Fuelling up at Remote Communities

Submitted: Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 14:22
ThreadID: 136798 Views:2334 Replies:8 FollowUps:35
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G'day,

just a short note to give some travellers a heads up if they're travelling through remote areas.

If you call into a remote community to fuel up do a couple of things. Check the opening times before you arrive, if possible. It's annoying for everyone if you turn up right on lunch time or closing time. Sometimes the opening times will vary for various reasons, so patience is required at times. When you do arrive to fuel up wander into the store to ask about fuelling up before you fill your tanks.

Many people that aren't familiar with fuelling procedures in these stores often just pull up and fuel up like you would in town. Many remote stores don't have the bowsers connected to a console inside the store. The procedure for the locals is to prepay and then a store worker will put the fuel in the vehicle. If you don't know how much fuel you need ask a manager in the store and someone will come out to fill your vehicle and sort out the payment.

We're working in the Aherrenge Store at Ampilatwatja, NT. I just updated some details on the description of Ampilatwatja and added some photos.

Happy travels and I might see you if you are travelling along the Binns Track.

Hoo roo,
Steve.
... and he sees the vision splendid, of the sunlit plains extended,
and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 14:36

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 14:36
Also some of the bowzers need love and attention to make them work like this one we encountered across the Tanimi last year


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Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 16:04

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 16:04
Tanimi? or Tanami.= A desert in Australia
Definately, or Definitely.= Certainly. Surely.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 17:05

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 17:05
It is thoughts of fuel coming out of facilities like this that have prompted me to at last install a pre-filter and water trap in my vehicle - something I should have done some time ago. Been lucky so far, but don't want to push it on an up-coming remote area trip.

I'm getting the Directions Plus kit as shown here. Not because of the video, but because of the recognised brand names used and because I will get the catch can and the filter in one single, tidy installation.

I already have a catch can in the space used by this kit, but it is too big to allow the filter to be added. My Provent 200 will be on eBay in due course.
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 17:31

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 17:31
Fitting an extra filter to the suction side of the fuel pump places an extra strain on the suction pump and can sometimes lead to fuel starvation under load or even the suction pump failing. You therefore may want to consider installing a fuel delivery pump down at the fuel tank end of the fuel line.
DJ
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 22:40

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 22:40
Even though I haven't got an extra filter, the idea of extra strain due to the extra filter has proven to be wrong.
There is a video floating around showing this .
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 08:51

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 08:51
Well last December I had my injectors reconditioned and while the technician was looking at my engine he noticed the extra fuel filter and warned me that I'd better fit a push pump or remove the CAV. He then showed me a worn out lift pump and explained the difficulty and cost in replacing this pump. He's the expert!
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 12:00

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 12:00
There are many thousands of vehicles running around, and have been for many years, with a filter before the oem one. No problems whatsoever as long as the filter fitted is up to the flow rate. All the well known diesel workshops sell them as well. Your mechanic is not an expert!!!
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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 12:16

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 12:16
Deejay
Just because the diesel man showed you a worn out pump doesn’t mean for a minute that any filter caused it. How did he arrive at that conclusion? If that was the case then the O E filter when restricting a little, would have more effect of causing negative pressure and the pump would expire quite quickly. Some diesel people believe strange things like some mechanics also do. Unfortunately they convince owners that their false beliefs are true, possibly to make money.
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Follow Up By: Deejay - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:21

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:21
Sorry, as an ex diesel fitter myself and a frequent viewer of Patrol4x4, I'll go with the knowledge and experience of my injection shop owner over your heresy and opinion. I'd rather that than be stuck in the middle of nowhere because an amateur said it wasn't so.
So respectfully, are any of you fuel injection experts?
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:56

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:56
This discussion has caused me to make a few phone calls. I am buying my kit from a TJM outlet for my 2014 3.2l BT50. It's a 30 micron pre-filter/water trap with an accompanying Provent 150 catch can.

During the buying process I had asked another TJM store to check on availability and they said they don't sell those kits because of customers having problems. But the guy was new to the job and didn't know the answers to any questions I asked him about the product, like micron size, flow rate, etc. Given that the filter used in the kit is a widely accepted product (Fuel Manager), as is the catch can (Provent 150) and that the kit was designed by a reputable company for the vehicle, I set aside the inexperienced person's report and purchased from another TJM store.

After Deejay's Follow-up 891600, I did some research and established that the Ranger/BT50 indeed does not have a fuel "push pump". I then asked the selling TJM store if they had had any Ranger/BT50 owners reporting problems. His answer was no, and they've sold and installed many. Well, I suppose he would say that, but anyway ...

Then I rang Berrima Diesel, arguably one of the best diesel experts in the country, and asked them. They have supplied and fitted the same kit to Rangers and BT50s and have had no reported problems except from some DIYers who have plumbed it up wrong.

