By on May 13, 2016

dream

The particles are one-fifth the diameter of a human hair. They lodge deep in the lungs and never come back out. Children and the elderly are particularly affected. They cause lung cancer, lower resistance to disease, and make it difficult to breathe. It’s impossible to accurately estimate the deaths that occur as a result of exposure, but the EPA has suggested that it could be between 500 and 8,000 per million people.

Toxic exhaust from diesel engines, in both the form of gases and particulate matter, is a major contributor to health problems. It is also a leading cause of smog, which has led Paris to ban diesel cars on alternate days during high-smog periods and to plan for a comprehensive ban on diesel passenger vehicles in the city by 2020.

For Europe, this is a case of chickens coming home to roost.

After years of CO2-centric policies that all but forced consumers to abandon gasoline-powered cars in favor of diesel alternatives that emitted 10 percent or so less carbon dioxide, cities on the Continent have now been forced to admit that smog is a bigger and deadlier short-term problem than the minor contributions of private automobiles to climate change. Paris, London, and other cities will now be forced to use a combination of draconian measures and funds from the public treasury to the fix the mess they’ve created. It doesn’t help matters that a significant percentage of diesel cars never even met the relatively lax EU standards for emissions in the first place.

Thanks to the EPA and CARB — Christ, I can’t believe I just wrote that, thanks to the EPA and CARB — diesel emissions have been more strictly regulated here than overseas during the past decade. Nor has our government adopted the secular religion of climate change to the degree of our Continental betters. So we don’t have a diesel-car problem, not even in Los Angeles. But there’s one thing we can do improve the air quality situation for our children and seniors, and the benefits will be immediately apparent to nearly every motorist on the American road.

Diesel engines account for a minor percentage of passenger-car sales in this country, but the numbers are very different for medium- and heavy-duty trucks. According to the EPA, 72 percent of the trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating 10,001 and above sold in the United States in 2013 were diesel-powered, up from 69 percent in 2009. If you’re not a “truck person,” then you probably associate the phrase “gross vehicle weight rating 10,001 and above” with a moving van, box truck, or other commercial vehicle. You’d be wrong. The Ford F-250 has a GVWR that just happens to land one pound short of that group at 10,000. The F-350 is comfortably above that, with a GVWR up to 14,000 pounds.

Twenty years ago, the F-250 was an 8,100-pound GVWR truck at the absolute maximum config and F-350s often had a GVWR just over 8,000 pounds. Today’s “full-sized” pickup trucks are monstrous behemoths that often weigh more than twice as much as a Toyota Camry before you put a single pound of weight in the bed. Which is appropriate, because many of these vehicles are purchased solely for personal use in which their beds are filled 99 percent of the time with nothing but air.

Every year, more and more of these poser-pick-’em-ups are ordered with diesel engines. Even the kind of people who are stupid enough to buy an F-350 Crew Cab for the daily drive to the office are smart enough to see that the resale value of diesel trucks far exceeds that of their gas-powered siblings. There’s a perception that diesel trucks last forever, said perception being almost entirely a product of the remarkable durability of the Cummins in-line engine fitted to Dodge Rams. Ask any Navistar PowerStroke owner about diesel reliability. The GM Duramax, as well, hasn’t always been maximally durable. The fact remains, however, that if you buy a diesel engine you’ll see that money back when it’s time to sell.

Having done my fair share of towing race cars with diesel pickups, I can personally attest that a modern turbodiesel engine is very good at towing heavy loads. As an example, the 2003 Dodge Ram with the Cummins diesel could generate 460 lbs-ft of torque, which is spectacular. It also happens to be the amount of torque produced by the Ford EcoBoost 3.5L V6 in the Lincoln Navigator. So if you could tow something with a 2003 RAM diesel, you can now tow it with a Navigator or F-150, chassis and transmission considerations aside. The current Cummins makes more torque, of course, but the point here is that nobody with any serious commercial reason to use a Ram diesel in 2003 considered that vehicle to be short on torque, and it’s now possible to make that same torque with a clean-burning modern gasoline engine.

Of course, most pickup-truck buyers look at torque numbers the way Mustang owners look at horsepower figures: as a way to keep score, not as a tool to be used for a particular purpose. An F-350 might do just fine pulling a horse trailer with an EcoBoost V6, but no self-respecting F-350 buyer will give up his diesel unless he is forced to do so. This is doubly true for the folks in Texas and elsewhere who drive diesel crew-cabs as commuting vehicles. The practicalities are irrelevant. What matters is having the most powerful powerplant, particularly if it is perceived to share parts or origin with the “big rigs.” Anybody who has ever had to listen to some otaku drone on about the role that Ayrton Senna supposedly played in the development of the original NSX will have no difficulty understanding why all the major truck brands have had a “heavy-duty” name associated with them, whether it’s Cummins, Navistar, or Allison.

This being the United States of America, with all that implies, I would never suggest that we restrict the purchase of pickup trucks to commercial entities. You should be free to buy what you like. You don’t need a race license to buy a GT350R, and I wasn’t asked to show proof of a WERA enduro registration to buy my first 600cc sportbike back in 1994. Given that modern turbocharged gas engines can match recent-production diesels for power and flexibility, however, I can’t help but wonder if we could do something to restrict diesel engines to the vehicles and entities that truly need them.

