Crossing丨Taklamakan Desert Preliminary Exploration

Summarize the experience and fight again next time:

It has been my dream for many years to drive an off-road vehicle of a national independent brand through China’s four no-man’s lands and eight deserts . And Tamo is the last step of all dreams!

The route across Tammo in the east-west direction is more than 1,000 kilometers , which is extremely difficult. I decided to go from the shallower to the deeper, step by step, and start to explore from a relatively simple route: north-south vertically , the whole journey is about 500 kilometers.

More than 100 years ago, the well-known explorers Sven Hedin and Stein both walked through similar routes. During their crossing, they discovered the ancient ruins of Dandan Ulik and Karadun, which shocked China and foreign countries. In modern times, domestic archaeologists have successively discovered ancient ruins with a strong cultural flavor of the Western Regions, such as the ancient city of Harqin, the ancient city of Spier, the ancient city of Yuansha, and the northern cemetery.

Connecting the above-mentioned ancient ruins into a line just divides Tamo into two halves, east and west!

Crossing丨Taklamakan Desert Preliminary Exploration

The cumulative straight-line distance between 10 points on this route is 440 kilometers, and the actual travel is estimated to be about 600 kilometers. According to the experience of Rob Desert (similar to Tamer, with fine sand) , the fuel consumption should be about 400 liters.

In order to reduce the load during the crossing, the supply plan at that time was as follows:

1. Enter the desert 70 kilometers in advance from the Ahe Highway (g217), and pre-install 100 liters of oil and two boxes of water near the northern cemetery.

2. 120 liters of fuel and two boxes of drinking water at the gas station in Boyi Township, Dali

3. Preset 90 liters of fuel and two boxes of drinking water near Dandan Ulik in advance

In this way, no matter from south to north or from north to south, you only need to fill up the main fuel tank to 75 liters, carry an extra barrel of spare oil (40 liters) and a small amount of drinking water, plus the photographer and my various equipment, The body load is still within the acceptable range.

But then something happened that completely disrupted the plan:

Three days before the crossing, I arrived at the Aleka service area along the Ahe highway to buy pre-set fuel for the northern cemetery, and was told that the gas station in the service area had been closed for a long time!

Along the Ahe Highway all the way south to find the Hongbaishan service area , I was also told: the gas station is closed!

Continue to go south to the gas station in Tawakule Township . The staff said that the police station needs to issue a certificate to refill the bulk fuel. When I went to the police station, I inquired: the refueling certificate can be used, but only 10 liters are dispensed!

No way, I temporarily gave up the plan to pre-install oil in the northern cemetery, and searched for gas stations from Hotan, Luopu, Cele to Yutian and Minfeng to try to refuel, but the gas stations in Xinjiang have too strict control over bulk oil, not only The bulk oil was not added, and the four empty oil drums on the car were interrogated several times by the police along the way, but fortunately there was no oil!

In the end, we had no choice but to go back to Shaya County in the north of Tamo and meet with Tao Ge’s UTV. At the police station in Tuoibaoledi Town in Shaya County, we had a rough mouth, but we still couldn’t get the bulk oil certificate!

Finally, I came up with a solution: I told the gas station that the main fuel tank cap of my pickup could not be opened, so I could only refuel in the auxiliary fuel tank. Later, I found a remote grove, put the 120 liters of gasoline in the auxiliary fuel tank into the oil drum, and then changed to another gas station and used the same method to fill up the auxiliary fuel tank again, with 280 liters of diesel (pickup trucks are diesel vehicles).

Since Tao’s utv can’t carry his 120 liters of spare oil, the pickup removes my own 280 liters of spare diesel, utv’s 120 liters of gasoline, three people’s 130 liters of drinking water, and three people’s food for ten days, pot Bowls and pans, camping equipment, rescue equipment, folding tables and chairs, power banks, warm clothes, etc., are full of goods.

If the weight of me and the photographer is included, it is estimated that it will be almost a meal. Two days before entering the desert, the front of the pickup truck was always tilted.

The original plan of three replenishments along the way was temporarily changed to one replenishment (Dari Boyi), and the originally planned light-loaded battle became a heavy-loaded and overloaded crossing , and the difficulty caught people off guard:

On the morning of the second day after entering Tammo, the front of the pickup truck touched a ridge down the slope, put the gear in reverse and turned the direction, and with a bang, the outer cylinder liner of the left front axle ball cage jumped away.

After waiting for almost a day, Mr. Tian from the Korla Service Station came to the rescue with the half shaft, but he couldn’t enter the desert. I drove the utv out of the desert to pick him up and the half shaft. After repairing, he sent him out of the desert and then returned to the camp.

