Bowser calls spark fire debate

WHILE lining up to purchase some food at a popular roadhouse, Spy witnessed an incident that tantalised his scientific thinking.

One of the workers spotted a truckie walking around near the fuel bowsers talking on his mobile phone. She was about to chastise the man on the potential danger but he finished his call and took off.

As she came back into the establishment, another worker saw a gent in the passenger's seat of a vehicle at the bowser who was speaking on his mobile phone. The majority of truckies around this vast country would not be scientific types.

But this incident "sparked" - pardon the pun - considerable conversation among truckies at the roadhouse.

Some were adamant that speaking on a mobile phone near a bowser can set off a petrol station fire. Others in plain terms reckoned that was a load of bull.

Now Spy can admit that he failed science as a subject at high school but did very well at mathematics. Curiosity did get to Spy, who has many times been told it is dangerous to snap photos near a bowser.

Apparently that can spark a fire and that information has been conveyed to Spy by many road transport boffins.

So in a bid to get to the truth of the matter Spy turned to Google.

Apparently the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has no evidence that a fire has ever been caused.

The popular Mythbusters TV show in one episode tried to make a mobile phone explode a chamber full of petrol vapour, and failed.

So Spy will leave it to readers to make up their own minds.


What computer?


MOST readers would have been annoyed at some stage after receiving a call from one of those so-called experts offering to fix their computer.

Usually the caller has a foreign accent, and this was the case for a Northern Territory truckie who provided Spy with this ripper.

"I was at a rest area in South Australia and his call was to my home phone, which was diverted to my mobile. He told me that he was looking at my computer screen from his office and could see it had viruses," the driver said.

But the truckie smelt a rat, especially when the caller asked for his logon details and password, with good reason, as he explained. "I don't even own a computer," he said.

But he wants to warn other potential victims of what is a scam.


Roadhouse to airport


YOU just never know where you are going to meet up with a truckie.

Spy was enjoying some good tucker at a popular roadhouse one morning in late November and yarned to truckie John Hall.

A few days later old Spy was wandering through a nearby airport and out of the corner of his eye spotted John.

It turned out that some repairs were going to take some time and John was waiting for a flight back home.

Guard geese

THERE are some unusual guards on duty after-hours at a large Queensland road transport company yards.

Certainly not vicious dogs, but these are equally as effective.

In fact, they are guard geese that honk loudly if any unknowns try to enter the premises where the trucks are parked.

One of the company drivers told Spy the geese have been known to attack would-be vandals.

They can give you an almighty fright.


Bridge sign


SEVERAL truckies from the Apple Isle have sent Spy pics in the last week of a puzzling sign.

It is under the Wye River Bridge sign in southern Tasmania and obviously tickled the fancy of these drivers.

It is just under the bridge name and reads, "Coz It's bigger than a creek".

Wye River State Reserve is located 16.95km north-west of Swansea, 34km south-west of Bicheno and 36km east of Ross.

While on the subject of Tassie, Spy will be travelling there in the next few weeks and looks forward to catching up with his truckie mates there.

For those who don't know Spy, beware - he could be sitting next to you at a roadhouse or rest area.


Weight-watchers menu for truckies


OVERWEIGHT Spy almost choked on his cholesterol-filled lunch when a truckie walked into a roadhouse to order some takeaway tucker.

"Is this the Weight Watchers menu?" he asked the worker behind the counter.

He was pointing to an empty cabinet which is usually packed chock-a-block with sandwiches and other culinary delights.

The lass directed him to another cabinet full of food.


Merry Christmas


GEE whiz. This year seems to have gone so quickly.

As this is the last column for 2012, Spy would like to thank everybody who has provided information for this column in the 25 editions. You champions of the highways and byways have phoned Spy and some have sent emails.

Between us we have touched on some issues which affect the industry.

But most of all Spy hopes that readers have been entertained and enjoyed a laugh in what can be a stressful world.

Spy hopes you all have a merry Christmas and happy new year.

I hope your new year's resolutions come to fruition, and most of all, safe driving!


Pandora's box


MYSTERY surrounds the posting and arrival of business cards to one equally mysterious road transport industry person.

A bundle of cards were posted out to the gent who is known as 007 on June 7 to an address more than 1500km away.

The fellow is used to receiving at least 500 in a white box when he requires them every so often.

However when only about 40 arrived with a rubber band around them in one of those bubble bags he was totally mystified.

"I have no idea why only 40 would come," he pondered.

Then on June 13 he took a mobile phone call from the sender who was equally at odds about what had occurred.

"I received the majority of the cards back here and did you get any?" she asked.

They thought perhaps the package may have opened in transit and that was the reason.

"This is a real Pandora's Box mystery," the bloke said.

Spy can only apologise for using the word mystery so many times in this piece.

A day before Spy had been down at a museum looking at history about how the term "Pandora's Box" came into being. It dates back to August 29, 1791, when the British Admiralty sent the ship HMS Pandora in pursuit of the infamous Bounty and her mutinous crew.

On her return voyage, having captured 14 of the mutineers in Tahiti, the Pandora struck the Great Barrier Reef in the Torres Strait. Although the crew tried desperately to save the ship, she sank in the early hours ofAugust 29, 1791.

What a coincidence.

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