There’s ample precedent for this. You can fly a Cessna 172 with an entry-level license, but you’re going to need a multi-engine rating if you want to fly a King Air. It’s possible to walk into a gun shop and buy a bolt-action rifle without drama in most parts of the country, but you’ll need to go through Class III licensing if you want to own a true machine gun like an M60. In each case, the purpose of such licensing is twofold: both to ensure that hazardous machinery is operated by more-qualified people, and to ensure that the barriers to entry discourage the casual or occasional participant.

The easiest way to do this would be to restrict the operation or ownership of a diesel pickup to holders of a commercial truck license. Do you want to “roll coal” in downtown Houston traffic? Fine, but you’re going to need a CDL and a DOT physical and a logbook and all that other good stuff. Otherwise, Sir, can I interest you in an F-150 Raptor for your jacked-up urban hijinks? Announce the requirement now and phase it in over ten years. Five years from now, you’ll need a CDL to buy a new diesel truck. Ten years from now, you’ll need a CDL to drive one. That gives any current owner of a diesel truck ten years to deal with the lessened resale value of their vehicle. In the short-term, diesel trucks will surge in value, the same way AR-15s jump in price any time Mr. Obama gets on television and starts wringing his hands about any mass shooting that can’t be attributed to religious extremism, so everybody will come out just fine financially.

There will be several consequences to this legislation. Fewer people will frivolously operate diesel vehicles. That’s good for kids and old people. The air will smell better and cleaner. Truck manufacturers will be able to redirect their development money to high-efficiency gasoline engines that pollute less while delivering similar pulling power. If we’re lucky, pickup-truck designers will stop drawing their vehicles around the massive size and weight of modern diesels, which will save everybody money and weight and fuel.

If we’re really lucky, the lack of readily available “bro-dozers” will encourage their would-be purchasers to consider other transportation choices. When it comes to environmental impact, there’s simply no worse personal vehicle out there than the average full-size truck. A Mustang GT requires half the steel and uses two-thirds of the fuel. Even if you took all six occupants out of an F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 and gave them each a fully dressed Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide, you’d be saving resources and helping the planet. Lowering the average height of vehicles in traffic will also lower aggressive behavior between drivers; it will certainly save a few lives.

Some people would still go out and get their CDL just so they can roll coal to work, but as with everything else in human societies there’s a bit of critical mass effect at work here. If you’re driving an F-250 to work in the year 2025, surrounded by stylish coupes and snorting sports cars, you’ll be an outlier. Very few people truly want to be outliers, which is why “Bike Night” at my local Quaker Steak attracts a thousand riders every Wednesday night, but I’m still the only motorcyclist I ever see on my morning commute. If your neighbors are driving F-250s, your natural impulse will be to get an F-350. If you’re the only diesel truck left on your street, chances are you won’t buy another one to replace it. You’ll let your CDL lapse and get something more interesting to drive.

Those of us who still need pickup trucks for commercial purposes or towing can buy boosted gas trucks. That way, when you’re on the way to a race and some kid waves at you, you’ll be able to wave back with a clear conscience. And he’ll be able to breathe deeply without inhaling the poison you need to keep your self-image alive.

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283 Comments on “Let’s Wave Goodbye To The Light-Duty Diesel Truck...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m very likely never going to buy any truck let alone an HD diesel one, but I have to say I heavily disagree with your stance here and would not support the proposed legislation.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I feel like this is very nuanced trolling by Jack.

      I think the easier solution is to pull over and fix-it-ticket the hell out of the offending coal-rollers (not stock diesel trucks with factory emissions controls intact), with second/third offenses including impounding of vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Coal rollers are a small percentage of diesel truck owners. But the vast majority of diesel trucks that don’t roll coal still emit dangerous fumes.

        I’m all in favor of individual rights, but when tens of thousands of Americans are dying because of the style choices of a few, then we are right to regulate and tax.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Speaking from my personal experience, equip those cops with 2016 Prius’s.
        Mine seems to bring out the closet coal rollers. Seriously. I had a 10-some year old diesel Ford van pass me and suddenly belch a cloud of black smoke. Get this, I had a diesel VW Beetle do the same. A coal rolling VW Beetle? Dang!
        No big deal, the inside/outside air control button is within always available.
        The first coal roller I saw a few months ago was the stereotype jacked up pickup. Quite impressive actually. I momentarily could not see past the hood of my car. He was blasting everyone ahead of me after he passed. It was clear by observing the behavior of the vehicles around him that the dense black clouds were eliciting responses from other drivers, one would assume anger.

