all this talk about gas got me thinkin....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by OSU 09, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. OSU 09

    OSU 09 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 292

    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
     
  2. TomberLawn

    TomberLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,298

    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.
     
  3. westsweeper4

    westsweeper4 LawnSite Member
    from 45069
    Posts: 60

    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.
     
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    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.
     
  5. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    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.
     
  6. ZTRMaster

    ZTRMaster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 108

    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.
     
  7. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246

    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.
     
  8. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    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?
     
  9. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 903

    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.
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    The customer doesn't care about most of that, at least not in terms of estimates and the lawn work.
     

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