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Old 3rd May 2009, 18:57   #136
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Well, an SUV always provides a feeling of greater safety but the lack of an SUV should not prevent you from undertaking any long trips. A car will require slightly more caution but this doesn't mean one can throw caution to the winds in an SUV.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 20:47   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venuraja View Post
In my expericance of long drives :


Always stop the vehicle , stop the engine and give a rest to the engine
after every 3 (three) hours. Give a ten minutes gap at least
during which, you get out of the vehicle , drink plenty of water, make it a point to drink more fluids ,move your legs and then splash water on the windscreen and clean it.
After 10 minute gap you can start again. This gives you good concentration,engine gets a breathing time to cool down and run again.
venu , its ok to take a break if the driver is tired or the engine is over heating , but i though new age engines run more efficiently at an operating temperature and every time you let the engine cool down you are loosing out on some amount of energy to bring the engine back to the optimum temp. People easily take three hours to commute across the city during peak hours.

But i think this is a good suggestion if its an over night drive.


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Originally Posted by venuraja View Post
So have trumeric powder,duck tapes,match baxes, and torch lights.

Have the car serviced before a long journey , at leat one week before the long journey is always a best practice.
i don't think mixing turmeric in the coolant / water in the radiator is the way turmeric is supposed to be used in the event of a radiator leak.


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Originally Posted by venuraja View Post
A reasonable driving shall be adble to reach 700km destination. So must be able to reach a big city within these 700km stretches.
IMHO this is a personal choice and trips should be planned with road conditions and comfortable driving speeds in mind. not just absolute numbers. I personally find that if its a single day i can drive upto 18 hour provided the next day is available to rest . but if the next day is again for travel i would drive for about 12-14 hours depending on energy levels and concentration levels. And there has been the odd instance wherein i have also driven continuously for over 25 hrs at a stretch.

But its better that you should know your limits before planning a long drive. Its better to start with shorter distances and then increase.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 22:22   #138
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Great thread! I have done a fair bit of highway driving myself and I cannot agree more on most of the points suggested!

Different highways have their own mannerisms or rather rules for the drivers. In the Guahati Shillong road, one of the interesting mannerisms followed by all drivers is to honk twice once someone has let you overtake, its like saying "thank you"!

Many maps have been suggested in the thread,but the best I have come across is the Eisher Road Atlas for India.It is a Good Earth publication and is with a strategic alliance with Survey of India.It is very comprehensive and covers even the minor roads. It provides a point to point distance along a route which I have found very useful in long drives to pace myself.
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Old 8th May 2009, 11:00   #139
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Originally Posted by hellstar View Post
venu , its ok to take a break if the driver is tired or the engine is over heating , but i though new age engines run more efficiently at an operating temperature and every time you let the engine cool down you are loosing out on some amount of energy to bring the engine back to the optimum temp. People easily take three hours to commute across the city during peak hours.
I second that. Despite running continuously for 7 hours at 90-140kph, my car engine temperature never goes beyond half way mark. The current day engines are pretty much designed with that as a normal behavior.

It was blessing in disguise when the toll gates were giving sweets/chocolates instead of 3 Re change. Though I cursed initially, got used to it later and started enjoying the chocolates while driving.

I use the Eicher Map, which is very detailed with point to point distances. I use it always for my travel and is in my dashboard.

Another thing I carry is a Pepper spray. Never had to use and hope never had to but it gives me good sense of safety while driving alone.

Nainar
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Old 20th May 2009, 21:33   #140
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Originally Posted by venuraja View Post
This is a very useful thread to many car drivers specially.


Always stop the vehicle , stop the engine and give a rest to the engine
after every 3 (three) hours. Give a ten minutes gap at least
during which, you get out of the vehicle , drink plenty of water, make it a point to drink more fluids ,move your legs and then splash water on the windscreen and clean it.
After 10 minute gap you can start again.
All of the suggestions given in this post are excellent & hope more and more people follow them to make the drive fun & safe, In my humble opinion That I had read in the innove manual with regard to desiel engines after a long continuous drive of speeds exceeding 80km/hr the engine should be left to idel for a couple of minutes & never switched off immediatly as the pumps get oil circulated & radiator helps cool the hot parts, I am sure the above post was for petrol cars in mind, just thought the desiel car owners should be aware of this fact, actually its quite difficult to practice since as soon as we stop the hand turns off the ignition instictively. should just remind ourselves to avoid doing that.
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Old 21st May 2009, 11:11   #141
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During my last Hyderabad -> Chennai -> Hyderabad trip.
The car was not switched off except for fueling.
The onward journey was 640 kms, 11 hours, 1 fuel stop.
Return was 700 kms, 11 hours, 2 fuel stops.