        • 0 avatar
          whynotaztec

          Why does a Prius make some people so angry? I figure if they use less gas they eventually make it cheaper for everyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            John

            You REALLY want to give the middle finger to ISIS, without sending more American boys to die in a hell-hole? Drive a Prius. A lot of coal – rollers are closet jihadis.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Doing the speed limit in the right lane apparently annoys a lot of people. I avoid the left lanes as much as possible and do speeds up well past the limit if need be, in order to pass someone.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        I haven’t seen a coal roller in awhile, so I think that fad is about over.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          depends where you are. I’d wager coal rollers are more common in areas where people will still put Confederate flags on their stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            Here in Okie-land, it seems to have stopped a bit. Granted, they still come into town to hit Walmart, but these are the rougher trucks, much older, that seem to be converted to Mad Max status by lots of weld-on farm-type stuff and dual stacks appropriate to the Titanic, or once, a coffee-can (actual Folgers-size) exhaust outlet. But at least they seem to just drive with traffic now and not mimic Casey Jones.
            The flag-waving happens with the single-cab hot rod Dodge’s and such, who drive through town on football nights waving six-foot plus flags from the bed. They go back to their domicile on the side of the rural highways and feel they’ve spread their message, I guess.

          • 0 avatar
            John

            I live in the Deep South – lots of stars and bars, have only seen coal rolling once.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Every time I enter Indiana, I instantly see coal rolling trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          White Shadow

          I just moved from NY to South Jersey and I cannot believe all the bro’ trucks around here. It is beyond ridiculous. These ‘tards in their lifted trucks with huge mud tires, loud exhausts, and diesel engines are EVERYWHERE! I still do not understand how it is legal for people to lift their trucks so high…. A head-on collision between a lifted bro’ truck and an average sedan will not end well for the occupants of the sedan. How can the ridiculous raised bumper heights of lifted trucks be legal?

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Absolutely – there is a veritable laundry list of violations that these trucks can be dinged on.

        Example: When lifted, the headlights are illegally high and shine directly into the back windows of other cars.

        To add insult to injury, many brodozer drivers add illegal HID lights which emit light in all directions like the sun does. Combine those two things, and with such a vehicle behind you at night, you feel like you are in a spaceship attempting to escape the gravitational pull of the sun.

        Violation #3 can come from the blue color of the headlights, which in many states is illegal.

        But good luck trying to find a cop that will ever pull anybody over for this stuff.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “But good luck trying to find a cop that will ever pull anybody over for this stuff.”

          This. And why? When I pass by the local police station here, what do I see? Why, lots of jacked-up pickups. God bless ’em, but they fit the bro-dozer demographic – they’re macho, blue-collar type guys.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          They actually add those LED light bars now to the “cow pusher”.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        +100,000!

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        I agree with Jack on the impact of unfiltered diesel exhaust on health and air quality. Spend any amount of time behind an older (or emissions defeated) diesel and this article will become even more salient.

        I disagree with restricting the sale of light duty diesel trucks. Modern diesels with urea injection and SCR along with ULS diesel fuel are much cleaner than past generations. The problem is not these trucks. It is a combination of older, deferred maintenance diesel engines that belch smoke everywhere along with commuter buses and trains, school buses, semi trucks, and new diesel vehicles with defeated emissions and “hillbilly stacks”.

        I think allowing police to issue emissions citations would easily fix the problems Jack mentioned. If a diesel is emitting visible exhaust, it is not burning fuel efficiently, and can be fixed (or have the emissions restored) by a diesel mechanic. If a truck has hillbilly stacks and a defeated SCR, the ticket can be $1000.00 or more, an amount that would prevent said offender from ever modifying his emissions again. The citation could include a mandatory fix and test along with the fine.

        Im no liberal and do not support increased regulation, but particulate emissions are bad for everyone. I see examples of what is cited above on a daily basis. This includes the low layer of smog throughout the city.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Agreed, if he mentioned GDI engines and there are vastly more in the US, it would make more sense

  • avatar
    JimZ

    No, I’d rather see cities/counties tell the police to bring the hammer down on those inbred Cody Dylan hicks who buy these things, remove all the emissions equipment, and drive around dragging black clouds behind them. First offense should be a $500 (non-waivable) fine, second offense should get the truck impounded.

    a modern diesel *with properly functioning emissions equipment* runs very clean, at least out the tailpipe. They don’t even smell anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Frank Galvin

      Maybe not so draconian – I think small fine non-moving violation, then big fine, then impounded. Are you old enough to remember when cops would cite the hell out of anyone what dared to put blue dots in their taillights? They need to do the same, considering how they cite so frequently for window tints, stance, no front plate, etc. …. plus the exhaust is so OBVIOUS!

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        Last time I got pulled over was over tint; asked cop if he had bolometer or some-such for calibrated yes/no on the tint. Cop said he left bolometer at station, but could eyeball it and was ‘sure.’ Then he let me off with warning, probably because he wasn’t sure what bolometer would actually show.

    • 0 avatar
      cbrworm

      This. The guys who are rolling coal should be fined an impressive amount. As an idea, here are motorcycle penalties in Florida for improperly mounted license plate and/or not having both wheels on the ground. This was 2011 – I don’t think the law has changed since then.

      “In §318.14(13), reference is made to §316.1926. In §316.1926(1), it specifically refers to violations of §316.2085(2) [both wheels on ground] and (3) [license tags] and reads, “A person who violates the provisions of s. 316.2085(2) or (3) shall be cited for a moving
      violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318.”

      Referencing back to §318.14(13), the penalties are outlined in (a), (b) and (c); they read:

      (a) A person cited for a violation of s. 316.1926 shall, in addition to any other requirements provided in this section, pay a fine of $1,000. This fine is in lieu of the fine required under s. 318.18(3)(b), if the person was cited for violation of s. 316.1926(2).