I read the Newranger.net forums. I haven't found any adverse reports attributable to the Fuel manager 30 micron filters there, and that's one place where you might expect to find them.

So .... I guess I'll let you know.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 17:24

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 17:24
The video I watched on this subject had from memory a 5 micron pre filter.
They had pressure and flow gauges hooked up and showed before and after scenarios, and no extra restrictions with the extra filter.

If you google it, I'm sure it won't be hard to find.

I too was sceptical that adding extra filter media into a system wouldn't place any restrictions on it, but it's there to watch if you google it.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 18:00

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 18:00
Heaps of people running 3 micron filters and no one has had an issue. I am a member on several 4wd forums and the question of secondary filters pops up often. I,ve been on the tojo, pajero and patrol forums for years and cannot recall one person ever saying a second filter stuffed their pump. As I said ...as long as the flow specification is correct there will not be an issue with restriction...until one of the filters is clogged..naturally.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 18:41

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 18:41
I wrote
"After Deejay's Follow-up 891600, I did some research and established that the Ranger/BT50 indeed does NOT have a fuel "push pump"."

I just watched video explaining how to replace the OEM fuel filter cartridge. After you've done that you have to turn the key on, leave it for 30 seconds or more, then off. Do that three times. This primes the empty fuel filter. THEN start the engine

So clearly there is an electric pump somewhere in the Ranger/BT50 fuel system. Is it a sucker or a pusher?
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Follow Up By: Member - Cuppa - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 22:05

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 22:05
Perhaps someone who believes that fitting an extra filter can end up damaging an injector pump could explain how this might occur?

Surely if fuel flow was so restricted so as to damage the injector pump a drop off in performance would be noticed long before damage could occur?

I fitted a CAV type pre-filter about 20,000kms ago to my TD42i engined Patrol & have noticed no difference to performance, but have found the CAV has collected a lot of crud, whilst the OEM filter remained almost untainted. This has made me confident that the chances of crud getting through to the pump & causing wear are much reduced.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 22:09

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 22:09
Here is the link for anyone that wants to see the "facts" about secondary filters.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYb4qzvvDZo
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 14:50

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 14:50
In the last ten years I have been to dozens of Communities, including many that are very remote, and I have never once been asked to prepay. Usually the pumps are locked to prevent theft. I always go to the store first and politely ask what procedure they follow. The most common procedure is that someone opens the pump, fills your vehicle, writes the cost on a piece of paper which you take into the store and pay. In the unlikely event that the pump was not locked, I would still always go to the store first just out of courtesy.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 15:05

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 15:05
That's the go Chris. It's usually only travellers and workers that fill their tanks and don't know how much they're going to use. Our bowser isn't locked ever but it best to walk in the store first.
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and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:33

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 13:33
I had to pre pay at Billiluna 2 years ago. Actually had to buy a prepaid fuel card to take out and insert in the pump. Bit like an IOR tank.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:25

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:25
Yeah Greg,

every Community Store has a different set up. Probably because every Community is different.
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Reply By: Member - John - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 15:15

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 15:15
and another thing, watch what goes into the tank. I had to refuel a few years ago in Kunawarritji and needed diesel in the ute and the jerry cans filled with Opal for the motor bikes. Well the bloke from the community shoves nozzle in ute, fills main and aux tanks, takes out the nozzle and starts filling jerry cans. I stop him filling and say, " that is supposed to be Opal in the jerry cans" his reply, "yep, it is". 150 odd lts of Opal into the diesel ute. It was his first day on the bowser, reckon his boss was not happy....... The community mechanic had a lot of cleaning petrol.
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 08:40

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 08:40
You were lucky John and Jan.
I was there last year and wanted Opel. Told that the tanker that came and filled the tanks, put diesel is the opel tank. Luckily spotted after the tank was half full. As a result my car lacked power and used a heap of fuel before we made it to Halls Creek!
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 15:01

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 15:01
David 11, You were also very lucky not to destroy your engine. Unless you were absolutely desperate for fuel and couldn't make it to another fuel stop, it would have been advisable not to fill up.

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:42

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:42
Once I filled a petrol Hilux up with diesel while the driver stood beside me talking about how good his ute has been. That took an hour, or so, of draining. The pump nozzle on our diesel pump is the same size as the Opal pump. In town you'll find the diesel pumps have a larger diameter so you can't stick diesel in a petrol tank. That's something to watch in small communities because they usually have old pumps.
Almost everyone in our store has had a go at putting the wrong fuel in a vehicle. If you do it often enough a mistake will happen sooner or later.

