The Road Ahead : December January 2008
FEATURES 14 DEC 07/JAN 08 STORY BELINDA PETERS As RACQ's Contract Ser vice Provider (CSP) in Cape York, Andy Gemmel is one of 172 road ser vice contractors spread across the state. He is the Club's most nor thern contractor, and arguably its most remote. From his workshop, Cape York Spares and Repairs in Bamaga, at the nor thern-most tip of Queensland, Andy provides 24-hour-a-day roadside assistance across a geographical area of some 400 km. He's accumulated his fair share of stories while rescuing RACQ members who run into trouble travelling the Cape. One such job involved rescuing a Ford Bronco that ended up in the 'drink' after snapping a brake cable while boarding the Jardine River Ferr y. A grader was needed to pull the vehicle out. But sometimes rescuing a vehicle is the easy par t. It's back at Andy's workshop that the real action takes place. It's here that the problems posed by distance really come into play, from organising a par t to be delivered to get a vehicle back on the road through to coordinating the transpor t of travellers and their vehicles. Andy said his workshop becomes a 'one-stop-shop' for stranded travellers. "My first priority is getting them into accommodation and transpor t," Andy said. "Their whole lives are often in their vehicles, so there is a fair bit of work in organising the logistics of shipping and fl i ghts." Nor thern capers C Cape York can catch out motorists. TIPS FOR CAPE CRUSADERS Andy Gemmel offers the following tips if you're considering driving through Cape York: • Use a heavy-duty 4WD for handling the terrain. • Slow down, enjoy the countryside and drive to the conditions. • Check the vehicle regularly and make sure it has enough water and oil. • Take care at creek crossings. Tap into traffic online subscription to an online traffic information service. STORY BELINDA PETERS RACQ membership now provides even better value, with all members eligible for free subscription to Australia's fi affic website, first real-time tra mydrive.com.au. ubscription, valued at $59 a year, unlocks The myDrive s mic traffic and travel information, including an array of dyna ffic repor ts and route mapping. live national trafed, members can search a single address Once registerebetween two addresses for incidents, or a travel route closures and congestion via their computer roadworks, roadm mob obil ile eph phon one e. or orw web eb-e -ena nabl bled edm m er-friendly, with icons to indicate different The site is use nd colour coding used to display the incident types an severity of the incident at a glance. Users can click for more information, such as the direction of the traffic affected and the expected delay. MyDrive also lets users plan routes and see all the relevant traffic incidents on the way, as well as calculating fuel consumption for a par ticular vehicle on that route. Any searched route or address is automatically added to a list of favourites for future use. RACQ members are eligible for a discount on the Road Sense safety alert downloads subscription for popular GPS navigators and can also buy SMS credits to receive personalised traffic aler ts sent straight to their mobile phone. Th The eCl Club ub's sc chi hief efe exe xecu cuti tive veo offi ffic cer er, Ia Ian nGi Gill lles espi pie e,s sai aid d RACQ's decision to join forces with myDrive would deliver real, ongoing benefit to members. "This move heralds the RACQ's entr y into real-time electronic content, which is an area we will continue to ex expl plor ore ein ina an nef ef fo fort rtt to ogi give vem mem embe bers rsn new ewa and ndt tim ime e-ef ef fe fect ctiv ive e ways of accessing information," Mr Gillespie said. Early bird subscription offer: RACQ members who complete their subscription by Februar y 4, will automatically go into the draw to win one of five Road A Angell N Nai vigator 30 3000 00u i nits, vallu d edat$4 $449 49. E Entriies l close midnight, Februar y 4, 2008. For more information and to subscribe, visit mydrive.com. au/racq.
October November 2007
February March 2008