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Old 09-24-2007, 05:23 PM   #11
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I'm not sure who is being penalized Some places of the world it is illegal to idle excessively (and yes I've heard all the excuses for doing it).
actually to be more specific, my wife leaves early and parks(engine not running)waiting for the kids. then, when loaded, is stuck in slower than stop and go traffic exiting the school. its more like go,stop,idle...repeat. you know what i'm saying. in fact when i go to get them once a week, sometimes it takes a while to "get in" initially. we're not into repetitive shut-off especially in a moving line no matter how slow it is. starters aren't cheap. and yes i DO see the SUV driving soccer moms idling away(while waiting) contributing to GW,pollution,oil profits, or whatever else you fancy.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:13 PM   #12
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It would be very interesting since my main vehicle weighs 4 tons hitched and loaded, might actually make my 11mpg a lot more challenging than it would appear.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:36 PM   #13
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Well you could have different "classes" like regular races. Would be interesting.

*********************or*****************

Handicap based on most current 90 days mpg average.
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Old 12-12-2007, 07:40 PM   #14
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You'd need to factor in the factual need for a heavier vehicle along with it's weight. If you really need it and it weighs four tons, that's fine. On the other hand, if it's just for show...

So far I'm "good" with the system we have where you're basically challenged against the car's EPA rating. If you're driving something with EPA rating of about 19 mpg (like yours truly here) and you can get 25-30 mpg out of it, well that's decent. If a car's EPA estimate is 35 and it's only getting say 30, then you probably could try harder. With all the money and technology behind the EPA testing I think it's probably a pretty level playing field.

I think nearly any one of us would buy a "next" car getting significantly better mpg than the one we're driving now. But there are years in between those purchases, it's just a fact of life for most of us. It's usually pretty wasteful financially to change cars more often than that. Which only leaves someone else driving your former ride, anyway, unless it goes to the crusher. Someone who might let it idle in the driveway.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:09 PM   #15
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brucepick...why do you use 19.5 vs 19 for mixed (19.0 is the new EPA estimate)?
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:53 AM   #16
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brucepick...why do you use 19.5 vs 19 for mixed (19.0 is the new EPA estimate)?
Dunno. Maybe I averaged the city/hiway and got 19.5. Seems they always round the #s. Also somewhere I saw EPA #s given to tenths of a mpg but I didn't note where that was.

Maybe I should change my entry - might actually not be right as it is.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:15 AM   #17
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You'd need to factor in the factual need for a heavier vehicle along with it's weight. If you really need it and it weighs four tons, that's fine. On the other hand, if it's just for show...
I am a landscaper, I work from my home, the truck and trailer is what I carry my equipment on so I can service customer lots. The 1995 D2500 slt is rated EPA 11 city 15 hwy and its curb weight is 5030 pounds, unfortunately I can't get exact stats on the trailer but it's between 1500 and 2000 pounds, empty.

It might seem like mpg would be the last thing I'd worry about, but I could say the same thing about hybrid owners why are they worried when they're already getting great mpg... Fact is a 10 percent loss in fuel efficiency can translate to 600 dollars a year.

The cost of doing business directly affects my earnings as an owner-operator, the cheaper I can run my operation, the more money I get to keep in the bank.

Unlike these landscapers you see running around with these huge 16-foot steel double axle trailers loaded with at least 3 lawn mowers and gas cans and half a dozen string trimmers and blowers and then a wheel barrow and pitch forks and rakes and shovels, that is not me.

Although it would take 800 pounds to make a real difference all it takes is an extra mower weighing 3-500 pounds, then add fuel cans full of gas weighing 40 pounds each, now throw in all that extra hand held equipment and you have 5-6 maybe 700 pounds... I carry only what I need for the day.

I usually carry one lawn mower which I use on most lawns, one trimmer and one blower, no extras. No spare fuel on board, no cans, I have a syphon in case I run low but most of the time I can run the entire day. Yes I can hypermile a string trimmer, I do 8-10 lawns on one tank of trimmer fuel, thou this translates into ounces per lawn and not miles per gallon, still it's efficiency at work.

About the only thing that is overkill is the truck, I don't NEED an slt, that is an ultra-luxury truck with cruise control and tilt steering and power mirrors and all, a bare basics work truck would do... But I did drive for 5 years in trucks that had no a/c no radio no nothing... Man you're lucky if the crank handle for the window doesn't fall off and if the wipers work that is a bonus too, yes sir I believe in Rain-X, so just for once in my life I felt like I owed it to myself to splurge a little, but this luxury does cost, I admit that much.

Hope that helps clarify my position.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:12 AM   #18
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I do agree thou, entirely fair it isn't and it can't be.

Aerodynamically my truck is a pain but then my trailer gets drafted
Now take an 18-wheeler and we have a serious problem, simple fact is those things might only get a few mpg but they also haul tens of thousands of pounds yet their engines are diesel so again the equation gets thrown off.

I see the point, by the time we factor in weight we might as well factor in extra passengers and time spent idling, well heck how about hills, sure and soon the argument never ends.

So it might be this is something we may never be able to figure out without blowing the initial goal out of the water, thou I can rest easier knowing folks now realize the big rigs and those in between such as myself DO take mpg seriously, because it does matter.

If nothing else that's the only thing I wanted to accomplish, if we ever get a mpg per pound standard worked out that would be great, but if we don't that is not the biggest threat to my sanity either
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:02 PM   #19
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Hi 8307c4,

This all makes sense to me. You certainly need what you're driving to do your work, and as you pointed out there are likely many in the same line of work who aren't nearly as thrifty with fuel.

I certainly don't begrudge you the fairly common luxuries your truck has. Many if not most new cars and trucks have a similar or equivalent list of creature comforts. AC would add to fuel costs, but I don't think anyone would deny you that on a hot day (I don't know if you have or use it). Besides, with the trailer and load, the additional FE cost of AC would probably be negligible.

And while there's an EPA estimate for the truck, there's no estimate for the truck plus your particular trailer + load. Let alone an EPA estimate for a "standardized landscaper's load" - that would let you can see how you're doing better than "standard" from your efforts to minimize your load and use fuel efficiently in various ways. I think we don't want our government being that big.

Two ways I like to gauge my own FE are 1) compare with EPA and 2) compare with my numbers for same time last year. Both give me a idea of how I'm doing without beating me up (usually).

Right now, the "same time last year" thing falls apart for me, because I'm out of work right now. So instead of commuting approx 60 mi. each way daily, I'm running a few errands and/or driving to a rehearsal or two, each week. The short runs are yielding lower mpg numbers, but the good news is I'm buying a lot less gas! My last fillup was 12/4 and I've used just over 1/2 my available range in 9 days.

What's my point? I guess ya gotta give yourself credit for your efforts for FE, and certainly nobody should assume that a work or commercial vehicle is being wasteful just because it's big and it's there.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:13 PM   #20
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Dunno. Maybe I averaged the city/hiway and got 19.5. Seems they always round the #s. Also somewhere I saw EPA #s given to tenths of a mpg but I didn't note where that was.

Maybe I should change my entry - might actually not be right as it is.
Yup Darby, looks like I was in error. Seems to me the "combined" isn't an average of city/highway, but slightly closer to the city number. Anyway the EPA combined for my car is 19 as you pointed out.

I've just changed Sven's Garage entry.

Thanks. Shoulda seen that one myself.
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Currently getting +/- 50 mpg in fall weather. EPA is 31/39 so not too shabby. WAI, fuel cutoff switch, full belly pan, smooth wheel covers.

Now driving '97 Civic HX; tires ~ 50 psi. '89 Volvo 240 = semi-retired.
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