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Turkey - Asia

Motor Grader from CAT

 

A CAT promotional video about graders

With so many trucks travelling from Europe to India and back, full of exotic and expensive goods it is not surprising that they start to become the target of thieves. The result is a number of camps sprout up along the central route. Safe havens, for a good nights sleep. They are little more than a field with a fence around it, a pair of wide gates and a hut for the guards to stay in. The compounds are spaced at about a days drive. Restrictive driver hours and tachographs were not high on the addenda then, so days were set by sunrise and sunset. We followed suit and camped overnight in a compound, paying the fee for the security, not the facilities. Night temperatures in Eastern and central Turkey can plummet well below zero. Below zero is a significant problem when you are living in the cab of a truck, or in our case slightly less, in the back of a truck. In the dead of night, with not a sound to be heard, oh, apart from the truck engines left running all night, or the chiller motors keeping the goods frozen.

drivers starting fires under their trucks is somewhat disconcerting

Then comes the morning. The first time you see drivers starting fires under their trucks is somewhat disconcerting. Then you notice that the fires are directly beneath the fuel tanks. What is going on? Ah, some of the drivers are more organized. They have set up a primus stove and are making a brew. (still under the fuel tank).

Then there is the realisation. I don't know if you know, but diesel fuel is prone to waxing or gelling in cold weather conditions.Winter fuel was not available so some people pre-heated the fuel before starting their engines, by having fires under their fuel tanks. Logical, yes. Safe, ? Some drivers would add petrol to the diesel when they filled up. Not recommended these days. It is generally sorted with additives now.

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