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. #21
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    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?
    Because, as you noted in the example of amount of land needed to make ethanol, if all trucks were switched from natural gas, it would save an estimated 2-2.5 million barrels of crude per day (dont have a link, just watched it on CNBC). The reduction in demand from the trucking industry would almost certainly reduce the cost of other crude based products such as gasoline.

    On top of that, there is also the proverbial income effect. We have plenty of natural gas here in the US, and an increase in demand can and will spur new industries and jobs in that sector, therefore increasing total output (gdp).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My idea is simple, and goes along the lines of the T Boone Pickens Plan. Government puts forth a hefty amount of research grants into the field of NG torque centered engines. They also incentivize trucking companies by giving them tax credits for switching to natural gas. On top of that, they provide tax incentives to businesses that specialize in NG distribution so that it can be had at your local Flying J, etc....

    The private market stands to gain quite a bit, as a new industry is developed. You can say what you want, but we are bleeding our national wealth by sending billions of dollars out of the US to purchase foreign oil and fuel.

    The long run effects on health, income, and efficiency cannot be denied.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Not to take away from the OT but I always hear mentioned the possibilities and ways we can lower oil consumption by changing our methods of transport but what I rarely ever hear mentioned is that a very large chunk of the oil the US consumes is in the manufacturing industry. Why do I never hear any mention of weening ourselves off of plastics and other such products?

  3. #23
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Should commercial trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    That was tried over thirty years ago by Consolidated Freightways, at that time CF was the largest LTL carrier in the United States (they do not exist now, at least under the CF banner, see Con-Way).

    They tried it with some of their city fleets, they would go out and make deliveries and most times they got job done but a lot of times they would run out of fuel which would cost in addition to the lost delivery time of the city driver but they had to send a service truck.

    There was no way of fueling up on the road. I’m sure that with today’s improved trucks you could, and some companies do use Natural Gas (as my link to Transport Topics shows) You could not go over the mountains with a very heavy load and carry enough fuel for a days run. As for fuel economy, we have some trucks approaching 12-15 mpg with a fairly light load in the plains.

    Crossing the Rockies, in snow and ice, loaded with heavy machinery? Not with this old man at the wheel; I’m not crossing the divide with something running on hot air.

    As for as using more trains, check it out, you will see more and more company trucks being pulled by “diesel powered” trains and switched out with “electric powered” switch engines in the fright yards.

    Then you have the “diesel-powered packers” in the Port of Long Beach. Yes a lot of the containers that come thru the port get put on trains but I haven’t seen many Wal-Marts, Targets, Costcos, with a rail siding, yet.

    Until that time comes we will be stuck with the smelly diesel fumes coming out of my two stack Peterbilt.

    Here’s a link to an old TT with some of the companies that use natural gas. Mostly local deliveries.

    http://www.lmtruck.com/lmt100/LMT_webtop100_08.pdf
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  4. #24
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by donc View Post
    Should commercial trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    That was tried over thirty years ago by Consolidated Freightways, at that time CF was the largest LTL carrier in the United States (they do not exist now, at least under the CF banner, see Con-Way).

    They tried it with some of their city fleets, they would go out and make deliveries and most times they got job done but a lot of times they would run out of fuel which would cost in addition to the lost delivery time of the city driver but they had to send a service truck.

    There was no way of fueling up on the road. I’m sure that with today’s improved trucks you could, and some companies do use Natural Gas (as my link to Transport Topics shows) You could not go over the mountains with a very heavy load and carry enough fuel for a days run. As for fuel economy, we have some trucks approaching 12-15 mpg with a fairly light load in the plains.

    Crossing the Rockies, in snow and ice, loaded with heavy machinery? Not with this old man at the wheel; I’m not crossing the divide with something running on hot air.

    As for as using more trains, check it out, you will see more and more company trucks being pulled by “diesel powered” trains and switched out with “electric powered” switch engines in the fright yards.

    Then you have the “diesel-powered packers” in the Port of Long Beach. Yes a lot of the containers that come thru the port get put on trains but I haven’t seen many Wal-Marts, Targets, Costcos, with a rail siding, yet.

    Until that time comes we will be stuck with the smelly diesel fumes coming out of my two stack Peterbilt.

    Here’s a link to an old TT with some of the companies that use natural gas. Mostly local deliveries.

    http://www.lmtruck.com/lmt100/LMT_webtop100_08.pdf
    I have been waiting for your response Donc!

    I do agree that there needs to be major changes in engine, as well as fuel cell technology for the switch to be possible.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The cost of building entirely new trucks and infrastructure for natural gas would be huge. Natural gas isn't a good replacement for oil. While we have large amounts of it, we are still going to be running out in a few decades, and will inevitably have to import foreign sources.

    While I don't have a problem with individual people or private business who want to switch to NG, it shouldn't be a national policy.
    Natural gas should be a stepping stone to the ultimate solution, whatever it may be.

    OBL 11/24/02

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    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.
    True, if Ethanol was limited to just corn. Algae, sugar cane, there are many better ways to produce ethanol. I agree corn ethanol hasn't worked out and is more trouble than it's worth, but that can't logically be extended to ALL ethanol production methods.
    Nationalism in high dosages may be hazardous to your health. Please consult a psychiatrist before beginning a regular regimen, and if feelings of elitism and douchbaggery continue, discontinue immediately before you become unable to do so on your own.

  7. #27
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Natural gas should be a stepping stone to the ultimate solution, whatever it may be.
    Natural gas is a dead end. Switching to it as a fuel for automobiles would simply result in importing it many of the same countries we current get oil from. Furthermore, it would dramatically jack up heating costs, and prevent it from being used in power plants. The cost of replacing infrastructure and engine technology would be high, and with little to show for it.

    Natural gas would be better used to replace coal power plants as a stop gap measure for a more permanent solution.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    True, if Ethanol was limited to just corn. Algae, sugar cane, there are many better ways to produce ethanol. I agree corn ethanol hasn't worked out and is more trouble than it's worth, but that can't logically be extended to ALL ethanol production methods.
    No current method could possibly generate enough fuel to run our motor vehicles. Ethanol may have its uses, but it not to replace gasoline as the primary fuel source.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    No current method could possibly generate enough fuel to run our motor vehicles.

    Keyword is yet.

    There is research going on every day to improve the efficiency of Ethanol production.
    Nationalism in high dosages may be hazardous to your health. Please consult a psychiatrist before beginning a regular regimen, and if feelings of elitism and douchbaggery continue, discontinue immediately before you become unable to do so on your own.

  10. #30
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Natural gas is a dead end. Switching to it as a fuel for automobiles would simply result in importing it many of the same countries we current get oil from. Furthermore, it would dramatically jack up heating costs, and prevent it from being used in power plants. The cost of replacing infrastructure and engine technology would be high, and with little to show for it.

    Natural gas would be better used to replace coal power plants as a stop gap measure for a more permanent solution.
    While there will be a price effect in natural gas, undoubtedly, there would be a quantity effect in crude equal to that of the switch to natural gas. Combined with the income effect gained from the switch, i am more than certain the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

    But bkhad made an interesting point, although i am calling him on his Jim Cramer reference (if not than i do apologize), natural gas is nothing more than a stepping stone.

    A more efficient technology is in the horizon, but that can be maybe 20-30 years away.
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
    "Wealth of Nations," Book V, Chapter II, Part II, Article I, pg.911

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