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Australia is being de-metricated!


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Wow ! quite the thread drift - what fun! As a life long horse rider I am compelled to both agree/disagree.

 

Agree: Following horse flats is a right royal pain in the donkey but just think of the poor nag - You try standing in a trailer, as it corners/brakes/accelerates, goes over uneven surfaces, without using your hands to stay upright . You might appreciate ultra smooth, cautious driving by your human.

 

Disagree: They do not often travel in convoys (3 or more vehicles together). It just not convenient to do so with so many vehicles/drivers of differing capabilities. However if you are unfortunate to come across participants leaving a meet/competition, like any such activity where people are finishing up at the same time, there will be an informal (not travelling together) crowd/mass flooding onto the main roads in all directions - yes very annoying but not a specific problem of the equestrian world.

 

Now Caravans/Motor -homes:

 

It is my humble opinion that ALL vehicles should travel as close to the posted speed limit as conditions allow. It is just crass, when people travel below the speed limit or drive erratically, speeding up/slowing for no discernible reason. What is even more annoying, is such drivers often display signs, on the back of their vehicle, advising the frustrated road users behind them, that they are behaving in this inconsiderate way quite deliberately. Why does the highway patrol not pull them over for creating a traffic hazard? In many other countries it is either custom or law which requires a driver to pull over to allow a following queue of traffic to pass.

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Now Caravans/Motor -homes:

It is my humble opinion that ALL vehicles should travel as close to the posted speed limit as conditions allow.

 

In city traffic I would agree with you; and most towing vehicles these days can maintain traffic speed witha 2 tonne caravan.

Startability and gradability come into play in hilly streets, but they are close enough to traffic speed and there are usually multiple lanes in cities these days.

 

However, out on the highways, opther factors kick in.

The first one is recency. Semi trailer drivers will usually know the road quite well, because they travel in the area frequently and they can just their mirror width to about 50 mm and tyres vs lane markers by abot 50 mm because they are sighting along the trailers. On the other hand the caravan driver will usually be at least 12 months out of date with the road, and probably needs about 400 mm clearance and can't see the lane markers.

 

Next is reading the road. If you're cruising down the road and a semi is inching up behind you his cruise speed is higher than yours. If it has taken him five minutes to get close enough to pass, when he gets past he will be drawing away at the same rate, so it makes sense, in passing areas to drop back 10 km/hr or so and let him come past. Your trip time reduction will be virtually zero.

 

Next is why vehicles travel at the speeds they do. Most semis will be on 103 km/hr actual which is where the road speed governor is set - 100 speed limit and 3 tolerance. They work to that speed because if you add a 103 cruise over 250,000 for general semis and 350,000 per year for line haul, and compare that with say 98, you will see what time they would lose per year if they didn't.

 

On the other hand pretty much all out passenger towing vehicles are power-limited when towing a caravan over 1700 kg. While they are quite capable of cruising at 100 km/hr on the flat with a tail wind, they are limited by gradability and wind resistance, and if you hold your foot flat, a staggering increase in fuel consumption.

 

The crossover point where wind resistance is not a significant power factor is around 8- km/hr. so you will find some drivers cruising at 80 to get economical cruise.

You will find some semis cruising at around 92 for the same reason if time is not a factor for them.

 

Most caravan combinations will be cruising between 85 and 95 for fuel reasons.

 

Most frustration occurs when a slightly faster vehicle is wanting to pass. I will usually call up a semi if I see him behind me and offer to pull over up ahead but most say "No"; they can judge things better with me on a stable cruise speed. I will also pull off for a following car. Time lost doing this is almost zero, because temporary changes in cruise speed make virtually no difference in trip time.

 

Have a look at these times, where speed has been reduced for 100% of a 200 km leg, and you can see that if this only hapens say 5% of the time you're losing virtually nothing.

 

 

200 km trip:

100 km/hr - 2 hours

95 km/hr - 2 hr 6 min

90 km/hr - 2 hr 13 min

85 km/hr - 2 Hr 21 min

80 km/hr - 2 hr 30 min

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Most caravan combinations will be cruising between 85 and 95 for fuel reasons.

I do understand this. My issue is not so much the speed or lack of, but the the refusal to acknowledge what is viewed in their giant strapon Supercheap towing mirrors. I feel nothing but rage when stuck behind "Bob an Janice" at 75 kph as they point out the sights totally ignoring the 30 vehicles stuck behind them for many kilometres while the drive past every opportunity to pull over for a moment and let the rest of the world get on with earning a living.

