Sunday, March 29, 2009

Moving car spare parts through half of Europe

Sometimes ideas turn out as being quite inferior. When I decided to drive to London with my car and a trailer I imagined this being a good cost saving approach compared to having roughly a ton of car spare parts transported by a logistics company. Well, on Thursday this week I started and drove roughly 1'000 km to London, took a ferry at Dover and crossed half of London - not the best idea either given the trailer behind my car. But I got there on time, didn't miss the ferry, got the stuff loaded into the trailer, drove back to Ashford, slept in a nice country hotel and then drove again to Dover the next morning. The rest of the day was spent crossing the channel and driving across France. At around 8 pm I crossed the boarder to Switzerland and still got all the stuff unloaded the same evening. So, what did I learn?
  1. Pulling a trailer really slows you down significantly, you feel more like a truck driver, trying to run as smoothly as possible.
  2. Don't trust your satnav (GPS), it will lead you through very difficult to cross territory and of course it doesn't know that you have a trailer behind your car
  3. If you want to drive economically, then forget the "tempomat", rather go slower up the hill and leverage the gravitation going down. This can save you 20-40% with a trailer, but of course is also true without it. The trailer makes it of course worse, having the aerodynamics of a cube and being almost as big as a house. It roughly doubles the fuel consumption in my case.
But, anyway, it was like an adventure and despite all the things that could have gone wrong, everything worked like a charme.

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