      (b) A person cited for a second violation of s. 316.1926 shall, in addition to any other requirements provided in this section, pay a fine of $2,500. This fine is in lieu of the fine required under s. 318.18(3)(b), if the person was cited for violation of s. 316.1926(2). In addition, the court shall revoke the person’s authorization and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 1 year and order the person to surrender his or her driver’s license.

      (c) A person cited for a third violation of s. 316.1926 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Upon conviction, the court shall impose a fine of $5,000, revoke the person’s authorization and privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 10 years, and order the person to surrender his or her driver’s license.”

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “a modern diesel *with properly functioning emissions equipment* runs very clean, at least out the tailpipe. They don’t even smell anymore.”

      I can smell it. Now, it could be that every diesel I get behind has malfunctioning (or disabled) emissions equipment but I don’t think that’s the case.

      They don’t reek as bad as they once did but they still smell.

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        The Power Strokes seem to be the worst (smelling anyway), and sometimes they have a burning paraffin smell. The Cummins and Duramax engines seem to do better.

        Can these things run on CNG, like buses? That could solve a lot of problems.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          those CNG buses are spark ignition conversions (frequently by Cummins Westport) so you might as well just go with the V10 with CNG prep.

        • 0 avatar
          wstarvingteacher

          @dukeisduke: Cummins diesels with spark conversions were big as irrigation pumps in my home town area. I think the benefit of cng now is as an added energy source with diesel engines. I am not fully aware of the process but the cng dilution apparently cleans up the diesel exhaust and gives better economy. Others can comment on that far better than I.

          @B&B: I am past the age of playing with vehicles. Just like to read about them now. In my 20s I was a submariner on diesel submarines. If you want to really feel the effect of diesel I recommend living in an enclosed pipe where the air is impregnated with heavy diesel smell for months on end. I enjoyed it at the time but think now it was responsible for my Parkinson’s Disease.

          I am not for legislating diesel out of existence and really believe in your right to do what you want if it doesn’t harm others. I live near Houston and am aware of the (sometimes) unfair stereotype that others have of the area. I see those clowns who must role coal and it appears that it is the same crowd that have imitation bull testicles hanging on their bumper hitch. I firmly believe they are compensating and will be embarrassed if reminded of the behavior when their brains mature (if ever).

          Requiring CDLs for bro trucks just might be a good idea. Ticketing for rolling coal is another. I think if you care to do more than that taxing behavior might do just fine.

          Ok, that’s my $.02 and I’ll show myself out.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          You might be smelling a regen cycle.
          Stock diesel pickups don’t emit an odour I can notice. Ironically, I seem to smell VW diesels much more than any stock F450 with a 20k toy box in tow.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    I’m in agreement – for a time, diesel exhaust was pure poison to me, it made me nauseous and I could not breathe. I can’t imagine what its like for asthmatics and others. It is a legitimate health hazard, with the data to back it up. It should be dealt with like cigarettes were in terms of public exposure. The Triton V10 was a happy medium – options will exist.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    But, but but… How will we live out our fantasies of driving a DILDOZER?

    https://ncache.ilbe.com/files/attach/new/20121013/377678/84933888/267999207/21489b27e33a7c2e4cace042d7014427.jpg

  • avatar
    nickoo

    the elephant in the room is gasoline direct injection, a huge blow to clean emissions. Direct injection creates soot nano partculate matter from incomplete fuel atomization. Now imagine millions of them in the coming years.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      but is this particulate measurable as exhaust emissions? I ask because I do not know.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I’m not sure the EPA even measures particulates from gas engines on new vehicles. I don’t see a limit listed on the tables for the Tier 2 standards.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          Here’s an SAE paper on the subject:
          http://articles.sae.org/13624/

          Here’s an article on gasoline particulate emissions unrelated to GDI. I think this issue is in the very early stages of research, so who knows where this one will go:

          http://news.rice.edu/2015/10/19/are-cars-nanotubes-factories-on-wheels/

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Damned good reading, mcs. Come to think of it, all Ecoboosted Fords off the line have sooty exhaust manifolds. As does most turbo charged, DI vehicles on the road.

            Now I can say I bought my inefficient N/A V8 for everyone’s health.

          • 0 avatar
            Hogie roll

            I noticed that too on Whitney’s white X3. I’ll have to look into it.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s partly why the next EB 3.5 is going to have dual (port/direct) injection.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            From Corning

            http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f8/deer12_bischof.pdf

            This has been well know for awhile and is one reason some OEMs have stayed away from GDI. Regulators and manufacturers are both doing what they do to regulate and make money off the problem. I’m sure we will see GPFs in the not too distant future.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            There has been preliminary research showing that DI engines produce as much soot as diesels if not more.
            Is that why the new EB 3.5 has a combination of both coupled with reducing carbon build up?

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        The tailpipe of my GTI had black soot on it the day I picked it up from the dealer.

        GDI engines increase efficiency much the same way diesel engines do – high compression with intake charge compression (usually a turbo).

        Unfortunately increased particulate emissions also come with that design. I suspect future GDI engines will be required to have particulate filters like diesels do now.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogie roll

      GDI can create NOx emissions like a diesel if it is lean burned. This is partially why GDI never fully realized it’s efficiency potential. An SCR emissions system could be integrated.

