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If truckies carry this country.....


old man emu
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If truckies carry this country, then they'll have to be carrying it on their backs, because their trucks ain't gunna be movin'.

 

Our good trading partner, the People's Republic of China has just flexed its economic muscles again and halted the export of urea. "So what?", you say.

 

Well the "what" is that urea is a key ingredient in making AdBlue .Technically known as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), AdBlue is an anti-pollutant that is added to most modern diesel engines to reduce particulate emissions. That's why you don't see smoke "as black as coal" billowing from trucks like it did in the past. Modern diesel engines in trucks, and some passenger vehicles have a separate tank for AdBlue, which is metered into the fuel line under the control of the Engine Management Unit. (At least that is how I think it works.) If the AdBlue tank becomes empty, the engine will go into "limp home" mode until me AdBlue is added. 

 

A global shortage of urea has sparked a scare among truck drivers and the transport industry, who fear it could cripple the transport networks that provide daily consumer goods to Australians. Australia consumes between 130 million and 150 million litres of AdBlue a year, and Queensland-based AUSblue is responsible for about half of that supply. You'll  be all too aware of AdBlue if the supply shortage isn't sorted out. In the worst-case scenario, Australia's economy could be brought to its knees.  Urea is now "the Achilles' heel" of the Australian economy.

 

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Agreed, we are vulnerable to supply chain hiccups. But don't fret, it looks like the problem will sort itself out. Adblue is required in diesels newer than 2015, built to Euro standards. So, many Australian trucks are not affected and the value of older trucks will suddenly soar. Toilet paper supplies will continue.

 

Quote from 'The Conversation':

 

"The average age of Australia’s truck fleet is 15 years, compared with 13 years for Europe and less than 10 years for Germany. Also, emission regulation in Australia is less stringent than in the European Union.

In a worst-case scenario, where no solution is found and AdBlue supply stops, we may have to rely on these older trucks. Newer trucks could be remapped to run while polluting considerably more. But this is technically difficult, and will require temporary changes to Australian emission standards."

 

And Adblue supplies won't totally stop because although most of our urea comes from china, not all of it does.

 

I do hope that we collectively go back to the good old days of maintaining a second source of 'mission critical' supplies!

Edited by nomadpete
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So at present it looks like The worst case scenario may have half of our trucks (newer ones) off the road until alternate scources of Adblue are found. Bet the CCP didn't count on us having so many old trucks!!

 

However, my biggest worry is that old mate Angus is in charge of Task Force Blue. Just who or what do they expect to force?

 

And there are worrying reports of price goughing by suppliers - up to 5 times the normal price for Adblue. And trucking companies stockpiling.

 

I haven't heard SFM making any grand promises about protecting Australia from such supply chain crisis, which might sometimes be connected with our international political issues.

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31 minutes ago, nomadpete said:

The worst case scenario may have half of our trucks (newer ones) off the road until alternate sources of Adblue are found.

The problem is that it is the modern trucks that do most of the carrying. The B-Doubles are pulled by new trucks, and those do most of the long distance carrying. But there are also the smaller trucks that do the distribution within metropolitan areas. And after the goods have been purchased by consumers, there's the problem of waste removal - no garbage trucks. Thank Goodness that we don't have night soil carters anymore.

 

1 hour ago, nomadpete said:

Newer trucks could be remapped to run while polluting considerably more.

There's a heavy fine for smoky trucks entering Sydney's road tunnels, and that's the route to Sydney's container sea port. There are detours that trucks can take, but that is along roads that run through residential areas and are not constructed to bear the weight of hundreds of 40 tonne loads day after day. 

 

Think of the number of owner/driver trucks. It would probably take a truck off the road for a day to remap its ECU. Add to that the number of days waiting for an appointment to get it done since there are lots of trucks and very few businesses which can do the remapping. Could the owner/driver keep up repayments on the truck, maintenance costs while putting food on the table and a roof overhead?

 

46 minutes ago, nomadpete said:

 

I haven't heard SFM making any grand promises about protecting Australia from such supply chain crisis, which might sometimes be connected with our international political issues.

Why would he? It's his pals who have sold the farm to China, India and the rest of the teeming millions of Asia, Europe and South America.

 

Wars aren't fought with bullets anymore. They are fought with bullion. Australia is making the bullion for every other Nation but itself.

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Here we go, learning new stuff in order to carry on a discussion.

 

So, a DPF to a diesel engine is basically the same as a catalytic converter in a petrol/LPG engine. The only difference is the the cat. is working continuously to convert pollutants to carbon dioxide and water. It seems that the DPF first captures and accumulates pollutants. When the diesel particulate (matter) loading in the DPF reaches a pre-set limit (normally around 50%), the ECU will make minor adjustments to the fuel injection timing system which will in turn increase the exhaust temperatures and help initiate the DPF regeneration process. This is called active regeneration.

 

This system works well when the engine is doing long distance work because the exhaust temperatures can be maintained at the correct level for long periods. If the engine is doing stop/start urban driving, the process not be completed and the DPF warning light will keep coming on. A full regeneration can be done on a simple 10 minute or so drive at constant speeds above 80kph.

