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View Full Version : all this talk about gas got me thinkin....


OSU 09
09-13-2008, 12:19 AM
Remember 5 yrs ago or so, when gas was like 2 bucks a gallon and diesel was cheaper than that (those were the days). So now gas is like 4 dollars and up a gallon with no signs of drastically stopping. Fuel prices have gone up more in the past 2 yrs than they did in the past 10 yrs before that. This got me wondering, what will be the long term affect on our industry? I am a young guy and I can't help but wonder how am I gonna deal with fuel issues 10, 15, 20 yrs down the road? Will I be paying $15 for a gallon of gas and $20 for diesel? In that case I will have to charge so much to do work that no one will be able to afford me :hammerhead: Will new developments be made in green industry equipment that will enable greater use of alternative fuels, such as we have seen in the automotive industry? Just some food for thought everyone. Let's see what everyone has to say

TomberLawn
09-13-2008, 12:49 AM
What about when oil runs out? Not just OPEC cutting production, but the well runs dry. I've heard we've got enough oil in Alaska to supply our needs for a couple hundred years. But environmentalists care more about a caribou who couldn't care less about an oil rig than they do people trying to live and work. People talk about electric cars and stuff, but what about mowers, trimmers, and blowers? An electric car has hundreds of pounds of batteries to carry it a hundred miles or so. A mower chewing through grass all day needs steady power all day.

I don't want to get anybody upset, or derail this thread, but I've been thinking about NASCAR and other motor sports. How much cheaper would fuel be if motor sports didn't take a portion of it? I don't know how many gallons of gas are burned in each race car during a race, but also think about the trucks transporting the teams from city to city. I know racing is a huge industry that supplies lots of jobs and marketing opportunities. I just wonder what the energy effect is.

You know, a lot of automotive technology has come from racing research and development. If NASCAR or something big like that got behind the alternative fuel development game, we might could see some major innovations.

westsweeper4
09-13-2008, 12:58 AM
Biodiesel will be a major part of the answer. Whether it comes from Jatropha trees or algae doesnt matter, but biodiesel is going to be the be the alternative fuel that can replace most if not all of the petro diesel usage.

David Gretzmier
09-13-2008, 02:25 AM
I saw a guy the other day pushing a reel mower, and what might happen is this- 3 or 4 reels=48-72" cut, pulled behind a small engine rider, perhaps a very efficient honda 13 horse, or possibly electric drive with 300 pounds of batteries. slower than a ztr, but a good cut and way less gas. also, most diesel engines will run on any oil if it is the right weight- peanut, soybean, palm, etc.

The reality is we will run out of oil, probably in my lifetime. Nuclear plants last around 40 years, wind,hydro and solar are faily unlimed but only about 5% of our power. we also have a 350 year supply of coal. it is not a question of if we will be driving electric cars, but when.

Tinkerer
09-13-2008, 02:46 AM
If it got really expensive for fuel I could see people mowing less of their lawns or not mowing at all. Since reel type mowers use about 50% as much fuel as our rotary type, that might be another trend of the type of mowers used. What about that grass seed I saw advertised in some magazines that grows very slowly? The amount of fuel used by race teams for racing and travelling is nothing compared to the fuel used by the spectators travelling to and from the race.

ZTRMaster
09-13-2008, 02:56 AM
Here's the bottom line: high gas prices have got to go. I bloody HATE paying 4 bucks a gallon so some fat cat can get rich off of my struggle to 'get by'. I really wish the government would step in and deal with this.

