After a year of operating Cuthbert in Africa we can say (at the risk of inflating his ego 🙂 ) that he really is a great truck and has exceeded our expectations in many respects. But even with Cuthbert’s level of greatness there is always scope for a few ‘technical tweaks’ to add ‘the icing on the cake’. We are now preparing Cuthbert for his next expedition to South America in September. So what’s being done?
Brakes – installing an electro retarder. Like many other Iveco Daily 4×4 users we have spoken to, we have been disappointed with the brakes. The problems are not significant with general driving around flat and low-hilly areas where only minimal braking is required, but the weaknesses become apparent on descents of long, steep mountain roads. So far we have had a couple of ‘hold-your-breath’ moments (in Lichtenstein in the Alps and in Lesotho, Africa), and as we are heading to the Andes later this year, we though we had better get this sorted. If you know or care what an ‘electro-retarder’ is, click here to read more.
Extending the range – extra fuel tank. Cuthbert currently has a total fuel capacity of 240 litres and a range of around 1,600 km/1,000 miles. So far so good. But from our research we’ve discovered two potentially limiting factors in South and Central America: first, between Panama and Mexico there is only very high sulphur diesel available – not good with Cuthbert’s Euro 5 engine. Secondly, due to government bureaucracy, it can be difficult for foreigners to obtain fuel of any quality in Bolivia. With Cuthbert’s new additional fuel tank, he will have a total fuel capacity of 400 litres, giving a range of around 2,630 km/1,630 miles to get us through the ‘trouble spots’ without needing to refuel! Impressive, huh? Click here for the detail on how we squeezed the extra capacity into Cuthbert.
Cooling the fuel. It seems that under certain driving conditions, the diesel in Cuthbert’s tanks can get a bit too toasty. Even the least technical amongst us could hazard a guess that the words ‘over-heating‘ and ‘diesel‘ are an undesirable combination for a vehicle. Click here for the solution sported by the ‘new, improved’ Cuthbert.
Phew! And as if all this isn’t enough excitement… Cuthbert is also sporting a new Multi-voltage Battery Charger (click here for more info) and a Gearbox temperature monitor (click here for a clue as to why…).
See Modifications and Repairs for a list of all Cuthbert’s other upgrades that we have fitted.