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diesel trucks and mowers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by stevesmowing, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    I know a guy that bought a diesel car and for about $800 added a tank that holds veggie oil from fast food places. With the cost of filters it costs him about $.13 a gallon. It seems like this might be a little more expensive at first but could pay off. Trucks could be run on veggie oil and I wonder if a mower could be converted as well. The engine still needs to start and stop on diesel but otherwise can run on the veggie oil. It seems like it could be saving us $100 or more a week which would seem huge. Anyone else seen heard of this? There was another car on CNN yesterday that someone convereted to run on the veggie oil as well.
  2. dixiedemon

    dixiedemon LawnSite Member
    from ky
    Messages: 24

    maybe some day there will be a hybrid mower like Toyota's new car
  3. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    soy diesel
  4. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I run my truck on veggy oil.

    You do not need a kit to convert a diesel to run on it first of all. Its nice to have but not needed.

    Theres a few options here, you can use straight veggy oil (SVO) waste vegy oil (WVO) which is old used oil from fryers at restuarants, or you can make your own biodiesel using WVO.

    SVO and WVO are the same thing just new and used, you can run this in a diesel truck without doing anything, just you'll have to run a mixture with some diesel to thin it out, and it can only be used during the warmer seasons of the year. I was running a 75% WVO/25% diesel mixture and it worked great in the summer, you can also run a 100% WVO in the hot months like June-august. I've heard mixed reviews on starting on the mixture or starting on diesel and switching to the mix, I was starting on the mix and was fine since it was a mix, if i had 100% i'd start and stop on diesel. I have dual tanks so this helped, just you have to switch a couple mins before shutting off to clean the lines of the veggy oil. Some people use a system with check valves and other parts (i'm not up on this part i never looked into it much) so that they can switch say when they get in their drive and while the turbo is cooling it will drain back faster and its done in 10-20 seconds. Running a mix of WVO is cheap, the oil is free from restaurants so your only paying the 25% of diesel, to fill up both tanks on my truck its $102, with the WVO it was roughly $25.

    Now then Biodiesel, harder to make, and costs about 60-70 cents a gallon to make. Biodiesel is made with WVO where you heat it up and circulate it to thin it down, then you take tests to find how much acid is in the batch you then have to neutralize this with a mix of Lye and methanol (thats what makes it cost money) you then circulate in the mixture, let it go for another hour and let it settle. The mixture settles out along with the crap, you drain this off and now you have to "wash the oil". Never looked into this part but from what i gather you run water threw the batch and let it settle out then you have to heat it again to burn the water out. When done the biodiesel is pretty thin and clear.

    I was slacking and quit getting WVO, but I have to get more and I'll run a 50/50 mix in the next few months, then when it gets real cold i'll go straight diesel. It works out well because i don't drive my truck much in the winter, only when working season is around and i can run the mix in the working season. To filter the WVO i would heat it in a 55 gallon drum i have, then pump it to another bucket with a filter in it, and it drips threw there into another holding drum where i then pump it out and threw another filter that filters to 5 microns and into 5 gallon cans and into the truck. Takes alittle bit of time but its kind of fun, I would make it on sunday's and make enough for 2 fill ups.

    You can find alot of info about this stuff online, just do searches for WVO biodiesel, greasel theres alot of products on ebay to make your own filter systems too. The kits they sell are nice but I didnt want to spend 1000 or more dollars to convert my truck, I found a very knowledgable guy online that made his own system that converts his stock tanks and heats them then heats the fuel lines and finally the fuel filter housing at the engine and he can run straight WVO all year round, just too much work for now for me.

    Wow that was long ;)
  5. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Messages: 867

    Hey kc2006,
    I have been planning on a diesel for my next car or truck just so I can run veggie oil. My question is, what MPG can you get out of veggie oil?
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    It doesn't effect your milage. In a diesel veggy oil will provide lower EGT (exhaust gas temps) possibly give you alittle more boost and it smells like french fry's almost. After talking with some people we think it gives the lower temps yet higher boost because it burns more effecient then diesel and has a hotter burn rate. Not positive but it makes sense.

    My truck was getting 20-21mpg around town before switching and it didn't change. Lately i've been getting about 18mpg because a sensor was acting up and I need to change filters and oil soon.
  7. Remsen1

    Remsen1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Spike TV had this on Trucks! He used veggie oil + methanol + lye. I didn't know that you could do it with just veggie oil.

    This is definately going to become more mainstreamed.

    Has the government gotten their hands onto this for highway tax? I imagine they wouldn't like it very much if they found fuel being used that wasn't taxed.
  8. liquidforcedude7

    liquidforcedude7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from america
    Messages: 285

    I saw an artical about this in transworld snowboaridng about how some of the pros are puttin this on their trucks so they can save a lot of money and help the enviroment.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I'm all for this natural fuel stuff and I do not think anyone running it should be subject to any hardships from not paying government road taxes, ect.

    I say this because I feel, and anyone can see at the pump, that we are far to dependent on foreign sources of crude oil. Take a look at what is going on in the rest of the world and you realize the costs are going to continue to climb... especially for gasoline.

    I think we should be all over these veggie based fuels like stink on ____.
    Especially those WVO's as they are good in two ways.
    American farmers would be glad to help farm our fuels....
  10. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    From what i've read yes the gov trys to get in on it if someone turns you in. Its still very cheap, somthing like 10-20 cents a gallon only.

    That system used on trucks is a 3000 dollar system, its a nice system but you can make one for way less using a water heater instead of the big plastic drum.

    So far no one is doing it around here, I'm just too lazy to go get the stuff, i can get it almost anywhere (i always ask) but the stuff only lasts for 3 months then it starts to grow stuff in it, so I can only get so much.

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