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Old 05-27-2012, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,210 posts, read 47,614,469 times
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Rising diesel costs last year forced Waste Management Inc. WM -0.39% to charge customers an extra $169 million, just to keep its garbage trucks fueled. This year, the nation's biggest trash hauler has a new defensive strategy: it is buying trucks that will run on cheaper natural gas.

In fact, the company says 80% of the trucks it purchases during the next five years will be fueled by natural gas. Though the vehicles cost about $30,000 more than conventional diesel models, each will save $27,000-a-year or more in fuel, says Eric Woods, head of fleet logistics for Waste Management. By 2017, the company expects to burn more natural gas than diesel.

Will Truckers Ditch Diesel for Natural Gas? - WSJ.com
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:20 PM
 
2,737 posts, read 4,343,694 times
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Naaaahhhh... It's not going to happen. Diesel engines are about more than just (supposed) efficiency. A diesel engine lugs differently, is more rugged, and has more longevity. I can see them injecting CNG into diesel engines - something that has been done for years in limited production with LP Gas - for a little more power, but I cannot see truckers being willing to give up diesel engines.

Maybe delivery drivers, but certainly not over-the-road drivers.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:13 PM
 
39,477 posts, read 40,787,686 times
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They are citing the low costs of natural gas as one reason but 15 years ago you could get diesel for less than a dollar per gallon. There is glut in the natural gas market which has driven prices down, it's not going to stay like that.

I don't see the trucking industry giving up on diesel, are you going to get a million miles out a CNG engine? How big a tank do you need for long haul tractor trailers? This isn't a horse race and a CNG engine isn't going to give you the same torque which is essential for pulling heavy loads.

Waste Managements trucks are probably mostly all small garbage trucks which it might be suitable for.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:33 PM
 
4,919 posts, read 19,859,989 times
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Slightly misleading. many companies have switched to natural gas and have seen major savings. Our company purchased 3 replacement s using natural gas versus gasoline or diesel and we have already seen the savings. However, one of the company near us that also has new vehicles has switched from natural gas back to conventional fueled vehicles. To use the availability of natural gas wasn;t an issue since the fuelings tation is on site. But the other company had issues because they do long distance travel and have had to plan for fuel stops based on availability 9or lack of availability). We also reserached and found out that the way we operate, lots of starts and shut offs, slow moving, short distances, natural gas was better for those use where the other company didn't have any advantage based on the way they drove, start and turn off 1,000 miles and 12 hours later. I don;t know the technical stuff but from what IO have seen, local around town driving is better on natural gas but the long travel til the day is over is better on diesel.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:35 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 9,847,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
They are citing the low costs of natural gas as one reason but 15 years ago you could get diesel for less than a dollar per gallon. There is glut in the natural gas market which has driven prices down, it's not going to stay like that.
Gee, who could this coming?

Long Term thinking for US MBAs has gotten down to about 90 days . . .
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,378 posts, read 7,763,353 times
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Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) makes sense for fleet vehicles that return to a common parking yard on a daily basis. All of the Waste Management garbage trucks that I see here in Orange County are already running on natural gas or maybe even methane gas that they can collect for almost no cost at the mega landfill sites. A big majority of buses in the 1000+ Orange County transit authority run on CNG. AT&T has a big percentage of local service trucks running on CNG. Some local school bus fleets are also running on CNG. Most buses (parking lot, rental car, hotel shuttle) that serve local airports in southern california are required to run on CNG to cut down on pollution and fumes in front of passenger terminals. Same thing applies to taxi cabs that have airport medallions.

When I hear the word "truckers" I associate that with three axle trucks and 40 to 53 foot trailers to haul heavy loads all over the nation. I don't associate local garbage truck, bus or delivery drivers with the word truckers.

Over the road trucks need to be able to serve every nook and cranny of the country. They also need fuel available in most every nook and cranny of the country, and CNG doesn't fit that bill at present time. In the entire USA, there are only around 500 CNG fueling sites, and in some entire states there are just 2 or 3. There are CNG stations most medium and large cities in Oklahoma, but that won't help much if you are in North Dakota. Local trucking fleets where all the vehicles return daily to the distribution center are candidates for CNG, but not long haul trucks that have to cover the whole map for weeks on the road without returning home.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:03 PM
 
39,477 posts, read 40,787,686 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip T View Post
Gee, who could this coming?

