fleet strategy | Perth to Adelaide by PHEV Journey Management
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As I approached Caiguna, it occurred to me how mind-blowingly vast this country is. After 1150kms, I still hadn’t reached the South Australian border.

Originally, I planned to continue to Cocklebiddy, however by 5pm the shadows were lengthening and I sighted my first emu sauntering along the roadside. Enough travel for one day and time to rest up for another big drive tomorrow.

My plan has always been to drive the Outlander PHEV just like any other vehicle and I put together a journey management plan before I started.

When I documented that plan, I conceived rest stops at least once every two hours and built plenty of contingency time into the trip. I’m glad I did, as you would expect, there are always factors you can’t control. Foul weather has followed me across the state, Haul-packs astride low-loaders were testing the strength of bridges near Northam and work crews tackled great stretches of roadworks further along the way. Then of course there’s the obvious sightseeing opportunity that inevitably delays a holidaying traveller.

What I didn’t consider is the inevitable variations in sunrise and sunset times across WA. That Perth and Caiguna share the same time-zone is significant, in Caiguna (1000km east), sunset is full 40 minutes earlier than in Perth… that caught me out today. Even so, the journey management plan has been working, plenty of good rest stops… hydration (not just caffeination) and a reasonably healthy diet.

As I pulled into Caiguna, I felt that I had plenty left in the tank to continue (sunset aside), but was that really the case? I recently saw two superb presentations on fatigue management at the NRSPP Utilities forum. In particular, Dr Carmel Harrington’s presentation on sleep quality and deficit left a lasting impression. The combination of how well and how long we sleep is critical and as many travellers will attest, long and rested sleep is often difficult to come by. Worse still, habitually short-changing our 7-9 genuine hours of rested sleep can be masked by our conscious selves… in short, I could have convinced myself that I was good to continue, even if I wasn’t.

So I did stop at the right time. The shadows were lengthening, I’d covered a good distance, sunrise will be earlier and I need to adjust to a new timezone. Here’s to a good nights sleep.

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