 

Have a look at these times, where speed has been reduced for 100% of a 200 km leg, and you can see that if this only hapens say 5% of the time you're losing virtually nothing.

 

 

200 km trip:

100 km/hr - 2 hours

95 km/hr - 2 hr 6 min

90 km/hr - 2 hr 13 min

85 km/hr - 2 Hr 21 min

80 km/hr - 2 hr 30 min

Make that a 800-1000 km leg and see how much of your life this vehicular cholesterol steals from you. Also it's never only 5% of the time often 25-50% around here, some roads have very limited overtaking, but plenty of places to move over or stop. It's criminal, but QLD cops, from all appearances are only interested in speed enforcement.

You can drive like an utter f*ckwit as long as you don't speed and they won't look twice.

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I dunno, my 450,000km 2.4L diesel Hilux cruises along quite happily at 75kmh with my 24' x 8' caravan hooked up. For people like M61A1, I've got the bumper decal that reads "SPEED ON MAD FOOL! HELL AIN'T FULL YET!" ?

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I feel nothing but rage when stuck behind "Bob an Janice" at 75 kph as they point out the sights

How is that different to flying a Drifter in the 1000 foot circuit?

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I guess it's lucky M16A1 isn't in W.A. I regularly get stuck behind 100 tonne low loaders with mining gear on board, that are 4.5M wide, travelling at 70kmh, and have pilots front and rear.

Of course, the rear pilots are there to try and stop idiots from passing everything in sight, regardless of oncoming traffic.

 

I once had a woman in a Falcon overtaking my 100 tonne Drake low loader at 80kmh. The truck was doing 70kmh with a 100 tonne excavator on board.

She lost control after placing her RH wheels onto the gravel shoulder, swerved left into the front wheel of the Mack, and promptly rolled the Falcon.

She tore the front mudguard off the Mack, ripped off the steps, tore a hole in the fuel tank, and brought the entire equipment movement to a halt for 24 hrs.

All because she was in a tearing hurry, and didn't even have any basic vehicle control skills!

 

The brother was piloting the low loader once, coming out of Kalgoorlie, and ensuring oncoming cars would move over, as the load was well over 4M wide.

Then one oncoming car driver stopped dead, right in the middle of his lane, and complained to the brother, "But, THIS IS MY SIDE OF THE ROAD!!" :scratching head:

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How is that different to flying a Drifter in the 1000 foot circuit?

The difference is that when in the Drifter, you demonstrate some common courtesy and let faster aircraft go ahead if there’s any chance of conflict. Generally you Make effort to Not to inconvenience others, and that is the point being made..

I guess it's lucky M16A1 isn't in W.A. I regularly get stuck behind 100 tonne low loaders with mining gear on board, that are 4.5M wide, travelling at 70kmh, and have pilots front and rear.

Of course, the rear pilots are there to try and stop idiots from passing everything in sight, regardless of oncoming traffic.

 

I once had a woman in a Falcon overtaking my 100 tonne Drake low loader at 80kmh. The truck was doing 70kmh with a 100 tonne excavator on board.

She lost control after placing her RH wheels onto the gravel shoulder, swerved left into the front wheel of the Mack, and promptly rolled the Falcon.

She tore the front mudguard off the Mack, ripped off the steps, tore a hole in the fuel tank, and brought the entire equipment movement to a halt for 24 hrs.

All because she was in a tearing hurry, and didn't even have any basic vehicle control skills!

 

The brother was piloting the low loader once, coming out of Kalgoorlie, and ensuring oncoming cars would move over, as the load was well over 4M wide.

Then one oncoming car driver stopped dead, right in the middle of his lane, and complained to the brother, "But, THIS IS MY SIDE OF THE ROAD!!" :scratching head:

We get them too. Yes they can be frustrating, but they have a job to do, unlike Bob and Janice ( it says so on the back of the van) who are utterly ignorant of everyone around them. The big difference is that mostly caravaners could make the effort but don’t.

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I dunno, my 450,000km 2.4L diesel Hilux cruises along quite happily at 75kmh with my 24' x 8' caravan hooked up. For people like M61A1, I've got the bumper decal that reads "SPEED ON MAD FOOL! HELL AIN'T FULL YET!" ?