      I don’t think GDI produces any significant amount of particulate matter, which is the topic.

      Particulate matter is unburned hydrocarbons that get charred on the outside due to the localized air fuel ratio being too rich. They are generally regulated on size and count. The real question is, so what if we make them truly tiny and undetectable? Does the risk go away?

      Gasoline tends to evaporate at STP making it much less likely to form PM. There could be differences caused by the spark ignition as well. Diesel doesn’t readily evaporate, or burn for that matter, so it has to be atomized via high pressure fuel systems. If the droplets of liquid diesel are too large or too great in number relative to the volume of the combustion chamber, particulates are likely to form.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        yes, but the gasoline still needs adequate time to both evaporate and then mix thoroughly with the air charge, or else you’ll get localized rich zones which causes HC and particulate emissions. it’s easy with port fuel injection since the fuel is first sprayed against the closed intake valve (which is hot) and as the fuel-air charge is pulled into the cylinder the turbulence both finishes vaporizing the fuel and mixes it. that’s tougher to achieve with DI, which is why GDI pistons have some pretty novel shapes on the crown.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Makes sense. Glad you explained it as I didn’t quite get the dual port injection strategy.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Port injection also helps with the carbon coking issue that many DI engines have. Lexus’s 2GR-FSE has had port injection with the DI since the introduction with few, if any, carbon coking issues. The 4GR in the IS250 can have coking issues. VW had many issues with carbon coking on the intake valves and have since gone to dual injection on the latest 2.0T engines.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            The 2GR-FKS (a descendant of the 2GR-FSE used by Lexus) in the new Tacoma uses both direct and port injection (D-4S system), switching based on RPM range. The direct injectors have a slit in the side, and can run in a “self-cleaning” mode for anywhere from ten seconds to ten minutes, to keep the injectors free of carbon:

            http://wardsauto.com/technology/toyota-advances-d4s-self-cleaning-feature-tacoma

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the carbon/coking problems people complain about are in the intake duct and on the intake valves, not the injectors. Without port injectors spraying fuel onto the valves, oil residue from the PCV system and seepage through the valve guides leads to a sooty build up in the intake ports.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        It produces very large levels of particulate matter. The particulates are much finer and even more harmful to your lungs

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      @Nickoo – Good to know, my take on this is that the problem is at its worst while the engine is warming up to whatever is the normal operating temperature.

      Nor had occur to me to think about NOx emissions.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Good discussion all. B&b at its best. Nano soot particulate matter from gdi droplets not fully atomizing before combustion is a serious issue. Studies have shown hydrogen intake injection via electrolysis method of generation aka brown’s gas actually works to drastically decrease soot emissions because it better atomizes fuel. I suspect that auto manufacturers will continue to ignore this real gdi problem and a real low cost fix. Auto manufacturers do not innovate or think ahead unless forced to do so. I am dealing with new IMO tier 3 emissions in my own industry and the solutions range from lame to very innovative…i.e. Exhaust scrubbers to two stoke complete electronic injection 2 stroke side intake with camless overhead exhaust valve diesel pilot fuel compression ignition with cryogenic natural gas as the main fuel injected after ignition.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Your going a bit extremist here Jack, no?

    This just adds more needless expenses to companies, requiring them to pay even more taxes to get more employees CDLs, just to move equipment around. If that’s your goal just move to France or Greece, their country would be more fitting for you.

    There are no decent gas engines available for 3/4-1 ton trucks anymore thanks to legislation you mention, truck buyers can’t just opt for a Big Block V8 gas or V10 that has 3/4 of the torque and similar HP anymore, no the diesel is the bare minimum to do work today.

    Of course being that this audience is one of the more liberal set, I feel your going to get your pat on the back with this one.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “There are no decent gas engines available for 3/4-1 ton trucks anymore thanks to legislation you mention”

      The Ford 6.2L V8 and V10 are still available. Chevy has their 6.2L and Ram has the 6.4L. All make big block grade power.

      There are more gas options available than ever thanks to the emissions controls on diesels that consumers don’t want.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Chevys 6.2 gasser is a performance engine, not a work engine, it is incapable of standing up to the stress required for heavy cycle work, their 6.0 is the work engine.

        Big block power is fine, but low end Torque that a big block would have, none of them possess.

        GMs 8.1L gasser was backed by an Allison transmission and had a high end output of 690lb-ft of Torque. A modern Big Block could easily push that over 700lbs.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          You don’t need as much low-end torque with an 8 or 10 speed transmission. The transmission can shift to where the torque is.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            For now there are no light duty 8-10 speed transmissions that are capable of HD performance. And the 6-speeds don’t feel any better than the 4 speeds when we’re talking about engines such as the 6.0 gasser.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            What’s the torque capacity of the new GM/Ford 10 speed?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I have no idea, but like the 4l80 and the 4l60/4l65, there is a big difference in the longevity under hard use. I would eventually expect a new 8-10 speed for the HDs but not until they have a good unit for the half tons.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The 8.1-liter produced 455 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 rpm, not 690.

