Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beware the Rhino

Yarra Trams has run what I understand from the media to be a successful campaign over a long period using a rhinoceros on a skateboard. The slogan goes something like, 'A tram can weigh as much as thirty rhinos and you wouldn't step in front of thirty rhinos'. I certainly wouldn't and nor would I deliberately step in front of a tram. However people do it all the time, with fortunately very few people being hit. Looking at tram workings from the under the tram would not be pleasant. Mobile telephones and portable music playing devices are causing pedestrians, especially the young, to become distracted by their devices.

But where did the advertising company get their figures? I have done some back of the envelope arithmetic, with a calculator. Later edit: My figures are nonsense. See comments for correct figures.

Average weight of most common rhinoceros 225kg x 30 rhinos = 6750kg.

Average weight of a Melbourne tram 2450 kg.

While anyone could pull my arithmetic to shreds, it is vaguely on the mark. At 4000kg, Melbourne's heaviest tram is still well short of the weight of thirty rhinos. So, I would suggest a tram equals more like ten rhinos, but it a moot point when one rhino is all it takes.

The campaign has recently been given a fillip with the addition of multi lingual advertising. Some people have been having fun working out the many different languages. Should you be a linguist, do have some fun with it.



20 comments:

  1. Maybe they should have used Elephants instead?.

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    1. Might be more appealing to kids Windsmoke, but I think people know about charging rhinos.

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  2. I would like to say the campaign has "impact" but to be honest I have seen the rhino and not read the ad to see what the product is.

    Back of the envelope arithmetic? Having once waited while a shop assistant tried three times to deduct exactly one dollar from a price - using a calculator - I would not argue with your maths at all.

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    1. Colin8:59 am

      This drives me mad! I wonder what they actually teach them in maths these days??? Take that calculator away and they would be completely lost!

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    2. FC, that is an extreme example. Colin, I think things have been turned back a bit in that area, with kids learning their times tables, etc.

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  3. They're possibly making allowances for the added weight of passengers and assorted and luggage items plus baby strollers, wheelchairs etc.
    Plus, 30 rhinos sounds a lot scarier than 10.

    @FruitCake; I'm stunned that a shop assistant could not deduct one dollar even with a calculator!!

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    1. Good point River. Why did that not occur to me?

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    2. Fair dinkum, River. Caught three flies before I realised my jaw had dropped in shock.

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  4. Maybe they did their calculations based on one of the smaller endangered rhino species (e.g. sumatran rhino)?

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    Replies
    1. AD Rad, are they just as dangerous?

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  5. According to Wikipedia a rhino weighs around one tonne;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhinoceros

    As for the trams, W class weighs about 17 rhinos:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W-class_Melbourne_tram

    And for the more modern trams, a 3-section Combino is 25 rhinos, and the 5-section version is about 35 rhinos:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-class_Melbourne_tram

    As for the 2450 kg figure you quoted, did you forget to carry a zero? 2.5 tonnes is about how much a big 4WD weighs.

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    1. Marcus, I so wish I had not written this post. I used what seems to be the most common rhino, the white. While I read the Wiki entry, from another source, the average weight of the white is about.... gee, I must have done this at speed. The figure I wrote is wrong, as is the weight of the trams. In fact almost every figure is wrong by a lack of a zero.

      Ok, C2 tram is 40 tonne, 40,000kg. That is considerably more than thirty rhinos.

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  6. Andrew

    What River said: is the weight of the tram you have used laden or unladen? For example, if the weight on the Wikipedia page for the D2 tram is an unladen weight, then if 60 people at 60kg each were on it then we'd easily be up to 30 rhinos, by your calculations.

    I'm surprised you didn't comment that the poster only has 25 rhinos.

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    1. Quite so Marcellous, in spite of my dodgy arithmetic. I did not count the rhinos. Did they run out of languages?

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    2. Andrew

      If it's any comfort, I too missed the error by 10 in your figure for the tram even though I looked at actual figure in tonnes on Wikipedia page for the tram.

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    3. I thought you were just being kind Marcellous. :-)

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  7. At this juncture may I now ask if Mass equals Force by Acceleration is relevant? [I honestly have no idea. One dollar I can handle, algebra not.]

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    Replies
    1. FC, I can only recall mass is not the same as weight.

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  8. I'd much rather see a rhino galloping down the street!

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    1. That would stop people Fen, in their tracks and I doubt anyone would step out. So the point in my post, it only takes one, is valid.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.