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that if you’re the sort of person that is unnecessarily inconsiderate, whether it’s blocking the isle at the shops, clogging the highway or the circuit, then you have my utter hatred. I just don’t understand why they do it. Some of them seem to delight in it then get shirty when others have a go at them. If there is a hell, it’s full of caravaners and single lane roads.

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That's a bit harsh! My preference is that caravans and motor homes be only allowed on the roads between midnight and dawn.

Their happy hour usually would make that more hazardous, but more work for me with all the carnage, mmm ideas

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American military is all metric, I'm surprised that doesn't flow on to the rest of the population.

 

Some things may never change. Having six inches sounds more appropriate than having 150mm for instance ?

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What I don't understand is the odd size of the standard NATO cartridge - the 9 mm Parabellum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9%C3%9719mm_Parabellum

 

Why would you make a cartridge 9 mm instead of 10 mm and 19 mm instead of 20 mm? 9 mm is only a bee's dick thinner than 10 mm and 20 mm isn't that much longer.

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There are two kinds of countries. Those that use the metric system and those that have landed men on the Moon. :-)

 

Really, who cares? Get used to both systems. US aerospace was using inches and thousandths of an inch long ago.

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I also seem to recall the U.S. lost a very important Mars orbiter worth about $250M in 1999, due to metric/imperial measures confusion.

JPL used metric measures for all space programmes from 1990, but the satellite builder, Lockheed Martin, initially utilised American software that used psi for pressure calculations, which was supposed to be converted to the metric pascals.

 

The orbiter was going to orbit Mars and relay huge amounts of information relating to Mars weather, but it was accidentally sent into the gravitational field of Mars and burnt up, when the satellite control system was fed psi for pressure readings, instead of pascals.

 

https://www.simscale.com/blog/2017/12/nasa-mars-climate-orbiter-metric/

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter

 

There have also been numerous aviation accidents and near-disasters, with calculation errors relating to mixups between metric and imperial.

And I'd hate to count the number of destroyed threads and fasteners when people failed to carefully check thread pitches and thread types, upon re-assembly of components.

Edited by onetrack
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There are two kinds of countries. Those that use the metric system and those that have landed men on the Moon. :-)

 

Really, who cares? Get used to both systems. US aerospace was using inches and thousandths of an inch long ago.

That country got to the moon, not because they used medieval measurements, but in spite of them.

If they had been using metric measurements they'd have made it Mars by now!

Edited by Old Koreelah
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There are two kinds of countries. Those that use the metric system and those that have landed men on the Moon. :-)

 

Actually NASA back in the Apollo program used a mixture but most calculations were done in metric and then converted.

 

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Not PC these days but in my 20s we used BSH & MSH when determining the size of well endowed females breasts. Absolutely no metric equivalent available. There were 3 BSH in 1 MSH.

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It's OK by me for Yanks to use 1/8" and 12 inches to the foot for measurements, and I can accept 1/1000th's for measurements below 1/32", but I wonder why we don't go from 1/1000th's, through 1/100 to 1/10th's. Distance measurements in Imperial or Metric are easy to work with if you stay in one or the other.

 

What annoy me is the two types of gallon.

1 Imperial gallon = 1.2 US gallons = 4.546 litres., or

1 US gallon = 0.83 Imp gallons = 3.75 litres

1 litre = 0.22 Imp gallons = 0.26 US gallons

 

1 litre = 1.14 Imp qts = 0.9375 US qts

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Or the annoying American "short" ton of 2000lbs? An imperial ton is 2240lbs, and a metric tonne is 2204lbs. But the amazing thing is, every heavy weight (on land) in America is measured in lbs?

So rather than hauling 65 tons in your truck, you're hauling 130,000lbs!

 

But if you go to sea, the displacement of your U.S. Navy ship is in "long" (Imperial) tons! This was set in the 13th century and has not changed since!

The British dispensed with long tons in the Metric Weights & Measures Act of 1985 - but let all the other Imperial measures stay, as "optional" measurements for trade!

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The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

 

Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

 

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

 

Why did "they" use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

 

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

 

Who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

 

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

 

The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

 

And the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

 

 

Now the twist to the story...

 

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

 

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

 

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a Horse's ass.

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Just perhaps another interesting quirk. In the instructions for the Zenith CH701 kit, amongst the list of required tools is a, wait for it, 8ft metric rule!

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