I don't think Macca has much of an idea where Kunnawarritji is. If you are in that community and plan on driving anywhere you are going to be desperate for fuel. That's one of the reasons we paid $3.60 per litre there.

Steve.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:55

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:55
Do they bring fuel to Kunawarritji by tanker now? It used to come in drums and be decanted into the supply tanks.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:59

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:59
Last I heard the tanker comes in from Alice. It takes them three days to get there so it's a big job.
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Follow Up By: David I1 - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 08:22

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 08:22
Macca hard to destroy a petrol motor putting diesel in the tank. Too much diesel and it will not ignite. As I said it was probably about 25% diesel in the end as the error was discovoured as the tank was half full. Also my tanks were not empty. But when you have a car that i did the Canning in (a Great Wall X240) at the time and it is not a powerful motor, the reduction really made the car struggle.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 11:09

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 11:09
David I1, You are correct, Diesel in a Petrol engine is unlikely to be catastrophic, I was confusing this with petrol in a diesel engine. However, you can still cause some damage to the injection system and your emission control system. What price did you pay for the Diesel/Opal mix? Was the price of Diesel the same as the price of Opal? What would have happened if you did damage your fuel injection system? Who would have paid for the repairs? Were you informed of the "crossover" prior to filling?

Quote from Carsguide":
"Diesel will cause serious damage to a petrol engine if you allow it to circulate, particularly if your car is of the direct-injection variety.

Fuel injectors that are designed to use unleaded will not take kindly to diesel."

Quote from Auto Fuel Fix:
"What damage can it cause?

If you have been unlucky enough to put diesel in a petrol car, you’ll be relieved to know there is usually no serious damage done to your engine. Unlike diesel, which has to be compressed to ignite, petrol is ignited by a spark generated by the spark plugs. If the car is started the diesel will clog up the spark plugs and fuel system, causing the vehicle to misfire, smoke and possibly stop running. After the contaminated fuel has been flushed from the system, the bike or car should start fairly quickly. You will initially see smoke whilst the diesel residue is burnt off, after this the vehicle should run as before the incident.

Auto Fuel Fix Recommends: If you have put any quantity of diesel in your petrol tank, use a specific additive to remove any diesel residue left in your fuel system.

Signs of diesel in a petrol car
• Engine misfiring
• Engine won’t start
• Engine cuts out
• Smoky exhaust when driving

The following guides explain the work that should be carried out at different stages of putting diesel in a petrol.

Two litres of diesel or less
We recommend a full drain for any amount of contamination, but if you have put in 2 litres or less of diesel in a petrol car (less than 5% of a full tank) and then fill up your remaining tank with petrol, there should be no damage caused to your vehicle.

More than two litres of diesel (5%+)
DO NOT START YOUR ENGINE. If you are on the garage forecourt, inform the attendant, push your vehicle to a safe place and call a fuel removal company to drain and flush your fuel tank. Once this has been carried out, you will be fine to start and drive your vehicle without any damage caused.

Turned over the engine (started)
If you have started your car it is recommended to drain off the contaminated fuel and flush the fuel lines with clean petrol. Once this has been done, you should not suffer any further problems and will be fine to fill your car with petrol and drive away without any further work needed.

Driven my car before realising
If you have started your vehicle, STOP driving as soon as it is safe to do so. A full flush of the fuel lines and tank is essential to remove any contaminated fuel. Once this flush has been carried out and the vehicle has cleared the remaining residue diesel from the system, your car should run fine. We do recommend, as an extra precaution, that you change your fuel filter within a few days of the incident, these are a relatively low cost component and are simple to install.

NOTE: Some vehicles may suffer emission problems after a misfuel due to contamination of the sensors and controls. If you have put diesel in a petrol car and experience any problems after the contamination has been removed, seek the advice of a reputable garage or mechanic."


Eighty Matey, I do know where Kunnawarritji is, it is just off the CSR, and yes it is very remote. And as you correctly point out, if you are there and in need of fuel, there is not much choice.

The fact that the fuel point continued to sell fuel that did not meet specification is a very real concern. Even more so if they are not informing their customers of the fact prior to fill up. Not only is it bad for customer relations, it is also illegal. Under the EPA, this would be classed as a prescribed waste product, and requires special permits for transport and disposal.

Macca.


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Follow Up By: David I1 - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 11:51

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 11:51
Price from memory was about $3.20 and opal and diesel were the same price. Out there you can sell anything you like, in any condition you like and at whatever price you want. The "locals" rule and basically there are no rules for them as opposed to us white fellas. Just to note my wife (who is a registered nurse) asked if she could see a GP. or nurse on duty as she wanted to get some ventoline s she was having trouble breathing. Told nurse only comes here 3 days and if you like here is the key to the drug store.... just help yourself, and write it down. No cost. The cabinet contained a lot of drugs and we could have just helped ourselves to endone, oxycontyn etc and no one would be the wiser. Oh well very relaxed, and if you are there ask to see Alby. A great bloke who loves a beer and has lots of stories to tell.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 13:43

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 13:43
David I1, wow that is a real concern. We are hoping to do the CSR in a couple of years, so will keep this in mind. We are doing the Cape later this year.

