View Poll Results: Should commerical vehicles (namely trucks) move towards natural gas?

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  • Yes, whenever the market decides it is time.

    7 36.84%
  • No, it is not optimal.

    2 10.53%
  • Yes, and the government should help incentivize it.

    7 36.84%
  • No, there is a better/more realistic alternative.

    2 10.53%
  • Other: I will explain

    1 5.26%
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Thread: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

  1. #11
    User Ward's Avatar
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    I think your talking about T. Boone Pickins (jackalope). I can see some of the larger trucking company's switching over to NG when ever oil spikes back up but as far as the independent truck owners and such I highly doubt they will ever switch over. What I've always wondered is what we will run our trucks off of when oil and natural gas runs out. Sure you can run a car off a battery but not an 18-wheeler and i don't think hydrogen will be the answer for it either.

  2. #12
    Student MikeVFF's Avatar
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    If the company decides it is cost efficient and would not hurt their business, sure, go ahead.

    The government shouldn't force anything on a business.

  3. #13
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    It would be nice as we have a large amount of NG here in the U.S. ... One thing we could do is buy local produce and goods the shipping costs have to be less?

  4. #14
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy219 View Post
    Given that trucks run on diesel, and are putting many more miles than your basic automobiles, should the trucking industry be making a shift to natural gas?
    If its more efficient that diesel, cheaper in the long run(meaning there is no threat of natural gas prices jumping high with truck using it ) and there is the infrastructure to support it and the trucking companies want to do it then sure. Changing fuels for the sake of cleanliness is idiotic.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  5. #15
    Educator ScottD's Avatar
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    I know a Dairy Farmer around here that is trying to get his delivery trucks to run on the methane "produced" by his cows. He already has his whole farm being powered that way.

  6. #16
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    The trucking industry is already cutting way down on diesel usage; the big outfits are now shifting toward rail freight and reducing their OTR runs, and have been for a while now; they pick up at intermodal rail yards for local and regional delivery. This has been going on for years.

    I don't know that using natural gas would do anything; it has other issues that usually prevent it from economically replacing diesel.

    As for other alternatives, there are techies experimenting with steam power again, which look pretty interesting. There are some Brits who've got up a steam powered car they're planning to bring to the U.S. soon to challenge the world speed record for steam powered cars, set by a Stanley Steamer back in 1905 or thereabouts, I don't recall the year, it's probably in Guiness or somewhere, and reached a speed of 200kph or so. With modern metallurgy materials, that is an option worth looking into.

    Google Books has scanned a lot more older books recently, in the last couple of years on early automobile technology, my favorite is The Horseless Age, and there are several books that cover steam and battery powered vehicles and break down the economics involved, one book is devoted entirely to commercial vehicles, for those interested. Some of the high end steam cars were reporting getting 300 miles to 10 gals. of water. I suppose natural gas would be a great source of heat for steam vehicles, an the tech would be lot cleaner than battery technology, for sure. Steam engines can certainly develop a lot of horsepower.

    But, we're going to get whatever the Establishment decides we'll get, and if aristocrats like Al Gore stand to make a billion bucks off his pet battery car projects, then that's what we'll get.

    Those 18 wheelers are already pretty damn efficient as they are now, they're pulling 40 tons on 4 to 6 mile per gallon as it is, so I don't think there is much more to squeeze out of that tech tree. The trucking companies are lobbying for Road Trains' and the NAFTA Super Highway now, but that is just because the rest of us will paying for their business expenses, and not a real macro-economic savings, the road trains will mainly just cut their labor costs, and trucking is already a sweatshop industry with no labor law protections at all as a practical matter.
    Last edited by Picaro; 09-12-09 at 02:14 PM.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Changing fuels for the sake of cleanliness is idiotic.
    Depends. NG has a lot of hidden costs that get ignored, though, but anything can look 'economical' when the main source of vehicle fuels that the economy has been geared toward reaches ridiculous price levels and gets scarcer and scarcer, 'cleaner' fuels look better and better.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Ah, I found one that's fairly comprehensive:

    Cyclopedia of Automobile Engineering, by the American Technical Society, 1915 edition.

    And ...

    The Motor Truck As An Aid To Business Profits, by S. V. Norton, 1918 edition. This one is a British book, though it covers U.S. vehicles, at least I think it does.

    Both of these books also have loads of photos of cars and trucks, so they're great for collectors to add to your personal libraries for you vintage car buffs.

  9. #19
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Picaro View Post
    Depends. NG has a lot of hidden costs that get ignored,
    What do you think these hidden costs are? Ilme seriously curious.

  10. #20
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Picaro View Post
    Depends. NG has a lot of hidden costs that get ignored, though, but anything can look 'economical' when the main source of vehicle fuels that the economy has been geared toward reaches ridiculous price levels and gets scarcer and scarcer, 'cleaner' fuels look better and better.
    Cleaner fuels only look if they are just as good and cheap or cheaper than the regular fuels. Ethanol for example is a crappy alternative considering the amount of land it needs, the land it takes away from food crops and the fact it increases the price of corn. How would converting diesel trucks to natural gas not increase the price or decrease the supply for those who use it to heat their homes, hot water tanks, cook with and etc?
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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