus a few cuss-words) around. There were sighs of relief when we finally freed ourselves and started to backtrack the rabbit warren we’d headed down.
“We caught our breath, called home to say we’d taken an ‘unexpected detour’ and exchanged a few sheepish side glances before agreeing it was probably safest to keep this misdemeanour between ourselves rather than end up the laughing stock of our staff newsletter,” laughs Tim.
To this day, The Leyland Brothers have travelled frequently together but now put their faith in traditional maps and years of instincts rather than dance with the devilish GPS once more.