Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Friday, 5 June 2009

Fools and Fuels

My trip this week was St George, Thallon and Dirranbandi, so there was plenty of time to think, particularly on the 380km return journey.

I was driving a diesel, so after putting up with the stink of distillate after filling up from a high-flow bowser, I began to consider the relative merits of various fuels.

Starting with Diesel, it’s a lot cheaper than it used to be, and I understand is ultimately much more efficient than petrol. Modern diesel vehicles are pretty much on a par with petrol driven machinery when it comes to noise and smoothness. They also have heaps of torque, and are pleasant to drive, especially on long journeys. Fuel is usually easily sourced, even if you need to have a good cleanup after refuelling (especially in the bush) and are best dressed in overalls during the exercise.

Our fleet manager doesn’t like diesels but only for the somewhat bizarre reason that she’s sick of dozy drivers filling them with unleaded and driving away….very expensive.

I’d consider diesel on current prices, but they won’t last long. Once distillate begins to cost 15% above unleaded the benefits of improved efficiency disappear.

Most of us are familiar with cars running on unleaded, so I won’t go into any detail, except to say that modern small cars can be very efficient, and unleaded (particularly the ethanol blends) can be very cheap if you shop around.


Boy on a bike said...

I bought a pair of cheap gardening gloves and always wear one when refueling with diesel. Some idiot always manages to slop it over the handle. I have long advised others with diesels to do the same, yet it was only yesterday that I saw a fellow diesel driver with a glove on.

Our local cops were given a diesel van - the only one in their fleet. Apparently it has been filled numerous times with unleaded.....

I am a big fan of high-flow pumps, as our 4WD has a wide filling neck - it can take in diesel in truck-like quantities without regurgitating it all over the hapless filler. That seems to be a rarity in even big 4WDs these days - most have gone with a prissy little hyundai type throat that sips rather than guzzles.

1735099 said...

I've filled the Santa Fe (carefully) with a Hi-Flo nozzle, without problems. Perhaps one small disadvantage of LPG is that fills take longer than unleaded or diesel.

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