At this time, two problems were discovered, and it was already foreseeing something bad:

First, carefully observe the cracks in the ball cage liner that popped open. Half of the section is actually brown, while the other half is bright white. It shows that this half shaft has been injured long ago and has cracks! Suddenly worried that the other half shaft will also have cracks? But it is impossible to see with the naked eye!

Second, I drove the utv from the camp to the edge of Tamo to pick up the half-axle and ran back and forth four times. I consumed more than half of the utv’s spare fuel. Is the remaining spare fuel enough to reach the Dali Boyi supply point?

After breaking out of the camp on the fourth day, I began to pay attention to the topography of the tower in the southeast direction and the trend of the sand hills while we were heading south to the northern cemetery according to the plan, in case the car got into trouble again and had to break out and escape.

After traveling until two o’clock in the afternoon, an east-west oil exploration road was in front of us. Judging from the direction, this exploration road should lead to the tower. At that time, we made a coordinate point to cross the exploration road and continue to the southwest ( direction of the northern cemetery) .

After four o’clock in the afternoon, after passing a piece of extremely soft sand, I felt that the car was about to sink on the flat ground, so I lowered the tire pressure again, from 0.8 to about 0.5.

After deflation, the ground contact area of ​​the tire increases, and the grip increases. At the same time, the torque on the clutch friction plate also increases greatly. Because the body is too heavy, it can only switch between the second gear and the fourth gear of the low-speed four-wheel drive. Turning brought a new problem: the clutch began to slip! The burnt smell of the clutch is getting stronger and stronger!

Crossing丨Taklamakan Desert Preliminary Exploration

After discussing with Brother Tao, we decided to suspend our journey and return to the oil exploration road we met before and retreat to the tower. First, I replaced my clutch plate, and second, his utv needed to replenish some spare oil, and then we returned Continue to cross here.

When we were approaching the intersection of No. 1 Desert Highway north of Tazhong, we saw flashing police lights, because UTVs could not go on the road, we turned right and went down the road and entered the desert again. After bypassing the intersection and turning over a few sand beams, we are in Tazhong Yes, the accident happened again :

Photographer Xiao Chen thought the utv was fun, so he volunteered to drive the utv and follow him. About 20 minutes later, the utv suddenly disappeared from the rearview mirror, and he hurriedly called Xiao Chen on the intercom, and the reply came: he just climbed out of the utv with his feet up in the air, and he was safe and sound.

I was worried that the engine oil of the upturned utv would be poured into the cylinder after a long time, and I was a little anxious when I returned to find Xiao Chen. In addition, the clutch plate was still slipping, and the pickup was hung on a sand beam that could have passed smoothly. It is high, but the slope is very steep, almost close to 40 degrees. When the car was slowly backing down the slope, the oil pressure warning light of the pickup suddenly flashed a few times.

Use a winch to straighten the utv that fell over, and try to start it. The oil seeping into the cylinder is not serious. After two minutes of thick smoke from the exhaust pipe, everything is normal, and the two vehicles have successfully arrived in the tower. But the oil pressure warning light of the pickup kept flashing again, and the engine made a slight abnormal sound, which became louder and louder…

I sent the abnormal sound of the engine to Mr. Tian at the Korla service station. He judged that it was “Lava”, so he turned off the engine quickly. The service station contacted a tow truck and towed it back to Korla the next day. This time, the attempt to cross Tammo was terminated.

I have discussed the reasons for Lava several times with Mr. Tian from the Korla service station and Mr. An from the Wuwei service station: The oil pump suction port of the National IV Cummins engine is at the front end of the oil pan. When the car goes up a steep slope, the oil flows to the bottom of the oil pan. At the rear, the oil pump cannot pump oil, resulting in low oil pressure, which affects the lubrication of the large and small tiles and the supercharger! (It is said that the oil pan of the national five health machines has been improved!)

Profoundly sum up and learn the lessons from the failure of Tamo, and make persistent efforts to return to Tamo after the Spring Festival:

First, contact friends in the off-road circle in Hotan area in advance to help prepare spare fuel.

Second, fuel and drinking water are pre-installed in the northern cemetery and Dandan Ulik in advance to reduce the weight of the vehicle to the greatest extent.

Three, carry two front axle shafts with the car for spare.

Fourth, the original car clutch is replaced by a competitive clutch.

Encourage yourself to:

Where there is a will, there is a way

Depart on the tenth day of the first lunar month, and fight again in Tamo