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The southern edge of Yogya: A truck on the run YOGYAKARTA - Departing from the flatlands from the beach of Parangtritis I decided to head east for a little while. The small mountain road up is a very nice route with generally good road conditions. It is a trip into history a little bit with houses made of bamboo and plaid work mats as walls which you will find here in some places. There are here, at just several dozen kilometers distance from the city of Yogyakarta, still villages that don't even have access to power at all.

It is also a green area right now at the end of the wet season and still it is not dangerous. No landslides and that kind of things. Ideal to cool down if you just came from the hot beaches and already had your lunch. Taking a breath here in the fresh outside air before you are heading home, back to the 'big city' once again, because that is what Yogyakarta has become, however everything is still relative.

It is what I decided at the very last moment; not the direct route back to Yogyakarta, but with a big u-turn via the east through the mountains and the city of Wonosari back home. That was some three or four extra hours from here, so I would be home again somewhere in the afternoon. That sounded as a nice idea so I could relax as well. With the left-turn indicator on I turned right. With a big sway I passed the parked busses which were waiting for their turn I aimed for the Thousand Hills.

 The truck that tipped over was in the middle of the road, which left little room for other road users to pass it easily. ©indahnesia.com
The truck that tipped over was in the middle of the road, which left little room for other road users to pass it easily. ©indahnesia.com

After several hundred meters I started to ascend the first hill. In the first curve to the right there were several motorbikes parked and some trucks were parked on someone's lawn. 'That is strange' went through my mind. A few seconds later I had stopped as well. Why? Well, there was a truck of sand on the road, turned over exactly in the middle of the road, which is just a few meters wide here. Some people had already flocked to the site, but I wasn't too late yet for the real action.

Some youngsters on motorbikes were parked in the shade. Truck drivers stood in front of their trucks with a cigarette in their mouth. Joking about those who were actually doing something. This did not include the local policeman with a somewhat too large of a belly. He only blew on his whistle a few times to navigate some motorcycle drivers past the side. That was still possible, although they had to go over the sand that came out of the back of the truck. Not the best solution if there are still people working on cleaning that.

A scene to enjoy from a small distance so my final destination for the day was changed once again. Exactly this location was my final destination. Since this situation would not be solved for quite some time I decided to have a look at it from nearby, just in between the youngsters. I grabbed a cigarette from the pack and retrieved my camera to create some evidence. However most are not used to have foreigners at the site just to watch, most went on as if nothing happened, however that is some kind of a strange sentence in this context.

 An iron chain is tied to the truck. With the help of a pulley the truck was eventually put back on it's wheels again. © indahnesia.com
An iron chain is tied to the truck. With the help of a pulley the truck was eventually put back on it's wheels again. © indahnesia.com

In this kind of situations, most people will just watch the situation, however there are always several people that do the work. Just three of the people at the scene were removing sand from the truck, directly into the ditch besides the road. That sand would be used by local residents to refurbish their driveways somewhere in the near future, because loading it back in the truck is not a real option on this small road as well.

I made some pictures when some of the residents started talking to me. Then it soon became clear how a truck fell over here, on a not very steep slope at all. In first instance I didn't see the damage that was done by the truck; several scratches on the road surface, a brake mark and a bunch of damaged stones. How did this all happen? The answer was easy; simply overloaded.

The fully loaded truck tried to get to the top of the hill with a big load of wet sand. The driver didn't succeed which caused the truck to come down by itself again. Without doubt the driver did all efforts to stop the truck from going down, but he didn't succeed in this. The truck slid down. Maybe in a last effort to stop the truck, the driver steered his truck into a stone wall, but this didn't have the expected result as well. That was the cause of this situation.

No heavy machines here that can clear the sand from the road in one go. No heavy machines here that lift the truck back on it's weeks as well. It is just all manpower. When half of the sand was removed from the truck and road, a pick-up with some bamboo and wood arrived. This was to be used to put the truck back on it's wheels again. From the village itself a pulley, some iron chains and some more men were called in.

The bamboo and wood are strategically placed at the lower side of the truck, so the pulley would be able to do the heavy job at the end. Because a full truck would be far too heavy, the remaining amount of sand had to be dumped outside the truck as well. This was done while the first buses and small trucks maneuvered themselves a way between the ditch and the truck. Not a very optimal situation, but it shaves one hour or so off the waiting time for them.

At the moment that the truck was completely emptied of sand, all done by hand indeed, the iron chain had already be attached to the truck in one way or another. The pulley was attached to a fairly skinny young tree. Not all people though that it would be able to pull the truck back on it's wheels.

Slowly the yellow truck moved a little and within a matter of a few minutes the thing had landed on it's wheels again. All that remained was a few tonnes of sand in the ditch, glass from a broken mirror and some scratches of yellow paint that came off the door. But that was all damage there really was. The policeman blew on his whistle once again and the entire story was wrapped up.



Posted in Travel @ 14 May 2008 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





sglange
User
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By looking at the picture of the truck tipping over, I wonder how it could happen because there aren't any bends on this road. Looks like the driver was sleeping and might have jirked the steering. Amat lucu sih!



dutchguy1000
User
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(Edited) Posted @ 19 May 2008 06:05

This is not so special to me, when I worked in Cikampek, (80km from jakarta) I drove the toll everyday and almost every day i saw a truck on its side, I was even planning to make a picture collection of it, he he he.
The main reasons are drivers falling asleep or blown up tires. Often i heard a load bang and always wondered what that was until a truck in front of me blew up a tire, then I knew what those bangs where.

Greetz



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