We talk to Robert Pepper about the future of Diesel engines in 4 wheel drives. My last 3 4WDs have had diesel engines and I have loved the economy and reliability of diesels.
Vehicle emissions have become increasingly under the microscope as people become more aware of the effects on the environment. Whilst the fuel economy of diesel has been great (my old Patriot was getting 6.5 liters / 100km) the emissions are a lot dirtier.
The United States has never really embraced diesels, nor has the Middle East, but diesels are very popular in Europe.
We talk about the Common Rail Diesel design, and how that works.
We look at some of the ways that engine designers have tried to make diesel engines more environmentally friendly.
Exhaust Gas Recirculation, whereby some of the exhaust gas and how it works to decrease Nitrogen Oxide emissions.
Diesel Particulate Filters and how they work.
AdBlue, one type of Selective Catalytics Reduction. We look at how this works, and more importantly, what happens if you run out of Ad Blue when you are out bush.
We talk about Dieselgate, where VW and a number of other vehicle manufacturers built software to decrease performance
What will the introduction of Euro 6 mean for Australian vehicles? New cars sold in Australia after July 2018 will have to meet Euro 6 and the Ford Explorer already has AdBlue fitted.
There have been a lot of developments with petrol engines, although petrol is probably on the way out as well.
In the UK, they are banning the sale of new petrol cars in 2040 and Volvo will drop Petrol and Diesel cars after 2019, so the writing is on the wall.
This is a sad development for fans of the big oiler engines, it will be interesting to see what an electric 4 wheel drive will be like off road.
We talk to Mike Clayton from Clayton's Towing. Started 45 years ago on the Sunshine Coast, Clayton's now has 15 depots and 100 staff.
Have a listen to this podcast if you ever tow a caravan, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider when planning your trip, and those factors can change between the start of your trip and the end, so knowing how to drive with a caravan is really important. Please share with anyone who tows a caravan.
Mike drives a FJ Cruiser, goes offroad and tows a caravan - on top of that, he and his crews have seen a lot of caravan crashes, they are often one of the first people that drivers get to talk to after having a crash while towing a caravan so he is uniquely place to talk about some of the reasons why caravans crash.
Claytons Towing has seen a lot of unusual crashes, including a boat recovery off the beach, the sinkhole and aircraft crashes. We talk about how they worked to move winch a boat of the beach and the technical difficulties they faced with that.
Caravan crashes create a lot of mayhem on the roads and tend to get more publicity,
We discuss towball weight,the weight of vehicles, electric breaking, caravan wobbles.
Towball weight can either be too light or too heavy and the weight on the towball can change during a trip, so a good understanding of what towball weight is and how it effects the towing performance is really important.
Vehicle weight - just because a car or ute is rated to 2.5 ton, doesn't mean that you should. Some vehicles, especially utes can be quite light when towing a large caravan.
Electric brakes need to be adjusted for different driving. Highway driving needs more brakes than city driving.
A lot of people think that when the caravan starts to wobble you should speed up, but Mike has seen many people who have speed up and it has only made things worse. You might be better off using the caravan brakes to straighten out the caravan and pull it straight, rather than speeding up.
Be cautious on windy roads, especially when going downhill.
Mike isn't an engineer, but his wisdom is based on years of experience in dealing with caravan crashes.
Please share this podcast with anyone who tows a caravan so that we can help more people get to their holiday and return safe and sound.
Keep an eye out on 7 Mate for their new TV Show - Towie's featuring the crew from Clayton's and some of the interesting people and jobs that they do.