Luvs2Play
09-13-2008, 02:57 AM
The largest user of our refined fuel is the military. I realize that constant training must go on, but I'm sure that there are ways that they could cut back just like we do. How many local government vehicles do you see just driving around in your city, excluding law enforcement? Our fire department says that the trucks must be driven 30 miles per day in order to keep them running properly. I also beleive that the news media is directly paid by the oil companies to constantly report how bleak the situation is.
There will certainly be much more immediate problems before the world runs out of oil. Feeding and ever growing population will take precidence over oil. World war IV will have happened before we (the world) run out of oil. There are right now more immediate problems than the price of fuel, people in our own country are dying of diseases that were supposedly controlled decades ago. We will run out of potable water before we run out of oil. China is poisoning us, our pets, and our children with anything they can export to us. Just this morning I heard about baby formula from China again, it's not even allowed in this country I thought.
At least we have horses, we can mow and fertilize all at the same time!

Want proof? I don't have any, but look at all the stories in the news, beleive what you will, but they talk about shortages of everything.

grass-scapes
09-13-2008, 07:04 AM
Here's the bottom line: high gas prices have got to go. I bloody HATE paying 4 bucks a gallon so some fat cat can get rich off of my struggle to 'get by'. I really wish the government would step in and deal with this.

So, if gas were a dollar a gallon, and lawn mowing people were in short supply, you would be making a lot of money. Then....you would have some other group of people complaining about YOU making big bucks while they struggle to "get by"

The government stepping in is not the answer. Its supply and demand. As long as we demand oil, someone will supply it. If mowers were in short supply, are you saying you would not charge more? What if you did and the government stepped in and said you HAD to charge only 15 bucks to mow a lawn or you couldn't operate?

bigjeeping
09-13-2008, 09:06 AM
If gas skyrocketted ($15+/gal) you would have to raise your prices substantially, and only the wealthy would pay for lawnservice. Other lawns would probably left unmaintained.

topsites
09-13-2008, 09:20 AM
The customer doesn't care about most of that, at least not in terms of estimates and the lawn work.

OSU 09
09-13-2008, 09:22 AM
yeah i know, only the wealthy could afford lawn service. All of this is hypathetical. I relaize that (hopefully) we will never see gas that high, and in the future green industry equipment will be run on alternative fuels just as vehicles will be. I do believe bio-diesel will be a big fuel source, possibly see more natural gas type mowers, and maybe even someday if the technology is good enough to where they don't weigh a ton, they have enough power, and can sustain that power, we may see some battery lawn equipment.

Frue
09-13-2008, 10:16 AM
Take one year at a time. Dont get ahead of yourselves, you never know what could happen russia may blow us all up lol......

lawnprosteveo
09-13-2008, 10:44 AM
We have a larger landscaping company here in Tulsa who switched all his mowers over to propane. During an interview with the news he said it costs on average $500 to convert a mower from gasoline to propane.
I will seriously consider converting my equipment in the next few years.

ed2hess
09-13-2008, 03:49 PM
Almost 50% of the mowers sitting at McCoys in Austin have been switched to propane and one of the biggest companies is switching all 28 of their trucks to propane. But what is T-boone telling us......we need to get our trucks running on compressed natural gas we are looking into that since we could gas up at our house. And we need to drill drill drill.

ZTRMaster
09-13-2008, 07:40 PM
So, if gas were a dollar a gallon, and lawn mowing people were in short supply, you would be making a lot of money. Then....you would have some other group of people complaining about YOU making big bucks while they struggle to "get by"

The government stepping in is not the answer. Its supply and demand. As long as we demand oil, someone will supply it. If mowers were in short supply, are you saying you would not charge more? What if you did and the government stepped in and said you HAD to charge only 15 bucks to mow a lawn or you couldn't operate?

There's a couple flaws with your logic, more so than any, however, is the fact that lawn maintenance isn't affecting the entire economy of our country. You can function with knee-high grass. I'd like to see how many people could function if all of a sudden there was no gas or diesel. Very very few, I'll tell you that. And THAT is why the government needs to either take over the companies or force them to lower their prices. Yeah, that's borderline, but what the hell is the alternative? Yeah, we could drill in Alaska but you think the oil companies would lower their prices after getting used to gouging the common person? I don't.

