Our Big Green Truck is an old Mercedes 911 bullnose which once pulled heavy artillery through Angola for the SADF and still had a gun turret when we bought it! We couldn’t really afford it, but Dietmar Frey kindly sold it to us for a song in 2010 because he wanted us to fulfill our dream.
We recycled it, adding a bedroom for the kids over the nose cone and converting it from diesel to run on waste vegetable oil. We had already travelled more than 10000km around South Africa on used oil from Kalky’s fish and chip restaurant in Cape Town before setting off on our great adventure.
Treetops Renewable Energy Systems provided us with 5 solar panels which give 30 amps power at 24v which we use an inverter to convert to 220v AC. Off this, we can run our fridge, lights, laptops and phones. Victron Energy upgraded the system, providing a state of the art inverter, colour monitor system and 2 extra panels thanks to the Centre for Alternative Technologies in Kenya.
With thanks to the guys who made the mechanics happen: Martin Graham, Gert Nel, Rob Irvine, Ampie Holtzhausen, Johan Van Wyk, Jochi Gremels, Mike Van As from De Gama Motors, Hannes Anmar, Martin Pollack, Roger James, John Loubscher, Ben Ulric Conradie, Steve Joffe, Peter Stock, Pierrot Salaun and most of all, Maxwell Kuseni.
Special thanks to those companies who have assisted us with services and repairs to Big Reg en route:
Sandown Motors, Cape Town, South Africa
M&Z Commercial Motors, Windhoek, Namibia
Transfuel, Luanda, Angola
TECOR, Pointe Noire, Congo
Tractafric Motors, Douala, Cameroun
PRESCO PLC, Benin City, Nigeria
Silver Star Auto Ltd (a Tractafric partner), Accra, Ghana
Liberian Product Industry, San Pédro, Côte d’Ivoire
Alliance Motors (a Tractafric partner), Monrovia, Liberia
La Sénégalaise de l’Automobile (a Tractafric partner), Dakar, Senegal
Papi Maurice Bechelli, Le Rove, France
MCV Cairo and Luxor, Egypt
Farbest Auto Overlanders, Khartoum, Sudan
Orbit Trading, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
DT Dobie (CFAO), Mombasa, Kenya
CFAO Motors, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
YMK Motors, Iringa, Tanzania
Automotive Products Limited, Lilongwe, Malawi
MA Motors, Lilongwe, Malawi
Mercedes Benz Commercial NMI-DSN, Durban, South Africa