Roadside Survival: Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdowns (Paperback)
By Walt Brinker
This book is a collection of practical, low-tech wisdom and advice gained from over 2,000 free-of-charge roadside assists the author has performed – as a hobby! Content is based on hands-on experience, not theory.
There are two kinds of drivers: 1) those who have experienced a disabled vehicle, and 2) those who will. Two hundred million licensed motor vehicle drivers in the United States expose themselves routinely to significant risk while betting that they will not become stranded when they drive.
Motorists can decrease the chances that they will have a breakdown and become stranded. Some folks learn only by experiencing inconvenience, embarrassment and potentially serious risks. Others make the proactive choice to learn how to prevent problems and the methods to counteract them should they occur.
"Roadside Survival" provides the opportunity to avoid the negatives associated with becoming stranded (including no bathroom, no water, no food, too cold, too hot, too dark and encountering predators). Generally, good luck comes to those who help themselves; this book is for those in that group. To change the mind of someone currently not in that group, send him a copy of this book and insist he read it. Some drivers live in denial that they could break down; this book can help them see otherwise and show them how to prevent, prepare for and contend with that eventuality. The author is not a mechanic, but most vehicle breakdowns do not require a mechanic. His solutions are simple, low tech and easily understood, and they enable a driver of a disabled vehicle to drive it off an interstate highway or out of a parking lot to a facility that can fix the problem, or show the motorist how to obtain items needed to prevent recurrence. (They are not meant to be permanent repairs.)
The most common reasons for becoming stranded, in fact 75 percent of the author’s assists, are tire-related. Discussion of several tire-related reasons follows the chapter on safety. The remaining 25 percent of breakdowns are split roughly equally among the following reasons, covered in separate chapters:
- Running out of gas
- Engine overheating
- Engine cuts off and will not restart due to loose battery connection or dead or weak battery
- Motorist is locked out of vehicle.
Anecdotes from actual assists, several humorous, introduce, illustrate and reinforce concepts and techniques.
The book includes 56 illustrations with captions to ensure thorough yet clear explanations of concepts, tools and techniques one can use to prevent and contend with a vehicle breakdown. "Roadside Survival" also inspires readers to help others; check out the “Win-Win Hobby” chapter. Along the way, helpers help themselves.
Review and Testimony
“Our blow-out happened on a remote stretch of the highway (most of that I-10 stretch can be described like that). We were both in biz clothes, and of course, it was a hot Texas morning. But, the main concern was our safety. We weren’t traveling with a gun and felt very helpless and somewhat insecure not knowing what would happen next. …
“… two vehicles pulled over within a few seconds of one another. My prayer was please God, let these be nice people. … Turns out this roadside warrior was a decorated veteran of our U.S. Army, a retired Lieutenant Colonel with a distinguished service career. I didn’t know that at the time.
“The mysterious man took charge of our predicament. He said driving up and down the interstate rescuing stranded drivers is his hobby. It might sound like a strange calling, but not when you’re the one in need…it’s the biggest gift you can imagine. … The man, Walt Brinker, asked for nothing in return for his service ….
“Mr. Brinker has also written a book on roadside survival that’s well worth your time. It’s called Roadside Survival: Low-Tech Solutions to Automobile Breakdown.
“Walt Brinker, thank you again. Our chance meeting that day was special in more ways than one. Your assistance that morning was priceless, not only for the obvious reasons of safety and timeliness, but you also reinforced my belief that people are good, and sometimes we actually do get to meet a guardian angel—a true gift indeed!” – Tanji, Tanji's Tanjents (food and restaurant) blog, Houston, Texas
About the Author
Walt Brinker has provided over 2,000 free-of-charge roadside assists – as a hobby. He has been featured in the Houston Chronicle and the Fayetteville Observer, which runs his monthly vignettes describing actual assists and tells how readers can avoid becoming stranded. Brinker graduated from West Point with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He was then commissioned in the U.S. Army as an infantry second lieutenant. His Army career included two combat tours in Vietnam; an assignment as tactics instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School; troop duty in Germany and the U.S.; Command and General Staff College; a tour at the Pentagon on the Army Staff; and working to field the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and modernize the Army’s infantry battalions. In 1990 he retired from the Army as a highly decorated lieutenant colonel, having been awarded a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars for valor, two Bronze Stars for service, and a Purple Heart. He and his wife Betsy reside in North Carolina.
- Paperback: 108 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 19, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1493786814
- ISBN-13: 978-1493786817
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces
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