Tuesday, 5 July 2011
The Wheels on the Bus ........
We went on a coach trip yesterday to Llandudno. The weather was fantastic. The coach was a little bit late in arriving but we followed the queue boarding and sat down three seats from the front on the offside. I sat next to the window and the passing traffic. Hubs sat on the inside seat.
We were heading up the A494 through Denbigh along the by-pass. The coach seemed to lose speed a little and I gave a sharp intake of breath. We were veering dangerously close towards a lorry along side the window where I was sitting. It seemed like little more than a coat of paint between us! Yikes! Hubs nudged my elbow and motioned towards the driver's mirror. We could see in the mirror, the driver's eyelids starting to droop and he seemed to be constantly leaning forward and then jolting back. The low babble of conversation of the other passengers droned on totally unaware. From time to time he was running his hand across his forehead to the back of his head and yawning every few minutes. By this time we were batting along about 50 mph. Anybody who drives anything, will easily recognise the signs.
We came to a sharpish bend and the coach started to shudder and jerk. The lady in the seat behind us mimicked it and laughed loudly. Hubs whispered to me, "I think the track rod end might have gone." Now my O/H worked on the mechanics of coaches and the like, for quite a few years in his younger days and knows a lot about them. He explained that the track rod end is a piece of equipment at the end of the steering track. When it goes wrong it causes the vehicle to shudder and veer. The vibration can very easily cause the steel around it to disintegrate. We got to our destination, thankfully. In these austere times, I wonder how many more of these companies are cutting back and taking risks. It doesn't bear thinking about! We were the lucky ones but what about the people who would be going out in the bus after us?