Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Technology in the Bush

One of the problems associated with driving in the outback is the availability of fuel. I have an obsession about always filling the tank prior to setting out on any journey of more than 50kms, as you can’t always assume fuel will be available where it was last time.

If bowsers break down, it can take up to a week in some places to get them fixed. Fuel trucks also break down. Sometimes the delivery schedules get disrupted because of flooded roads, a situation which was a major issue early this year.

This situation has been alleviated somewhat by improvements in vehicle range (the Hyundai Santa Fe diesel will travel over 1000km on western roads on a full tank), but you get careless at your peril.

Something that is not going to help at Quilpie, at least is the closure of the Ausfuel depot in town. Strictly speaking, it’s not closing – they’re turning it into a robotised self-serve operation.

This is not a good idea. The technology is unreliable in the heat and dust, and Quilpie is usually my stepping off (and refuelling point) for Thargomindah. Quilpie-Thargo-Cunnamulla is about 500km, and I can’t buy fuel in Thargo on the fleetcard.


Boy on a bike said...

I was in NZ a few years back, and found that just about everywhere we filled up had converted to these robot pumps. It's a bit of a shock at first.

1735099 said...

So they actually have cars and stuff in NZ?

cav said...

Preference - X-Trail or Sante Fe?

1735099 said...

That's hard one. The X-Trail is a more enjoyable car to drive, but the Santa Fe is better value for money. If I was spending my own money, I'd go for the Korean.

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