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21 January 2009

Angkat, Tolak, Masuk, Picit

Just today I went to a petrol station. It was an Esso station, to be exact. I picked up the pump and filled up the car myself. While filling up the petrol, I noticed that the dock of petrol pump (once you took out the pump) had a little lever. You can flip it up. And then I remembered: Somewhere about 10 years ago Malaysians were introduced to the concept of "Angkat, Tolak, Masuk, Picit". It translated roughly to, "Lift, Push, Enter, Squeeze".

A long time ago, there were petrol attendants who filled in petrol for the motorist who pulled up to the petrol station with his ride of choice -- be it BMW or Proton Saga. It was good for the motorist to go to the petrol station and be asked, "Mahu berapa?" ("How much?") In those days, the petrol attendants received the payment at the pump and proceeded to fill in the petrol for you. You felt like you were paying them for a job well done, which was often the case. Then somewhere along the line some people (if I recall correctly) started complaining about the number of foreign workers in Malaysia. Some people also came up with a way of making petrol stations run more cost effectively. And the "Angkat, Tolak, Masuk, Picit" campaign was born!

Basically it meant that:
  1. You angkat (lift) the petrol pump from its dock;
  2. You tolak (push) the little lever in the middle of the dock up, which usually activated the pump;
  3. You masuk (enter) the nozzle into your gas tank; and
  4. You picit (squeeze) the little trigger that made the petrol pour into your gas tank.

Nowadays we need not do the "tolak" step. Just lift the petrol pump from the dock, enter its nozzle into your gas tank, and squeeze the trigger. But now since I handle the petrol pump myself (instead of some anonymous petrol pump attendant), I make sure to squeeze the trigger a little softer. I heard that if the flow of petrol is slower, you can wind up having petrol at the petrol pump.

While on that topic, I browsed the 'Net as I was certain that a number of writers had written about maximizing your fuel economy, especially during the USD147 per barrel period. Here are some tips to get more out of your petrol.
  1. Pump petrol in the early morning or after the rain. (Reason: Less evaporation)
  2. Fill up your tyres to the recommended pressure. (Reason: Fuel economy)
  3. Change the engine oil regularly. (Reason: Fuel economy)
  4. Squeeze the petrol pump trigger softly. (Reason: More petrol)
  5. Fill up when the tank is half full. (Reason: Less evaporation of fuel)
  6. Leave the nozzle in the car for a while once you are done filling. (Reason: Collect drips of fuel)
  7. Don't fill up when a tanker is filling at the station's tank. (Reason: Sludge in station's tank)
  8. Plan your route. Try not to take unnecessary trips. (Reason: Less miles travelled)
  9. Remove unnecessary things from your car. (Reason: Less burden)
  10. In order of preference, your toll paying habits should be: SmartTAG, Touch N Go, and cash. (Reason: Queue)
  11. Clean air filter regularly. (Reason: Engine airflow)
  12. Drive at a moderate, constant speed. (Reason: reduce aerodynamic resistance)
  13. Prevent idling.
References:
  1. AndyMervinGeorge.com, 6th Nov. 2007. Tips to get MORE at the petrol pump. URL: http://andymervingeorge.com/2007/11/tips-to-get-more-at-the-petrol-pump/
  2. DailyMail.co.uk, 19th Jan. 2009. The pages that save you money every single day: Slam the brakes on car costs. URL: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1121437/The-pages-save-money-single-day-Slam-brakes-car-costs.html
  3. Auto Trader UK, 12th Aug. 2008. Money-saving tip: Fill up at the pump correctly. URL: http://www.autotrader.co.uk/EDITORIAL/CARS/FEATURES/ADVICE/OTHER/money_saving_tip_of_the_day_fill_up_at_the_pump_correctly.html
  4. David Tan.org, 21st Apr. 2008. How to save money on petrol and gas. URL:http://www.davidtan.org/how-to-save-money-on-petrol-and-gas/
  5. TechARP.com, 18th Aug. 2005. 12 Tips to save Petrol. URL: http://forums.techarp.com/lounge/17030-12-tips-save-petrol.html
  6. Myself. I wrote some of them based on conversations with friends, etc.
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However, seeing as RON 97 petrol is presently RM1.80 per litre and RON 92 is only RM1.70 per litre, most people will probably feel no reason to curb their petrol usage and/or increase their fuel economy. So, instead of the above, readers of this blog may be more interested in the history of petrol pumps. One such place is the BP Archive blog (hosted at Warwick University's website).

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