Bugs on the Hay Plains

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:37
ThreadID: 94787 Views:2538 Replies:3 FollowUps:3
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Guess who forgot the bug screen for the front of the car. Me!!!!

We went for a short trip to Adelaide to visit rellos for Easter. After having to leave late in the day after my chemo we did not reach our booked accommodation in Balranald until way after dark. And by dark I also mean the front of the car. It was covered by about 5mm of squashed mosquitoes from the Hay Plains. We have been through locust plagues and so on but never what one would call a mosquito plague. It was like constant light but very thick rain with heaps and heaps of small rain drops hitting the windscreen. Lots of stops to clean the windscreen and the lights as well to be able to see the road. Absolutely awesome if you like that sort of thing. You couldn't even read the front number plate.

Got breathalysed on the way into Balranald and the cop had to double back to the rear to read the number plate. Tried the front first.

So a slight word of advice. Avoid the plains from before sunset to after sunrise.

But at least they are not the Phil biting type.

All I need to do now is to continue to wash the car to get them all off and hose the radiator core out. Luckily no overheating problems. Fuel usage was excellent at a smidgen over 10 litres per 100 Kms with the roof rack on the car and around 3T weight. Usually get around 13 litres per 100Kms at that weight.

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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 15:21

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 15:21
From 13 litres down to 10 litres? Has to be something to do with mosquitoes!


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 15:46

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 15:46
I only wish it was Allan. The mosquito stuff was only for 30 minutes. The whole drive Canberra to Balranald was 9 hours all up.

We had a good easy drive. We also made a concerted effort to try to keep fuel consumption down. Not a lot of traffic. One stop for some tucker and a driver change and of course several stops for the "bug cleaning" work.

Luck was on our side for the overtaking. Timing it nicely not to need to accelerate a lot and just very gently and slowly move around them. Cruise control on the flats and manual control on the hills allowing it to drift down in speed going uphill and let gravity bring it back to speed on the down hill runs. The "peach under the foot" and a good cruise control worked. It's a 100 series auto 4.2TD. And a good mechanic in the workshop that we take it to helps a heap.

I got "10 per 100" once before on that drive but without the roof rack and was itching to see how low we could get it with the roof rack and as before, 100-110 kph. And YES. I double checked the mathematics.

But you would never believe the "bug" experience without first seeing it first hand.

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Follow Up By: Begaboy - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 21:09

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 21:09
maybe the mosquito crap build up made a lump of useless-ness similar to the hyclone and made the fuel injection more fuel efficient ??
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 23:14

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 23:14
I would doubt that because the mossies were only around for about 30 minutes of a nine hour drive.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:08

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:08
Excellent economy, Phil.

Had some friends say they'd got similar results from same vehicle, but out in western Qld & NT.

Insects are bad at present between Kynuna & Winton, and as always happens the first few land on the screen, right on one's eye level, so you have to look around them till next stop.

If you haven't tried it, Phil, Chemtech CT-18 is very good for removing those dried insects, and grass hopper guts. Often wondered how many people have over-heating problems, caused by a build-up of these small critters.


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Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: SDG - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 19:52

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 19:52
Went to Mildura along the same route last Thursday. I made it during the daylight hours, but the little red sports car that arrived to where we were did not. Looked good as a black car slowly changing color to red along its body.
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