The Slope Point mail service on the road near Fortrose in Southland is delayed by a broken axle in the 1890s. Rainwater on unmetalled roads (roads without gravel) ran down the grooves formed by the narrow metal rims of cart wheels. As ruts grew deeper they became a hazard. If one wheel got caught and the other remained high on the road the cart could tip or the strain could break the axle.
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