          The 6.2L makes 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            GM doesn’t offer the 6.2L in the HD trucks (and with how restricted they make its availability, they likely never will).

            Plus, no matter what, you’re limited to the manufacturer tow ratings. The gas HDs right now are rated at 11K-16K. If your load goes over that, you have to go diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The 8.1L had applications (supposably) that bumped it up the 690, it was capable, it’s not that it was actually used at 690 in the trucks. Again your ignoring that the 6.2L is completely in-capable of functioning in a heavy duty work cycle.

          • 0 avatar
            Hogie roll

            I find that 690 number very hard to believe. They aren’t tweaking the tune on a gasser to add 235ft.lbs of torque. The only way that’s happening is with 70-100 more cubic inches, long tube headers, and/or a huge compression ratio.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I actually have to agree, that’s why I added supposably, if you look up the output in a Google search, there are a lot of references to the 690 numbers but I’m not seeing where it was used.

            Maybe for boat motors?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Chevys 6.2 gasser is a performance engine, not a work engine, it is incapable of standing up to the stress required for heavy cycle work, their 6.0 is the work engine.”

          Citation needed.

          The 6.2 is not like the old 7.0 LS7 (which fits your description pretty well) — it doesn’t have siamesed bores, it has full water jackets, and it doesn’t seem to have any heat issues unless you put a supercharger on it. Add more radiator capacity and an oil cooler, and I don’t see any reason it couldn’t perform well in a HD application.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Reason enough in post(s) below, aluminum blocks for one.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Nothing about an aluminum block is incompatible with a work truck application, so long as temperatures are well managed. The difference between iron and aluminum is that iron is more tolerant of overheating. But an HD truck engine shouldn’t be overheating even under the most brutal conditions, and there’s nothing about the 6.2’s construction (unlike the LS7) that makes it prone to overheating. Again, make sure the cooling system is well set up, and the engine will be fine.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “and there’s nothing about the 6.2’s construction (unlike the LS7) that makes it prone to overheating. Again, make sure the cooling system is well set up, and the engine will be fine.”

            It’s GM. I’m sure they’ll figure out some way to f*ck it up.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The V10 is only available on F-450/-550 chassis cabs and F-650/750 trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The V10 has not been available in the F250 and F350 for a couple of years nor ever in the factory pickup version of the F450. That is supposed to change though as I’ve seen several things mentioning that it will return with the new truck. It already made a return to the F650 and F750 line up and I believe it never went away on the Cab & Chassis version of the F450 and F550.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      that’s utter nonsense. in the ’80s people were doing real work with 3/4 and 1-ton pickups which had nothing more than 351s underhood. This notion that you need 500+ lb-ft of torque just to pull a little rental trailer from U-Haul is unhinged.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Who said anything about a rental trailer? I can pull a rental trailer with my tractor.
        When I have a tandem axle trailer with a 9000 lb tractor on it, having 300 lb-ft of torque is downright dangerous on the highway. Not to mention fuel economy. You can consider torque numbers to represent how your fuel economy is going to be, a 6.0 Vortec will end up netting 3-4 MPG if you try to make it do what the Duramax is doing.

        • 0 avatar

          The 6.2L L86 engine and the 6.0L LY6 engine are closely related as they are both based on the LS motor architecture and the L86 is just one generation newer so there is no such thing as separating one as a performance engine and another as a work engine.

          They both do quite well all over the powerband and outperform the ancient 8.1L. I can agree that the Duramax fits a certain niche in between the safe and maximum payload of a gasser class 3 truck and going up to a class 4 or 5 truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The 6.0l is an ironblock and uses more proven technologies (read basically an LQ4 with VVT).

            The 6.2L uses active fuel management, and as far as I’m aware there aren’t any iron block LT based 6.2, which alone would disqualify it from ever being used in heavy load cycle work.

            I would bet the compression ratio is also different between the two engines.

            The 6.0L is more closely related to the Big block 8.1, as they were developed around the same time and use similar development research. Being ancient is Preferable for HD trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The LY6 code hasn’t been used for the 6.0 since 2010. It is L96 now.

            The biggest differences between it and the new 6.2L are that the 6.0L uses an iron block, port injection instead of DI, has a lower compression ratio, and doesn’t have cylinder deactivation.

            I don’t believe there has ever been an all aluminum gas V8 offered in a North American HD truck. DI gas would be another first. The RAM 6.4L uses cylinder deactivation, but they were the first.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            The L86 is an LT engine, the only thing it shares with the old LS based engines is displacement.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            There are a lot of differences between an engine intended for use in a real truck and a performance car. Compression ratios, cam shaft timing and manifold are tuned for their individual application. Take a look at a Mustang intake and compare it to the same engine used in a truck. One is designed for max power at high rpm and the other to enhance torque at low rpm.

            That being said there is no reason GM couldn’t create a version of the 6.2 for truck use.

        • 0 avatar

          My mistake on the codes. I was thinking of the L96, instead of the LY6 but I believe the two are closely related and the main difference is E85 capability.

          The original 6.0L was an LQ4 and was around at the same time as the 8.1L but they are not closely related. The LQ4 was an iron version of the LS block with more cubes that originally came with iron heads but later switched to the aluminum 317 heads. The block layout is shared with all other Gen III LS engines.