My wagon R handles this style of driving without any issues.
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Old 21st May 2009, 19:10   #142
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Post Energy Drinks

I have had these on my long trips (12-15 hours with breaks) and have had the following observations -

1. They give an instant energy boost totally removing the sleepy or drowsy feeling one gets -
a) Early Morning due to early start (after less sleep in the previous night)
b) Post Lunch, especially if it was a late lunch

2. The energy boost comes as a wave and subsides pretty quickly leaving one as much more sleepy and tired than before. The energy wave typically lasts about 45 min - 1 hour for me.

3. From what I have figured out, these drinks digests whatever was left in the stomach at a very rapid speed giving the energy boost, and hence, I invariably feel hungry after 1 hours of drinking these.

4. From this experience, I have developed a way to maximise their effect - Stop Over, eat something sweet (like chocolates), drink a can after ten-fifteen minutes, wait ten more minutes and drive away. This will give a boost lasting up to two - three hours and the energy drain feeling at the end of it would be less. Plus, one can keep oneself topping up with chocolates every 45 minutes after taking the drink.



These are my observations.
Please share your opinion/ experience regarding this thing which can potentially become a boon for long drive fatigue beating.
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Old 24th May 2009, 10:33   #143
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Default Drwosy Driving

I was researching regarding sleepiness while driving & found some details I would like to share, The first signs of the driver feeling loss of concentration (drowsiness, sleepiness) is to increase the volume of the audio system, then open the window to get fresh air, they seldom work & the drivers who have experienced the drowsy problem well enough know that its very common to all & you just can’t “shake it off”, have to pull over, get down, walk a bit, eat something light, Tea/coffee, wash the face preferably with soap & water to get better freshness, have a soft clean towel while driving to wipe the face often as sweaty face feels more tired, best of all the suggestions is to have a small nap in the driver seat (after pulling over of course) even for 10 – 15 minutes, have a face wash & proceed, that will easily give a couple of hours of quality concentrations.
There are plenty of sites on the web dedicated to this topic since it’s a very common problem abroad due to the long stretch of smooth, straight highways.
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Old 24th May 2009, 12:15   #144
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@drkumarmp--good points, though one point may not be pertinent:
'..have a soft towel while driving to wipe the face often as sweaty face feels more tired..'
Most cars have ACs these days, so the above will pertain only to non-AC cars.
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Old 25th May 2009, 15:32   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkumarmp View Post
All of the suggestions given in this post are excellent & hope more and more people follow them to make the drive fun & safe, In my humble opinion That I had read in the innove manual with regard to desiel engines after a long continuous drive of speeds exceeding 80km/hr the engine should be left to idel for a couple of minutes & never switched off immediatly as the pumps get oil circulated & radiator helps cool the hot parts, I am sure the above post was for petrol cars in mind, just thought the desiel car owners should be aware of this fact, actually its quite difficult to practice since as soon as we stop the hand turns off the ignition instictively. should just remind ourselves to avoid doing that.
Yes, I have an experience of driving for long distances with diesel cars only not petrol cars.

We should not stop the car in gear (even the motorcycle should be pulled to neutral and then idle it for a few seconds before switching off),
and radiator fan will start if cooling is required ,so you would not switch off the engine during this time.
I had driven before, non-stop for 7 hours at least but later I found that it was not a good practice at all . Since no one wants a break down of the vehicle on a long journey in strange places , the best idea is to stop the car ,stop the engine after every three hours , at least for 10 minutes.

I read about a person who crossed 5 states to reach his girl friend in Ahmedabad during summer peak time, on a 220 cc motor byke. The survival technique he followed was ,to remember to stop his Karizma byke after every one hour or one and half hour riding just for a few minutes.

