Most people who’ve heard of Rum Jungle Trucking Co. associate them with the crazy jumps they perform in their Ford LTL prime mover at Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park, however the team had much humbler beginnings.
It all began when Andrew Nichols and his daughter Ali entered a Toyota FJ47 in Mud Dust and Music at Loveday in May of 2009. After six months of meticulous planning and preparation, the team completed one and a half laps of the track before launching off the table top and going on to win the Jump for Cash – followed by the Carnage Award for the huge crash when they landed!
Andrew’s son, Ash and his mate Luke O’Brien thought they could one – up Andrew and Ali, so with assistance from the team at Just Wrecking Toyota’s, Rum Jungle were able to put two cars on the track for the Riverland Challenge at Loveday and the rivalry truly began!
One sunny afternoon in 2011, along with Tony Whatley from Loveday, Andrew wondered what it would take to launch a prime mover off a pile of dirt – fast forward to March 2012 and Andrew was in the driver’s seat. The record jump stood at 50 feet and 6 inches and unfortunately Andrew fell just short, but not without wowing a few spectators in the process!
The team immediately set about planning a second attempt and with the addition of many new sponsors, including Lightforce, the prime mover was ready to go!
Unfortunately, three weeks before take-off, Andrew injured his back meaning that young Ash has to step up to the plate and learn to drive a truck, with only two weeks to spare…
The moment arrived and at half past four on the 20th April 2013, after only a few short hours practicing in the paddock, Ash Nichols took his place behind the wheel. Words can hardly do it justice, pictures can help to fill in the blanks but the true exhilaration of this event can only be experienced by those who were lucky enough to be there to see this monumental jump. The final measurement came to 101 feet, 9 inches – an insanely impressive feat in the Ford LTL.
This is not the end of the Rum Jungle story though, just simply the beginning. With plenty more events on their calendar it looks to be a busy year ahead for all involved. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the team and any upcoming events. For more info, check out our Facebook page as well as Rum Jungle Trucking Co. and Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park.
Do you think you’d have the guts to take on a jump like this? Check out this video put together by the team for a better idea of what jumping this beast would be like….
and check out this video for a bit of scope about the journey for Ash….
None of this could be possible without the support from dedicated sponsors – check out the Rum Jungle Sponsors below and remember to support these great businesses and organisations…
The team have had a huge amount of support from various sponsors throughout their journey and Just Wrecking Toyota’s have been there from the start. Adelaide Sign Design provided the signwriting for the team, while Adelaide Truck Wholesalers have helped out with many parts for the vehicles. Andrew can’t speak highly enough about The Truck Factory (some of whom are pictured below) who help with towing the truck after it’s been damaged and they also assisted with the paint job. There’s Complete Laser Alignment who also help when things go awry, while TJM at Nailsworth have provided plenty of gear for the team to push to the absolute limits. Stompa’s Paint and Panel have helped out with a range of work, from paintwork through to fabrication, while Xtreme Outback Clutch importantly supplied clutches as required. Finally, Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park have been supporting the team all the way and Danny Hanrahan from Offroading Online and Daydream photography has helped to capture the journey!