          The 8.1L was an updated 454 with a bigger stroke. Some of the hardware was modified and it received a hydraulic roller cam, changes to the intake ports and bolt pattern on the heads but the only thing it shared with the LS/LQ motors of the time was a similar fuel system and ECU.

          The new LT series motors are a new generation of the LS motors and feature lots of changes like you mention such as DI and cylinder deactivation but they are much closer to the LS/LQ motors than the 8100 is.

          I do like the LQ4 block due to being low cost and widely available which is why I chose to use it for my Subaru project. My motor illustrates how all of the LS motors match as it is made up of a LQ4 block from a Chevy Van, oil pan from a Pontiac GTO, LS2 heads from a Corvette and an intake manifold from a Pontiac G8 GT.

          Coincidentally I learned about the 8100 and ECU and fuel system while selecting an ECU for my project and a V8 Miata project I previously worked on. The 8100 uses the favored 0411 ECU which is easy to adapt and tune to lots of LS projects and actually shares fuel tables with some of the LS motors but that is where the similarities end.

          I am not sure that there would be issues running an all-aluminum gas motor in an HD truck but as you stated I have not seen it done yet. My thinking is that the HD trucks usually don’t receive engine updates immediately but am interested to see if there are some durability differences. I might ask and see if I can get one of the truck people to answer me.

          I am honestly interested to hear if you’ve seen that there might be something to an aluminum block that would be detrimental in HD applications?

      • 0 avatar
        Snail Kite

        You need that power to tailgate people in the left lane while going 80 miles per hour.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Clearly if someone is tailgating you in the left lane you need to get over. No need to get mad at them, whether they’re driving a mini or a CXT, your the one at fault in that situation.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            And if you can’t get over, because you’re currently passing someone?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Don’t pull out in front of someone, it shouldn’t take more than a minute to clear someone and get back over. If someone in the left lane is visibly moving faster than yourself in the right lane and you want to pass the car in front of you, you have two good options.
            1) Wait for them to pass you
            2) move quick enough that they don’t have to let off cruise control.

            If my 3.5 ton truck can move swiftly enough to not cause someone to slow down, then so should everyone else. Don’t be the douche that gets into the left lane and drives at the same speed (usually 10 under) as the car in the right lane for the next 5 miles.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Why do you bring up how much your vehicle weighs? How quickly you can pass is not a function of weight, it’s a function of the power-to-weight ratio.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            In tradition being heavy means being slow, and this is no different, if my slow self can do it, there is no reason the rest of populace couldn’t also be as courteous.

          • 0 avatar
            Snail Kite

            They’re not passing, they’re just going the same speed as the car in front 10 feet behind them.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            With you on this. Keep Right Except to Pass !
            It ain’t the fast lane, all of the lanes are the fast lanes. The ones to the left are passing lanes.

      • 0 avatar
        Hydromatic

        And people in the 70s were doing real work with trucks that had big inline-6-cylinders under the hood.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          #Inline6sMatter

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          That’s what we need.

          10-12 liter, long stroke, long skirt, port injected, possibly variable Atkinsony I6 gassers. Would plug right into current mid-duty truck transmissions, which are limited wrt input speeds.

          No complexity for complexity’s sake GDI, Turbos, Diesel, exhaust scrubbers etc. And no excessively complex cooling requirements from too high power density. Just an honest to goodness, big, heavy, cheap, everlasting lump of old fashioned done right.

    • 0 avatar

      “This just adds more needless expenses to companies, requiring them to pay even more taxes to get more employees CDLs, just to move equipment around.”

      Given the tax breaks these companies get for buying trucks in excess of 6,000 pounds, courtesy of auto industry lobbyists, I think they’ll survive.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The tax breaks exist because their is a problem with over taxation as it is. Adding a tax due to another tax break gets you back to square 1.

        • 0 avatar

          …which doesn’t negate the fact that misuse and the picking of favorites, using tax dollars, isn’t also a problem.

          I’m just saying it throws a little water on the complaints of the gravel company boss tooling around in a pristine, late-model F-350 diesel he’s using “for work”. My tax dollars helped pay for that vehicle; he can suck it up when it comes to what he’s doing to my air.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Since you changed your post,
            The tax break is from taxes paid, so if a gravel company owner wanted a $48k H2 for work from $48k in taxes; he’s benefiting the country just as well if he had given that money to the govt.

            Similarly if the owners of said company wants a pristine F350 work vehicle, why not? It’s benefitting the country, he’s keeping people employed and at the end of the day a $70k F350 still nets the government probably $30k in taxes. (When you take into account taxes through the supply chain, taxes on the vehicle, registration, taxes on the salaries of the workers that made the vehicle, taxes on the facility grounds where it was assembled etc)

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            If someone is claiming a personal use vehicle as a 100% business expense then they are committing tax fraud.

          • 0 avatar

            “The tax break is from taxes paid, so if a gravel company owner wanted a $48k H2 for work from $48k in taxes…”

            Look, I know it must seem like a great deal from your perspective, but let’s imagine some alternate universe where a similar program is implemented:

            Because of the “need” for realtors to impress potential clients, the government passes a tax benefit program for business owners who purchase certain high-end sports cars. If the vehicle makes more than 500 horsepower, you are eligible for a write-off. Said program is passed despite the fact that many of the vehicles use leaky nuclear engines that put out known toxic substances as their byproducts. Where are many of the most expensive sports cars claimed as “business vehicles” seen? Safely garaged, while the realtor tools around in something else he’s also managing to get a tax break on.

