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Old 09-06-2009, 01:11 PM
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tacoma200 tacoma200 is offline
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When gas goes back to $5

It has been a great year with plentiful rain and low fuel prices. But we all know gas will eventually go back up. I live in the country where my routes are large and much of my fuel/time goes to getting to the job. The Scags will always have a place for large jobs and clean ups but testing a stander makes me think of possible downsizing equipment eventually as I grow and fuel gets higher. I can remember as a young kid driving a diesel Datsun/Nissan truck. For some reason small diesel trucks never seem to have caught on but a perfect set up would be a small diesel truck with standers (WB's) for some jobs (not all). I know some of you guys in urban area's this is the norm running small ZTR's, WB's, and standers in a van type truck or a normal truck trailer combo but it is not the norm here. I unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) can't park on a city block and cut grass in one area all day. I will be tightening routes the best I can but really I'm not turning down any customers with in reason at this time as long as they are willing to pay my rates.


So what do you think are some of the most efficient truck or truck trailer set ups with which type ZTR, Stander, or WB compilations. A 60" ZTR is still standard here but if gas goes up again I may look to run a smaller second crew, truck, unit. Thinking way in the future but I don't think fuel will be $2.40 a gallon forever and I know we won't have this much rain every year.

What are your thoughts on a small efficient truck for starters? Why no small diesel pickups at this time?
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2009, 01:49 PM
badbart badbart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacoma200 View Post
What are your thoughts on a small efficient truck for starters? Why no small diesel pickups at this time?
Because the automakers don't think they can make enough money on them. To sell them "cheaply" they would have no frills and they don't believe the American people are ready for that. The current generation has never had to roll down a window manually and only a few know what to do with a manual stick.(what on earth would they think of the old "three on the tree"?) I think they should make them available and let us decide, but they are not ready to take that gamble yet.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:50 PM
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Keith Keith is offline
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We're still in the horsepower race right now. But it show signs of cracking. People were definitely buying the biggest thing they could possibly have ever needed. If they needed a commuter vehicle 50 weeks out of the year and a truck to tow their travel trailer the other two, they bought a large truck. And then proceeded to commute with it. Heck, who could blame them. The comfort of your Lazyboy and fuel was not an issue. The next Ford Super Duty diesel looks like it is going to have 400hp and 725 lbs torque. Nice if I am towing a 40' trailer, but not necessary for what most people use it for. Every new model now gets more hp and torque, at the expense of fuel economy. Everything gets the kitchen sink.

I'm afraid when it ends abruptly due to some crisis, we'll be waiting years for a fix. There isn't right now, but at some point their will be a huge need for a for 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks that only need 200-250hp and decent torque to get the job done. I'd like to think auto manufacturers will not be in the same boat they were in 1971. It took years to get the hp back when having to meet emissions standards. I really hope it doesn't take years to get it back to decent level when they have to meet mpg standards.

Right now, I really hope the EcoBoost engine turns out to be all they say it is. If it is, an F150 with it may turn out to be a great lawn maintainence vehicle.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:54 PM
stevenf stevenf is offline
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I will be buying another project truck if/when gas goes that high again. Mercedes made a 5cyl diesel for a very long time, Ford Ranger in 1986 had a 4cyl diesel in the U.S, and alot of the old Datsuns had them. I will either swap that drivetrain into a single cab 1/2 ton truck of just go with a 3/4 ton truck and run bio-diesel. There might not be alot of power but it will have plenty of torque for towing a small setup. If I remember correctly, the 86 Ranger diesels had an EPA of 49hwy mpg.
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Old 09-06-2009, 02:58 PM
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integrityman integrityman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badbart View Post
Because the automakers don't think they can make enough money on them. To sell them "cheaply" they would have no frills and they don't believe the American people are ready for that. The current generation has never had to roll down a window manually and only a few know what to do with a manual stick.(what on earth would they think of the old "three on the tree"?) I think they should make them available and let us decide, but they are not ready to take that gamble yet.
Factually, there is a tremendous demand for small diesel p/up trucks in the us market. The problem is that the government has set up extremely stringent emission demands that prohibit sales of these vehicles on us soil.

I'd love a Toyota Hilux with a diesel....just cant be had here! You can buy one in Mexico, just can't bring (legally) over the border.
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:57 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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Full aluminum open trailer.
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Old 09-06-2009, 03:59 PM
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tacoma200 tacoma200 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topsites View Post
Full aluminum open trailer.
That did cross my mind today....


Anyone know the weight saving from steel to aluminum on a 12' or 16' trailer?
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:50 PM
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mowerbrad mowerbrad is offline
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GM is coming out with a 1500 diesel in 2010 I believe. The silverado and sierra will have the option of having a V-6 Diesel which is said to have 25% better fuel mileage than a comparable gas silverado/sierra. So that means that this truck would be able to get upto 26mpg. The other two of the "big three" auto makers are also coming out with diesels in their 1/2 ton series trucks.

Here's the link to the info on the chevy:
http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/201...sel-spied.html
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2009, 05:12 PM
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Richard Martin Richard Martin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacoma200 View Post
That did cross my mind today....


Anyone know the weight saving from steel to aluminum on a 12' or 16' trailer?
You'd have to do a cost vs. benefits analysis. How much is the new trailer vs. the amount of fuel you'd save over your current setup.

Presumably your current trailer is paid for. You're only paying a marginal amount for maintenance of your trailer, tires, brakes and lights. For most operators the amount is so small that they don't even figure it into costs.

An aluminum trailer probably runs at least $3,000.

Let's say that an aluminum trailer weighs 500 pounds less than a steel trailer. How much do you think your fuel mileage will increase due to that savings. I'll be honest with you. My 5.0 F-150 would probably only increase by about 1 MPG with that small of a reduction. Maybe 2 MPG at the outside. I've pulled my trailer about 70,000 miles in 16 years. If I were to increase my F-150's 10 MPG to 12 MPG I would save 1112 gallons of fuel. That would work out to $5560 in savings at $5 a gallon. If I only increase my mileage by 1 MPG (a more likely scenario) the savings are cut in half to $2780. I'd save less than the trailer costs.

I think the best way to handle this is just like any other piece of equipment. When the old one is worn out then replace it with a more efficient piece of equipment.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:19 PM
ixlr8 ixlr8 is offline
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Mahindra was scheduled to introduce a small no frills diesel truck by the end of this year, but I am now hearing it will be mid-2010. I thought I read that Ford had dropped diesel plans in the F-150 since 'low' fuel prices didn't justify the expense, didn't see the demand. Same with the GM stuff.
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