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Maintain engines to conserve fuel use

Big Rigs photos for Goose Rooter column
Big Rigs photos for Goose Rooter column

THE Gooserooter is back from across the ditch again this week to talk maintenance, mileage and fuel consumption.

Robbie 'Gooserooter' Shefford the mechanical internet sensation from Geraldine's Basic Engineering and Mechanical Services has again shared a few nuggets of wisdom.

When he isn't in the workshop the auburn bearded character shares his finds online.

"To the average driver fuel doesn't matter all that much, because they don't pay the bill," Robbie explains.

"But it's a different world for owner drivers who would know their aim is to get as far as possible with the least amount of cost," he said.

"I've found fuel costs to be between 10 to 13% of the overall running cost, and that is just the start.

Robbie says when it comes to maintenance, correct tyre pressure and brake adjustments are an easy fix, which can relieve the pressures of an increased fuel cost from the get go.

"We know a bigger load on a truck causes more friction and requires more horsepower to pull, easing that up can halt the fuel consumption accordingly," he said.

"It all comes back to the preventative maintenance, regular services, and greasing, and brake checks.

"As a load is friction, so is a sticking slack adjuster, or a stone in the brake shoes, or a leaking break pot or airline, it can all add to the friction which increases the horsepower required to move a load. 

From time to time Robbie has seen drivers get caught out on the final stretch, because of poor maintenance and underestimating the impact it has on fuel efficiency. 

"Look after the top half of your fuel tank and the bottom half will look after itself," he said.

"The biggest hurdle is trying to work out fuel mileage over a full tank of fuel, the being caught short, and not making to the next fuel stop," he said.

"Three times, three different drivers in two weeks ran the same truck out of fuel.

"They pushed the limits and lost," he laughed.

"A fuel stop is like sex, never let the opportunity pass you by."

When it comes to additives though Robbie is still on the fence.

"Everyone has their own theory on additives, and to me theories are wonderful things, but in the practical world I haven't come across anything I'm prepared to endorse," he said.  

Topics:  gooserooter maintenance robbie

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