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 18:23

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 at 18:23
I don't think John and Jan had an issue with the quality of the fuel, it was just the wrong fuel went into their vehicle.

The EPA wouldn't be any trips out there to check what they do with disposing of contaminated fuel either. At best they'd be flying over and emailing a report to someone. That's what happens here and we aren't that isolated.

Steve.
... and he sees the vision splendid, of the sunlit plains extended,
and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 18:39

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 18:39
Every community I have been has been different but the one thing that most will usually do is open out of ours for a fee.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:44

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:44
That can't be guaranteed but.
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and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:58

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:58
Haven't found a place so far that doesn't and that includes some bloody small Aboriginal communities. But I would never rely on it
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 21:57

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 21:57
G'day IvanTheTerrible,

I've been thinking (slow thinker) about your statement that most will open out of (h)ours for a fee.
I'm pretty sure you'd be struggling to get fuel out of hours here, and not only because of the sign on the Managers' house door. It's not simply a case of turning on the pump and taking payment. Those of us that work in the shop work hard and value our day and a half off. To get into store we have to open three doors, then we disarm the alarm and unlock the office area to access the locked switch to turn on the fuel pumps. That's the easy bit. If it's cash it might be possible to receive cash and put it through the registers the following day but these days most payments for a large quantity of fuel are by EFTPOS. All of the tills are shut down at the close of trade and the EFTPOS system can't be used without the tills operating.
Apart from this, it is unfair for some random traveller to be given a chance to refuel their vehicles when the locals (that actually own the store) are unable to buy fuel out of shop hours.

I feel it is reckless to give people on this forum the idea that they can simply turn up whenever it suits them and get anything they want by "paying a fee". Giving people that idea could be causing trouble for any manager that refuses to open the store for some traveller out of hours. I could tell a story involving a naked manager and a payback spear that was the result of one request but I won't.

We work for the Community and with the Community. If we were seen to be favouring white travellers over black travellers we would be risking our position in the Community.

Steve
... and he sees the vision splendid, of the sunlit plains extended,
and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 22:09

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 22:09
You can only talk for yourself not everyone. On one trip we were offered this at all the remote stops we visited. Warakurna ,Kunawaratji and Billiluna and the last two we never asked it was just offered. Warakurna was the only one we used out of hours and that was to get fuel for an Aboriginal family who ran out 40ks out on town. And if you read my post I said I wouldn't rely on it
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 22:15

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 22:15
When we were getting near Kiwirrkurra, two cars approached and stopped. I think the whole community must have been out for a Sunday drive. The driver of the first asked if we were wanting fuel. No thanks as it is Sunday. We would open for you if you wanted fuel, but we won't be back for about an hour. Thanks, we don't fuel. Go in and have a good look around anyway.
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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 23:23

Thursday, Jun 07, 2018 at 23:23
I'm speaking for our store but consider what I wrote.
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and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 21:28

Monday, Jun 04, 2018 at 21:28
I have phoned ahead with our approximate dates and approximate needs to ensure supplies when planning to fuel at communities. This also confirmed times which I already had noted.

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Follow Up By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:49

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 21:49
A phone call could give you more up to date information than a website. If you do call a community store be prepared to go to an answering machine because stores can get a bit hectic at times. They might seem like sleepy little backwaters but there's a lot going there.

We dip our tanks weekly and the fuel suppliers have an idea when we need filling, so it's very rare for the store to run out of fuel. It would be more likely due to the roads in being cut by wet weather that would stop the tanks being filled when needed.

Steve
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and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 14:50

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 14:50
Another thing to watch out for is different time zones. It's easy to be driving through the GCR on WA time and get to Warrakurna to discover that they are on Central Aus time.
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 17:43

Tuesday, Jun 05, 2018 at 17:43
Did that twice in one trip
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Reply By: Member - Graham D2 - Friday, Jun 08, 2018 at 11:47

Friday, Jun 08, 2018 at 11:47
Yep, the pump looked the same in 2014.
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 08:29

Monday, Jun 11, 2018 at 08:29
Just another heads up, when you pull up at a Community Store, keep your windows up.

Every day I see dogs jumping through car windows looking for something to eat. Most of the locals don't worry about it but I'm pretty sure a lot of travellers would get upset with a camp dog rummaging through their vehicle.

Hoo roo,
Steve.
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and at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars ... Banjo Paterson

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