One of my friends who roamed all over the country told me that he strictly followed the regimen of stopping his vehicle (diesel) after every three hours, every time for a tea brake. According to him he never had problem with his vehicle during his long journeys.

I have another friend who always cleans windscreen everytime he stops the vehilce with a mug of water ( I travelled with him) wether it is required or not. His argument is that windscreen may not look dusty,or muddy and yet it would not be as much clear as when you have washed it.
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Old 27th May 2009, 14:53   #146
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I have a contrarian view on this topic. Essentials mean a few items that are absolutely necessary. If you continue to list twenty something items, then its not an essential list anymore. And it becomes tedious to take so many things that won't be used at all.

A lot of general traveling junta will carry only water bottle, luggage, camera and few music CDs. Those are the essentials to them. Come on, other than car freaks, who will carry a jumper cord (what is that anyway), pepper spray and other objects which I've not seen in my lifetime.

So please list the essentials only. Not engine oil, coolant etc. These items are definitely not required on a long drive because break-downs are not expected in a modern automobile and if they are, then I won't take my car out on a pleasure trip firstly.
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Old 27th May 2009, 15:15   #147
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I agree only the first few posts talked about essentials, later on it was what all you can carry on a long drive
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Old 27th May 2009, 15:54   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
2. Avoid eating oily food. Avoid unknown spicy food. Best is to have bread Jam/ omlet/boiled egg etc. Try to eat fruits
Man, this is amusing. A lot of my friends (me included) travel so that they can try different cuisines. A diet of Bread, Jam, Boiled Egg will definitely make them cancel their travel plans altogether.

Oily and (unknown) Spicy food covers 95% of Indian edible stuff available outside of home. The pleasure of traveling is the unknown factor, please don't make everything predictable by carrying your home with you.
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Old 27th May 2009, 15:58   #149
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I agree only the first few posts talked about essentials, later on it was what all you can carry on a long drive
I think its time to revise this thread and list only the essentials. Such a long list has hijacked the purpose and the point of this thread. Maybe you can list all the suggestions and categorize into MUST HAVE in a long trip, NICE TO HAVE in a long trip and ONCE I HAD THIS in a long trip.
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Old 16th November 2009, 13:29   #150
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Excellent piece of writing. Good Work.

I once did a 2200 Km from Bangalore to Delhi via, 4 National highways, 7 states and 1 accident and one near spectacular accident. 10 months old SWIFT, my 3 bags (luggage) and me and 3.5 days, thats all I had to complete the journey.

I started the journey with a partial map (showing only upto Jabalpur), then I decided I will ask from someone. First day I reached Hyderabad after driving some 550 odd kms and halted there for the night. For the first day drive I was bored to death, backache, neck pain and I wanted to go back. But going back was not an option since when you cover 25% of your journey you don't go back !! The next day I started as early as 7 AM (did a bit of exercise), drank lots of water and embarked. Reached Nagpur the same day (travelled only 6 hours), did not take much stress..pretty much upto this point I was confident that I will make it up. By the way this was in 2007 - July the great Andhra and North Maharashtra flood was happening, I did saw some broken pools and long Q's of trucks and passenger vehicles. The water was flowing on the brim of the National Highways. Paramilitary everywhere. The 3rd day i started from Nagpur and when all my problems started. The roads till Jabalpur was excellent, but after that I wanted to take a shortcut (using state highway to reach Bhopal) but wasted a hell lot of time. Before Jabalpur there is a small town called Seoni (Just before Lakhnadon) in MP, wanted to take a SH, drove for sometime and then realised the road was turning into a muddy road and then no road at all, only bullock carts and Jeeps were moving. I realised my swift was getting deeper and deeper into the mud, did a quick U and back to NH7. While I was coming back I was saved from an accident but the way it was averted was spectacular and could have been a Maruti ad for sure. A deer was running in to my car from right side (it was about to cross me) I did not have time to slow or stop, instead sped up and saw the deer jumping over my car. Muds form it's paws dropped on my windshield. I was wondering what if the deer was not clever enough to jump, or what if it was a small deer who could not jump so high, it would have been a sure shot collision. Anyways reached the NH way and proceeded further to Jabalpur, where I took lunch and started to look for a map. I could not find one so called my (fiance - now my wife) and told her do you have a India map, she said yes. Ok look for the closest way to reach delhi, she said there are 2, one Jabalpur-Sagar-Jhansi and the other Jabalpur to Katni and then to Jhansi. I decided to take the sagar road and proceeded. That day it was raining as if it will never rain again in that region. Torrential rain and visibility less than 100 metres, anyways till Maharajpur no issues, but then the road turned ugly (SH that intersects NH 75 on North and NH12 on south). Potholes, my bumper touched ground atleast 7-8 times, the road was damn so bad. Once I reached Sagar it was evening and my silver swift turned into deep brown. I somehow did not feel safe in Sagar (or rather did not find a suitable lodging), my mistake I should have stayed..read on.