Long Term thinking for US MBAs has gotten down to about 90 days . . .
It's going to be interesting to say the least, consider this... People in the northeast were putting in oil furnaces like mad when the oil was that cheap and they'll be approaching that time when they need to replace them. Of course they'll replace them with natural gas. Fuel oil in furnaces is diesel. LOL
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:41 PM
 
981 posts, read 1,980,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John1960 View Post
Rising diesel costs last year forced Waste Management Inc. WM -0.39% to charge customers an extra $169 million, just to keep its garbage trucks fueled. This year, the nation's biggest trash hauler has a new defensive strategy: it is buying trucks that will run on cheaper natural gas.

In fact, the company says 80% of the trucks it purchases during the next five years will be fueled by natural gas. Though the vehicles cost about $30,000 more than conventional diesel models, each will save $27,000-a-year or more in fuel, says Eric Woods, head of fleet logistics for Waste Management. By 2017, the company expects to burn more natural gas than diesel.

Will Truckers Ditch Diesel for Natural Gas? - WSJ.com
Beware of shale gas hype, with wells playing out faster than many in the industry want to admit. I don't like the idea of so much land being pin-cushioned with wells, and lingering threats to groundwater from fracking. Natural gas has great value but it's also keeping the whole endless fossil fuels mentality alive.

The larger picture in all of this is Peak Oil, and the fact that the U.S. peaked way back in 1970 and world oil production may have peaked in 2006. Look at some charts. They tell the true story of flow-rates, declining EROEI, etc.

There's altogether too much griping about fuel prices (superficial fluctuations) and too little understanding of the geology behind it. Peak Oil seems to be the root cause of this whole recession, or at least what triggered it and is maintaining it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:46 PM
 
981 posts, read 1,980,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big George View Post
Naaaahhhh... It's not going to happen. Diesel engines are about more than just (supposed) efficiency. A diesel engine lugs differently, is more rugged, and has more longevity. I can see them injecting CNG into diesel engines - something that has been done for years in limited production with LP Gas - for a little more power, but I cannot see truckers being willing to give up diesel engines.

Maybe delivery drivers, but certainly not over-the-road drivers.
I agree about the utility and torque of diesel engines. Natural gas can't replace the load-pulling factor of heavy trucks, especially in mountain driving. It's best suited to city buses and local delivery vans, which have used it for some time.

I don't know how many truckers grasp the info in the links below, but they ought to, since 5-7 MPG in a typical semi is getting increasingly hard to afford, and not just for truckers! Greater truck efficiency will translate into lower costs for everyone and should be a national priority; not left to the whim of companies who figure consumers will eat (literally) the extra cost. Freight trains are a lot more efficient than trucks and could be brought more online unless their routes are already saturated.

Peak oil primer and links | Energy Bulletin

http://www.google.com/search?&q=u.s....ion+peak+graph

I see more trailer wind-skirts on semis now, which is something they should have done long ago (Wal-Mart is keen on that). It makes no sense to only conserve fuel after the resource has peaked, but that's how people operate. Lots of ignorance of geology, e.g. "shale will save us" (no it won't; it has lousy net energy returns). Then, there's the whole American entitlement attitude toward cheap fuel. People who won't spend 30 minutes learning about Peak Oil think it's all a conspiracy of oil companies and futures traders.

I recall a forum months ago where some truckers were crying "socialism" about a proposal to make a new generation of trucks a lot more efficient (because it was associated with Obama, etc.) What sort of self-defeating attitude is that? They either didn't understand Peak Oil or didn't care. I hope trucking operation managers are more intelligent than some of the drivers.

Last edited by ca_north; 05-30-2012 at 11:14 PM..
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:43 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,581 posts, read 39,952,759 times
Reputation: 23707
I'll stick with my many diesels, and trust future algae / alternative feedstocks will provide diesel torque / longevity / economy. The BTU value of CNG is not such a good fit for heavy haulers. HHV (Hydraulic Hybrids) deliver superb performance for such vehicles as trash-trucks, fire engines and buses. Combined with alternative diesel, this will be a great combination.

It will take all kinds of options, but I ran propane / dual fuel in the 1970's... GUTLESS, HUGE engine wear, and fueling HASSLE, does not make for a profitable transportation business.

50 mpg since 1976, where have you been? (No dinosaurs, OPEC, or toxic batteries required)
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