So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Friday, January 4, 2019
Done with Veggie Vehicles
There are still a lot of people out there running diesels converted to run on waste veggie oil, but I'm not going to be one of them. With the sale of my 2001 Ford diesel ambulance van I've come to the end of my diesel days.
There are two major problems. The first is that veggie is a lot harder to get. It used to be a waste item that restaurants had to pay money to dispose of. In recent years uses have been found for the stuff, everything from creating commercial bio-diesel to dog food additives.
The second is that the newer diesels are much harder to convert to veggie. It can still be done, but it's more expensive and not exactly a shady tree mechanic type operation. My old early 80s Mercedes diesels were bulletproof. The 90s era Ford F-250 diesel I had was dead simple to convert. It even came with two fuel tanks. About all I had to do was to drop a heater coil in one of the tanks. The Ford diesel ambulance was a bit tougher. In fact, I fried a number expensive electric fuel pumps in the early days. That's a far cry from the days when my old Mercedes tolerated just about anything.
There are still plenty of people driving around those old diesels on veggie. Diesels are tough and can handle a lot of miles. Come spring I hope to get rid of the last of my waste veggie storage to one of those guys. If they won't take the veggie, there's a local church group that uses waste veggie to heat their buildings.
My problem is that I still have need for a tow vehicle. My lovely wife and I have been discussing what we'll do. We aren't going to bother with diesel this time. There are plenty of older and inexpensive vehicles with strong gasoline engines. Unless we come across a great deal, we probably won't be looking for one until the spring.
A pickup truck would be nice, but those tend to hold their value. Of course, that doesn't mean we won't find a good deal. You never know. One option is an older SUV. The early ones were basically just an SUV body slapped onto a pickup truck frame. They make pretty good tow vehicles and the market is flooded with cheap ones.
I am going to miss the whole home brewed fuel thing, but conditions change. We ran waste veggie in four different vehicles for well over 20 years. That saved us a ton of money and was fun too. However, conditions change and it was time to move on.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.