You fail to see that the oil companies have us by the nuts and can make us dance to whatever tune they want. If they want more money all they have to do is up the prices and they've got it. The ONLY people that benefit from higher gas prices (unnecessarily high at that) are the oil companies. The country runs on gasoline and diesel...the high fuel prices affect everything from transportation to grocery bills.

To answer your question, no, I wouldn't raise prices on things if there was a shortage of something. I would limit the quantity any one person could buy, but not up the price. That's called gouging, and in my state at least, it is illegal and you can be fined and possibly imprisoned. Ask Sonny Perdue.

grass-scapes
09-13-2008, 08:50 PM
The answer isn't forcing the oil companies to lower prices. The answer is to stop buying a damn 4 ton suv that gets 8 MPG for one person to drive to the store, or to yoga, or to pick up her child at school (when there are perfectly good buses that run from the school right to her house anyway). People have a taste for large, luxurious vehicles and it hurts those of us who NEED large vehicles (and the trucking companies which supply nearly everything we purchase) to do our jobs.

I can't even begin to count the number of large vehicles I see on a daily basis that is carrying one person to work, school, etc. By large I mean expedition/yukon size. Granted, I see less now since prices are high. Forcing companies to make less profit so soccer mom can drive her Yukon to yoga isn't the right way to go about it. Convincing Soccer mom to drive a honda that gets 3-4 times the mileage and 1/4 the pollution is the way to go. And guess what......High gas prices will do the trick.

There is one caveat, however. When the demand slows and prices go down, guess who sells the honda and starts driving the Yukon again?

Americans have a mindset that bigger is better. Hell, look at us. Why buy a 17 HP mower that will do the job we need it to just fine. We can get this 31 hp mower for just a few hundred more. Change that mindset, and we will be much better off. Go to europe. 8 dollar a gallon gas or more. What do they drive? SMALL cars.

ZTRMaster
09-14-2008, 03:40 AM
The answer isn't forcing the oil companies to lower prices. The answer is to stop buying a damn 4 ton suv that gets 8 MPG for one person to drive to the store, or to yoga, or to pick up her child at school (when there are perfectly good buses that run from the school right to her house anyway). People have a taste for large, luxurious vehicles and it hurts those of us who NEED large vehicles (and the trucking companies which supply nearly everything we purchase) to do our jobs.

I can't even begin to count the number of large vehicles I see on a daily basis that is carrying one person to work, school, etc. By large I mean expedition/yukon size. Granted, I see less now since prices are high. Forcing companies to make less profit so soccer mom can drive her Yukon to yoga isn't the right way to go about it. Convincing Soccer mom to drive a honda that gets 3-4 times the mileage and 1/4 the pollution is the way to go. And guess what......High gas prices will do the trick.

There is one caveat, however. When the demand slows and prices go down, guess who sells the honda and starts driving the Yukon again?

Americans have a mindset that bigger is better. Hell, look at us. Why buy a 17 HP mower that will do the job we need it to just fine. We can get this 31 hp mower for just a few hundred more. Change that mindset, and we will be much better off. Go to europe. 8 dollar a gallon gas or more. What do they drive? SMALL cars.

Yes...let's make it to where NOTHING is made in the USA anymore. Less jobs for Americans, more overseas crap, etc., etc., etc.. That's the kind of mindset that has put us in the situation we're in today, where all our stuff is "Made in China". Bullshit. **** china and the bloody communist government. Those sons of bitches cheated in the Olympics. Why, you might ask. I'll tell you why: honesty and integrity means absolutely nothing to those bastards.

Anyway, yeah. We need MORE jobs here on home base, NOT LESS!!!!

Charles
09-14-2008, 08:51 AM
Yes...let's make it to where NOTHING is made in the USA anymore. Less jobs for Americans, more overseas crap, etc., etc., etc.. That's the kind of mindset that has put us in the situation we're in today, where all our stuff is "Made in China". Bullshit. **** china and the bloody communist government. Those sons of bitches cheated in the Olympics. Why, you might ask. I'll tell you why: honesty and integrity means absolutely nothing to those bastards.