 

DEF is an aqueous urea solution made with 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. DEF is consumed in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) that lowers the concentration of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the diesel exhaust emissions from a diesel engine. Diesel engines can be run with a lean burn air-to-fuel ratio (over stoichiometric ratio), to ensure the full combustion of soot and to prevent them exhausting unburnt fuel. The excess air necessarily leads to generation of NOx, which are harmful pollutants, from the nitrogen in the air. SCR is used to reduce the amount of NOx released into the atmosphere. DEF from a separate tank is injected into the exhaust pipeline, the exhaust heat decomposing it to ammonia.

The overall reduction of NOx by urea, (NH2)2CO , is then:

(NH2)2CO + 4 NO + O2 → 4 N2 + 4 H2O + 2 CO2 and

(NH2)2CO + 6 NO2 → 7 N2 + 8 H2O + 4 CO2

 

 Urea is manufactured synthetically by reacting natural gas, atmospheric nitrogen and water together at high temperature and pressure to produce ammonia and carbon dioxide. These gases are then reacted at high temperature and pressure to produce molten (liquid) urea. This is then cooled and manufactured into granules or prills (commercial name Nitroprill) for industrial use and as an agricultural fertiliser.

I highlighted "natural gas" as an example of Australia, or more correctly the Conservatives, selling off Australia's assets for a pittance and leaving its citizens to suffer from the unavailability of those assets for the Nation's use. 

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4 hours ago, spacesailor said:

BUT !.

We do have Lots of machanics, & lots of OLD petrol V8s lying around, that will power those light trucks.

Back to the future , V8s rule.

spacesailor

spacey, my first ever paid job driving a truck was in an AB International prime mover with single axle trailer. It had a V8 petrol motor. From memory, the only diesel the company had was a Commer. Looking back, it seems unbelievable driving up and down the highway in petrol engine semis. Petrol was certainly more affordable back then.

 

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44 minutes ago, old man emu said:

highlighted "natural gas" as an example of Australia, or more correctly the Conservatives, selling off Australia's assets for a pittance and leaving its citizens to suffer from the unavailability of those assets for the Nation's use. 

Already 'in the pipeline' before anybody thought about adblue running short.  Not sure whether this project has stalled, it is expected to make urea cheaper than buying it back from china or russia, because it used the gas straight from the ground. Sure would have made life more predictable if it had been done. Also its important to maintain our food security. Late last year the farmers were worried because they were running out of fertiliser (the same urea shortage was known back then)

 

Quoted from ABC https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2021-01-12/strike-energy-plans-urea-fertiliser-plant-burrup-peninsula/13051000

 

"Plans for a $2.3 billion fertiliser project capable of manufacturing three-quarters of Australia's current urea demand have been unveiled.

Key points:

  • Strike Energy plans a $2.3 billion fertiliser project in WA to supply urea to distributors for farming
  • The plant could produce three-quarters of the nation's current urea needs each year
Edited by nomadpete
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3 hours ago, nomadpete said:

"Plans for a $2.3 billion fertiliser project capable of manufacturing three-quarters of Australia's current urea demand have been unveiled.

It's nice to have plans. I'd rather see the urea in a 25 kg bag. .

 

This is interesting: In Queensland approximately 99% of ammonium nitrate is used as an explosive in mining operations. The remainder is used for making fertiliser. Australian farmers consume 1.9 million tonnes per year — 1.7 million tonnes of that is imported.

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We don't have a big market for economies of scale and people just buy the cheapest  in what's offered so it ends up in landfill quickly as it isn't worth spending any time on. I still have a 0 to1" Moore & Wright micrometer I got when I was 13 years old and it's perfectly accurate still.  Nev

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My 1989 Isuzu truck is looking better all the time. No DPF, no need for AdBlue, no electronics, and certainly not even an ECU. It's done 715,000kms, is driven by the best little 6 cyl truck engine made, the 6BG-1, it still starts instantly after two hits of compression on the starter, and it's never let me down.

 

An old fella around the corner from my workshop (well, a couple of years older than me) had a similar truck with a tilt tray. I got talking to him one day and asked how many kms his old Isuzu had done. "2,500,000 kms", came the answer. "I got 1.3M kms out of the original "donk", and this one is getting a bit tired now. But I'm ready to retire, so I guess I'll put her out to pasture, because she owes me nothing!"

 

The latest equipment is so high-tech, it takes so little to put them out of action. The Russians won their WW2 battles with very basic machines. Even their tanks left their factories with unpainted interiors.

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31 minutes ago, onetrack said:

The latest equipment is so high-tech, it takes so little to put them out of action. The Russians won their WW2 battles with very basic machines. Even their tanks left their factories with unpainted interiors.

I believe their warplanes are still built with that philosophy, while American planes require lots of personnel to do regular “emu parades” to clear runways and flight decks of any small debris that might be sucked into a jet engine.

Australia’s defence planners could learn much from the Russians, the Swedes and others.

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9 hours ago, Old Koreelah said:

I believe their warplanes are still built with that philosophy, while American planes require lots of personnel to do regular “emu parades” to clear runways and flight decks of any small debris that might be sucked into a jet engine.

Australia’s defence planners could learn much from the Russians, the Swedes and others.

I've always liked that design feature of the MiG-29 where the main intakes are closed off on take off, with air taken in the upper wing root vents. good anti FOD design. Probably helps in extreme cold as well.

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