A Queensland man has clocked up more than half a million kilometers 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 650,000 km. When he bought the vehicle privately in 1991 it had covered 70,000 km. Jack's "territory" is more than 100,000 square kilometers of rural Queensland and he estimates there are seven to eight thousand windmills in that area. Jack Morris usually works within a 200 km 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-kilometer mark. I have two 18R type (two-liter petrol) engines that I swap over, but the gearbox is still original. At 633,000 km 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," Jack said.
"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 and 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.
All the while he has been performing his work with the Hilux.