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Thread: Chinese engineering

  1. #1
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Chinese engineering

    So we all like to bemoan the quality of Chinese made goods. Crap this, crap the other, crap something else.

    Now I just watched episode six of the current series of The Grand Tour. What those muppets showed us of the Chinese motorway network was truly mind blowing. Did any of you fellas see that? Couldn't believe my eyes, staggering engineering on a truly massive scale. 6000 miles of new motorway is being built every year. Six Thousand Miles.

    I have never seen bridges and viaducts like it, tunnels, overpasses, unfinished service stations... wouldn't want to be on one of those viaducts if a big earthquake comes along.

    What's more there seems to be hardly any traffic on the motorways, outside of the cities. Cities of 30 million people I have never even heard of. (Pleasant climate, 45C and 80% humidity.)

    So my question is, are there any Chinese experts here? Anyone travel there and actually done some long-distance motorway driving and seen these incredible engineering feats firsthand? It looked to me like it could be one hell of an interesting overland adventure.
    223nut likes this.
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  2. #2
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    I havent been there, but know people who are regular visitors and all have good things to say.
    Many a time as i drive (hahahaha) along a particular stretch of notorious road here in sunny nelson, it has crossed my mind that if it were in China, the problem would be fixed more or less overnight by simply reclaiming a bit of ocean.
    But alas. Too many handwringers and moaners here for it to happen
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  3. #3
    Member Ryan_Songhurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengy View Post
    I havent been there, but know people who are regular visitors and all have good things to say.
    Many a time as i drive (hahahaha) along a particular stretch of notorious road here in sunny nelson, it has crossed my mind that if it were in China, the problem would be fixed more or less overnight by simply reclaiming a bit of ocean.
    But alas. Too many handwringers and moaners here for it to happen
    Our roads in general are terrible, im not sure what the reasoning is behind it? Do we just have shit engineers? Are we cutting costs and ending up with an inferior product? Even State Highway one is terrible if you compare it to the brilliant flat smooth double lane roads found overseas in what most class as second or third world countries
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    I worked there for two years in the early 80’s and it was backward as fuck. They were still wearing Mao suits, no cars, just push bikes and commercial vehicles. I have been back since but what they have done is truly mind blowing. They have always known how to organise the numbers to build stuff. I remember having a shipyard workshop repairing some of our gear, spent more time drinking bloody tea with the top brass than the job took, shit this shipyard was also manufacturing bloody huge steam locomotives and this was the early 80’s, go there now and you are whizzing around high speed mag trains doing 320kph, all in the space of 40 years.

  5. #5
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    They didn't have a single motorway until 1986 I think Clarkson said. Now they have.... 88,500 miles of it.

    142,500km in 32 years. That's the equivalent of building a motorway between Cape Reinga and Bluff via Taranaki and Westland, and back again, via Christchurch and Hawkes Bay. In one year. Every year. And they would build a bridge across the fucking Cook Strait!

    In 2017 Japan built 10 million vehicles. China built three times as many.

    Is it me or is anyone else getting the feeling Winston and Jacinda might be out of their depth with this Chinese thing?
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  6. #6
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    to many useless c##ts clipping the ticket and building for the present not the future
    veitnamcam, JoshC, Maca49 and 7 others like this.

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    China leads the world in complex manufacture. By a massive margin.

    What we typically see here is product made to a price point so local middle men can add their margin and still meet the market.

    But if you want something built well and are happy to pay the price they will make anything you want to exacting standards.

    The place is fucking awesome to visit!!
    gadgetman, Beaker, viper and 2 others like this.

  8. #8
    Member Tommy's Avatar
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    As Peter Jackson said about NZ: " Always a day late and a dollar short "
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  9. #9
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan_Songhurst View Post
    Our roads in general are terrible, im not sure what the reasoning is behind it? Do we just have shit engineers? Are we cutting costs and ending up with an inferior product? Even State Highway one is terrible if you compare it to the brilliant flat smooth double lane roads found overseas in what most class as second or third world countries
    Everytime I head down the coast I am amazed how good the roads are, smooth flat and flowing....up here its all potholes humps bumps and slumps......even on brand new "motorways"

    In my region we now have worse sealed road quality than we had 20 years ago.....were that stems from I am not involved enough to point a finger but I pick it is a combination of council budgets/civil engineering with no practical experience/cost cutting and shortcuts at hands on level.

    I dunno what the answer is but we build shittier roads now with massive budgets and all the technology now than we did 20 or even 30 years ago.
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  10. #10
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Proudkiwi View Post
    The place is fucking awesome to visit!!
    I imagine it would be essential to travel with a Chinese speaker? If you want to get any kind of stuff done or sort out the inevitable problems that crop up?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by veitnamcam View Post
    Everytime I head down the coast I am amazed how good the roads are, smooth flat and flowing....up here its all potholes humps bumps and slumps......even on brand new "motorways"

    In my region we now have worse sealed road quality than we had 20 years ago.....were that stems from I am not involved enough to point a finger but I pick it is a combination of council budgets/civil engineering with no practical experience/cost cutting and shortcuts at hands on level.

    I dunno what the answer is but we build shittier roads now with massive budgets and all the technology now than we did 20 or even 30 years ago.
    The lowest tender price, ...

    They're finding issues with it in public transport, roading, ...
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  12. #12
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    I imagine it would be essential to travel with a Chinese speaker? If you want to get any kind of stuff done or sort out the inevitable problems that crop up?
    Probably not so much in 2019, as they have grasped the fact that English is a very handy language to have
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  13. #13
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    The lowest tender price, ...

    They're finding issues with it in public transport, roading, ...
    They still have to meet the civil engineers requirements tho ay? Not really a circle I am in but chats with people I know suggest how the work is performed is even dictated to a degree so even if the contractor wants to do a good job they are bound to do a shit job.
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  14. #14
    Member Pengy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetman View Post
    The lowest tender price, ...

    They're finding issues with it in public transport, roading, ...
    Except that is is ALWAYS the same company that end up doing the work........makes one wonder eh
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  15. #15
    Member gadgetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pengy View Post
    Except that is is ALWAYS the same company that end up doing the work........makes one wonder eh
    Often not. The roading companies tender for each area and the areas often change hands. When there are major projects there is usually a separate tender process with only a small number of companies big enough, so it always looks like the same people.
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