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. #1
    I'm not-low all the time
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    Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    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?

    Some info:
    Nearly every good consumed in the U.S. is put on a truck at some point. As a result, the trucking industry hauled 68.9% of all the tons of freight transported in the United States in 2003, equating to 9.1 billion tons. The trucking industry was an astounding $610 billion industry in 2003, representing 86.9% of the nation?s freight bill[1]. Put another way, on average, trucking collected 86.9 cents of every dollar spent on freight transportation. Both the tonnage and revenue figures included for-hire (truckload and less-than-truckload) and private carriage.
    In 2003, over 24 million trucks (all classes) hauled over 9 billion tons of freight. Of the more than 24 million trucks, 2.6 million were Class 8 vehicles[2]. Also, there were 4.9 million commercial trailers registered in 2003.

    All trucks, (excluding vehicles used by the government and on farms, but including all weight classes) used for business purposes logged a total of 444 billion miles in 2003, which accounted for 15.6% of all motor vehicle miles and 37.6% of all truck miles. Class 8 trucks drove a total of 114 billion miles according to Martin Labbe Associates. That means that on average a Class 8 truck drove over 43,000 miles in 2003, although many long-haul Class 8 trucks travel in excess of 100,000 miles each year.
    In 2003, trucks (all classes) consumed nearly 50 billion gallons of fuel, including both diesel and gasoline. Most heavy-duty trucks run on diesel fuel, which is hwy over 69% of all fuel burned by trucks is diesel fuel, equating to 34.6 billion gallons
    With this in mind, should we begin moving towards commercial vehicles of all kind being powered by natural gas?
    Last edited by Kushinator; 09-11-09 at 01:42 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    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.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    This is directly related to what I do; I have beem saying for some time that you can blame SUVs all you want for our demands for oil, but to do so overlooks the consuption of oil by the transportation industry --OTR trucks as well as trains. I once calculated that a typical OTR rig driven to DOT limits uses as many gallons of fuel as 30 average cars.

    As for conversion to NG?

    As soon as the market demands it, it will happen.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    trucks should simply get replaced by trains ...

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by NEUROSPORT View Post
    trucks should simply get replaced by trains...
    This speaks from ignorance.
    Over distances of ~1000 miles or less, trucks are more cost-effective than trains.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    I thought that trucks couldn't run well on NatGas?

    During whathisname's pitch to transform passenger vehicles to NatGas and make a huge wind farm in the middle of the country, I thought I remembered hearing that big trucks would have to continue to run on diesel?

    Although, come to think of it, busses in my city run on NatGas. Hmm.

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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    This speaks from ignorance.
    Over distances of ~1000 miles or less, trucks are more cost-effective than trains.
    I've worked in logistics, and it really depends what you're shipping, how much of it, and how soon you need it.
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by jackalope View Post
    I thought that trucks couldn't run well on NatGas?

    During whathisname's pitch to transform passenger vehicles to NatGas and make a huge wind farm in the middle of the country, I thought I remembered hearing that big trucks would have to continue to run on diesel?
    This is my understanding as well. Trucks will probably be one of the LAST forms of transportation to switch over to a more efficient/clean source of energy.
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    Re: Should commerical trucking be moved towards natural gas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    This is my understanding as well. Trucks will probably be one of the LAST forms of transportation to switch over to a more efficient/clean source of energy.
    Something to consider: INFORM - Fact sheet - Greening Garbage Trucks Fact Sheet
    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 Kandahar View Post
    I've worked in logistics, and it really depends what you're shipping, how much of it, and how soon you need it.
    Ok, to some degre, yes. Bulk coal, for instance -- but then, the idea was that OTR traffic should go rail, and bulk coal doesn't go OTR.

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