When I left Sagar outer limits it was 6:30 PM I had 10 ltrs of petrol approx left in the tank and only Rs 112 in pocket (but loaded with loads of credit cards). I could not find an atm (only one SBI but they accept only SBI ATM card). This made me realise that in rural parts of India the scenario is completely different, you can hardly get to see Axis, ICICI bank etc. They must be there but not so common. Anyways by 7PM I realised by fuel needle (is doing a Kaata lagaa !!!), its just about below EMPTY
Reached a Petrol pump 35 kms from Sagar, when I flashed my Credit card they said they dont accept credit card...I asked why?? No highway petrol bunk accepts credit or debit cards. I was laughing to death considering my situation. Where am I, where have I landed, what am I doing here. I decided to go further to see if there are any PB offerign me to use my credit card. Another 15-16 kms nopes, they also dont accept, finally I filled up petrol worth Rs 112/- (yes 3 more ltrs as petrol was 40.65), which means another 45 kms added to my tank (phew) which was enough to reach Jhansi. The road from Sagar to Jhansi was good, sometimes it was fields all around, sometimes dense forest, thats when I thought GOD please dont stop my car now (This is UP + Forest), I will never come ill-equipped next time. Reached Jhansi at 11 in the night. That day I started form Nagpur reached Jhansi driving 13 hours with 1.5 hours halt at Jabalpur.
Jhansi royal Hotel provided me respite with their hospitality but pretty much dirty rooms. Anyways next morning I knew its not more than 7-8 hours drive to Delhi. I was happy and started off again. Within 2 hours reached Gwalior, and then to Agra. While going towards agra there was a stupid Jeep 9which did not have a side-view mirror came in front of my and slowed down. I could not stop in time and hit the car at a speed of 90Km/hr, the jeep was around 70...the impact was low because I jammed my brakes hard...anyways all I knew was the jeep went down the side of the road straight to the field. I received a small jerk but the car was stabled. I was happy and a proud owner of my car as I saw the car was moving smooth with no problem at all. After sometime I heard a taktaktak soun. Stopped, got down and saw headlights dangling, left side fendor bended inside and bonnet shifted. Removed all the debris and started off again. Reached the same day to Delhi via Mathura with only one headlamp on. I reached Delhi at 8:30 PM because of the Ghaziabad Delhi road Jam. My learning ---->
  • Exercise while you are driving (simple neck exercise)
  • Have atleast 20-25 hours of music. Different genres. not repeatetive
  • carry lots of water and biscuits and chips
  • take a break every 2-3 hours
  • Carry enough cash till next destination (major city)
  • dont rely on credit cards. Urban and Rural India there is a huge difference
  • extra tire
  • always get the car cleaned at the hotel where you are staying to avoid mud deposition
  • always fill the sprinkler tank filled with water
  • Always have a map woith you, if not be dependent on your wife, friends, parents etc, but have a good mobile connection
  • talk to yourself often while driving
  • carry all paperworks
  • avoid flashy dress or glasses or reveal anything that says you are loaded with money
  • avoid taking state highways
  • Let me know next time if you want to do a Bangalore to Shimla via Lucknow

By the way near jabalpur i was chased by Police. I did not stop, because I was alone, out-of-state registration (Had KA on number plate), Travelling on NOC, little money on me, and I dont trust police in inknown territories.
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