22 April 2004
WINDMILL MAN’S HILUX TOPS 650,000KM
A Queensland man has clocked up more than half a million kilometres in his HiLux following the unusual trade of a windmill mechanic.
Jack Morris’ 1983-model HiLux 4x2 petrol Double Cab utility has clocked more than 650,000km.
When he bought the vehicle privately in 1991 it had covered 70,000km.
Jack’s “territory” is more than 100,000 square kilometres of rural Queensland and he estimates there are seven to eight thousand windmills in that area.
Jack Morris usually works within a 200km radius of his home at Hivesville, north west of Brisbane - but he has travelled as far west as Roma to service windmills.
He’s been known to travel two hours to perform a ten-minute repair job.
“I might give the ute a new paint job when it hits the one million-kilometre mark,” Jack said.
“I have two 18R type (two-litre petrol) engines that I swap over, but the gearbox is still original.
“At 633,000km I reconditioned the front wheel bearings and the brakes.
“It’s a great ute. It pulls through mud in second gear and it hauls 30ft windmill towers - supported by the carry racks and the trailer.
“When we go out to erect a windmill, it tows the 6x4 mesh-side trailer with the concrete mixer and all the materials.”
Jack Morris has been repairing windmills full-time for five years.
He learned the trade working on windmills with his brother brother-in-law, before spending 14 years at a meat works.
He returned to the trade part time nine years ago, after requests from friends for help repairing their windmills.
Toyota offers a range of 27 new HiLux models, with the choice of two and four-wheel drive, three cabins, four EFI-equipped engines and two equipment grades.
Twenty-four of the 27 models have the safety option of dual SRS airbags and ABS anti-skid brakes.
The four EFI-equipped engines are: 2.7 litre petrol, 3.0 litre diesel, 3.0 litre Turbo-diesel and 3.4 litre Quad Cam V6 petrol.
Windmill mechanic Jack Morris’ 1983-model HiLux 4x2 petrol Double Cab utility has clocked more than 650,000km.