Anyway, yeah. We need MORE jobs here on home base, NOT LESS!!!!

GM is working with China to turn out a new type vehicle:rolleyes: Japan and Germany employ thousands of Americans in good paying jobs making autos right here in America. Many of our auto factories are just across the border in Mexico. I don't think one Auto made in America has only American parts. The fact is American factories didn't see the trend in buying coming. They had no vision of the future. They seem to not know that oil is a finite volatile commodity. They stuck with gas guzzlers, while Japan(for the most part) produced fuel efficient, dependable vehicles. China is not even in the big time auto making biz yet.
Anyway, we all need to conserve and look for alternatives or we will be at the mercy of the oil companies/gas stations and the middle east for a lot longer. This time its the gas stations jacking up the prices, independent of the per barrel price. Many gas stations are owned by oil companies

Charles
09-14-2008, 09:13 AM
What about when oil runs out? Not just OPEC cutting production, but the well runs dry. I've heard we've got enough oil in Alaska to supply our needs for a couple hundred years. .

Show us where you "heard" this from? I have seen just 15 years for the west coast as a estimate. No where have I seen 200 years. I am sure many of us would be interested in seeing the source of such a estimate? Only 60 years left if we drill everywhere possible in the world. That's not much time
Funny how this has gone so political. Oil producers say it will take 7 to 10 years for any new drilling to make a difference. John McCain now has it down to 2 months :hammerhead: Really has become a political football. Well if it wasn't for the Democrats blah blah blah..... George Herbert Walker Bush first banned off shore drilling for environmental reasons back in 1990. Then Governor Jeb Bush, didn't want any drilling off the Florida coast.
We Americans consume over 20 million barrels of oil a day. We export 3 to 4 million. By the the largest consumer of oil in the world. Next in line is China with on 6 million. If we produce more than we would probably export more to meet the growing world demand. The world demand is going to double and triple as other countries become more like us.
We need to focus more on conservation and alternatives. Of course keep drilling. But we can't drill our way out of this problem. Find any oil exec to says we can? I am sure you can find a politician to say so:rolleyes:
Oh yea, I didn't even mention refinery problems. This current spike in prices is said to be caused by the Hurricane cutting electrical power to refineries and or other damage. Refineries can be downed by earthquakes, fires, Hurricanes, tornado's ....We can have all the oil and no way to turn it into gas. Only 20% of our refining capacity is located in Texas and now may be looking at $5 to $10 gas and/or shortages. How many price increases will our customers tolerate?

CrystalCreek
09-14-2008, 11:11 AM
When gas hits $10 a gallon, I will switch my business from mowing to roundup. I will advertise to people that I will get rid of their lawns and save them tons of money. Then when every last lawn is dead, I will start the worlds largest lawn renovation company. Or maybe I'll just keep cutting and pray gas settles down. Just keep on trucking....or cutting I guess.:laugh::laugh:

TomberLawn
09-14-2008, 02:39 PM
Show us where you "heard" this from? I have seen just 15 years for the west coast as a estimate. No where have I seen 200 years. I am sure many of us would be interested in seeing the source of such a estimate? Only 60 years left if we drill everywhere possible in the world.

Lindsey Williams is a former oil company field chaplain who became an executive with access to any information he wanted about the oil/gas industry. He's written a book called "The Energy Non-Crisis" that details what he learned as an oil company executive.

In all fairness, I read the section again and the 200 year estimate was for natural gas, not oil. Here's a link to an online copy of the chapter about the natural gas in Alaska: http://www.reformation.org/energy-non-crisis-ch19.html

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-14-2008, 05:42 PM
I don't want to steer this conversation off course, BUT....

Tough loss for the Bucks yesterday....USC looks like the real deal this year and the Bucks may struggle to compete for the Big Ten.