PDA

View Full Version : Mechanics tools and supplies in a low-tech setting



IanMorrison
09-26-2010, 01:12 AM
I've got a character who's a mechanic in what basically amounts to a post-apocalyptic setting in a fantasy world. She's tagging along with a caravan consisting mainly of ramshackle, old-world vehicles (roughly 1950's tech level pre-cataclysm) that have been patched, jury-rigged, and otherwise improvised into relatively practical means of transportation, and she's been tasked with keeping the 2-3 vehicles in their possession running. I don't expect that this will prove to be an easy job, given the age of the vehicles and the lack of major industry... supplies and tools are limited to what they can make on their own, repair, or salvage.

What kinds of tools would a mechanic be carrying with them in this sort of situation, and what kinds of supplies or spare parts might they cart along?


I've got a character who's a mechanic in what basically amounts to a post-apocalyptic setting. She's tagging along with a caravan consisting mainly of ramshackle, old-world vehicles (which were roughly 1950's tech level pre-cataclysm) that have been patched and jury-rigged to keep them usable in the century since. and she's been tasked with keeping the 2-3 vehicles in their possession running. I don't expect that this will prove to be an easy job, given the age of the vehicles and the lack of major industry to support them... supplies and tools are limited to what they can make on their own, repair, or salvage.



What kinds of tools would a mechanic be carrying with them in this sort of situation, and what kinds of supplies or spare parts might they cart along? Or is maintaining this fleet of old vehicles already an impossible task with such limited means?

whacko
09-26-2010, 05:08 PM
Hi Ian,

You only need a basic toolkit - spanners, hammers, screwdrivers and the like.

The spare parts will call for improvisation. Belts and filters can be knocked up. In Cuba, 50s cars are still being run on a wing and a prayer. You could check that out.

But if it's a post apocalyptic world, where's the petrol coming from? :evil

Regards

debirlfan
09-27-2010, 05:10 AM
In addition to gas - oil. Chances are real good that you've got at least one vehicle in your convoy that either leaks or burns (or both) a fair amount of oil - especially if they haven't been well maintained. And they'd probably scavenge whatever parts they came across - especially things like tires and batteries.

Just how easy it will be to find parts will vary depending on how your world got to its current state, and how many survivors there are. A limited number of survivors dealing with a scenario of limited physical damage (ie, a massive, fast moving plague) will leave more resources. A massive, widespread but slow moving flood, on the other hand, might allow people to flee inland/to higher ground, but could cover/destroy anything near sea level.

IanMorrison
09-27-2010, 07:10 AM
The situation is most like the former... it was a magical cataclysm that created massive depopulation, but little in the way of property damage. The main limiting factor is access, as the cataclysm mostly restricted human habitation to small protected enclaves, and venturing outside of them into the wastes requires protective gear that runs out over time. That restricts them to salvage that isn't far from the roads they travel.

Oil and fuel are ultimately going to be one of the main reasons they set out in the first place, along with other important forms of salvage. It'll be a tough resource to come by, but one that they've managed to stockpile over the years.

@whacko:

What you mentioned about the Cuban cars seems like just what I'm looking for, but I wasn't able to find any information on how they manage it beyond "cannabalizing old vehicles". Got any good resources on the subject?

whacko
09-27-2010, 03:33 PM
Hi Ian,

There have been some tv things over the years. Jeremy Clarkson did a show but I can't remember what it was called. There was a documentary though, Yank Tanks, which you may be able to acquire.

But to get a good idea about improvising etc, try and track down a show called Scrapheap Challenge, or the US equivalent Junkyard Wars. Here you find enthusuasts constructing machines out of parts laying around a junkyard.

Regards