            You see the problem? Why should a kid in that alternate universe be subjected to growing a third arm, or something, because the gummit is encouraging the purchase of nuclear-powered sports cars as tax shelters?

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Mazda, we could do hypotheticals all day, but realistically there isn’t a case to be made.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I agree about the over taxation. But giving people tax breaks for “supporting the economy” by getting fat and overweight from eating McDonalds, while walking around farting all day, is one heck of a backtarded way to go about solving that problem.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    I completely agree. I for one am sick of seeing these gigantic lifted diesel pickups fill of chrome and corny accessories towering over traffic and destroying our lungs, always completely unloaded of cargo and without a speck of dirt on them.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I’m interested to see this discussion of the actual work capabilities of the gasoline alternatives to these diesel engines.

      In my suburb, nearly all the diesel trucks I see are exactly as anti describes: jacked up outrageously, so clean it’s obvious they’re not being used for serious truck work, and blatantly functional only as codpieces to disguise certain shortcomings of their owners. This, to me at least, is not sufficient reason to let them choke others to death, much as that idea might further gratify them.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Triggered.

    The emissions controls systems on newer diesels are doing a pretty good job of driving consumers away from them.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    The new F150 has a payload of 2650 pounds. It’s a 1-ton truck *with* a driver and 2 passengers to boot, equivalent to a 20 year old F350. The 3/4 and 1-“ton” trucks nowadays are closer to medium than light-duty.

    That said, I don’t think requiring a CDL for the diesel and not the gas version is a good way to go. There’s too few of those around – even if it doesn’t seem like it – to make that much of a difference, and modern emissions controls (particulate filters in particular) are dealing with the concern, even though they are contributing heavily to the reliability issues mentioned.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    My livelihood is dependent on big trucks, yet I agree with your sentiment.

    Better yet: clamp down on people bypassing emission controls. The downside to this would be having the EPA fining us for adjusting the carburetor on yard tools and classic vehicles. We already cannot buy carburetor tools for small engines…

    Mexico City was a sh1t hole mostly due to corrupt emission certification officials. You could literally see the smog ‘clouds’ whenever you put on polarized sunglasses. It was horrible. Everyone had allergies when there weren’t any plants around to emit pollen.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it’s already illegal in most states for your vehicle to “roll coal.” But at least in Michigan it’s lumped under traffic code 3400, which covers any defective/improper equipment violation. and those “fix it” tickets can be waived if you go back to the station within a certain time period and show that it’s been corrected.

      so the powers that be would rather have the police sit around and nab people going 5 mph over the speed limit for revenue, rather than actually do something USEFUL.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I agree. Clamp down upon emissions tampering first and foremost.

      The next problem is do we do something like Jack has proposed? Is the benefit as great as stated?

      Are we going to eliminate every cause of premature death?

      Gun deaths in the USA number around 12K per year. Do we ban guns or pass laws that limit purchase and ownership to only those that can prove a specific need (i.e. wilderness survival, police or military)?

      It is estimated that 1 in 5 deaths in the USA are attributable to obesity? Do we ban MacDonalds or any other fast food franchise?

      Do we ban motorcycles because of the increased probability of death?

      Do we ban all cars that are not under autonomous control?

      It is pretty easy to post an opinion piece about banning big diesel pickups on a “car” site since we already see a ton (no pun intended) of animosity levied towards full sized pickups.

      Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Passive inhalation of cigarette smoke is right up there. Radon is basically #2 if you include the former under the banner of tobacco deaths. Environmental factors including diesel particulates and smog round out the list.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ban Radon! Wait where does that come from… oh yeah the Earth. Clearly the Earth needs to be banned too.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @28-Cars-Later – To a great degree, I was being a devil’s advocate.

          It is easy for Jack to single out pickups since that has a less of an impact on his personal life than banning guns, motorcycles, fast cars, and fast food.

          The legislator or one proposing the legislation is often all too ready to put restrictions on something that isn’t going to be much of a sacrifice or inconvenience to them.

          Harm reduction is an interesting topic of debate with the trillion dollar question being: where do we start and where do we stop?

          How much secondary damage will we do by implementing these policies?

          Is the cure more deadly than the disease?

          In many respects this is no different than the global warming debate.
          Pollution related death is a problem just like global warming is a problem. Again, where do we start and where do we start?

          A more pragmatic approach is needed. What will yield the most bang for the buck?

          I’m willing to bet that eliminating heating oil use would reduce fine particulate much more than banning or restricting diesel pickup use.

          We got plenty of natural gas and once again Jack is masterful at expelling his. ;)

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Jack’s playing devil’s advocate as well. But you’re correct in saying that the slope is just gonna get slipperier!

  • avatar
    relton

    I totally agree. Diesels are dirty, no matter how you look at I. Clean Diesels are just like clean pigs – you still wouldn’t want one in the living room.

    Another major source of diesel pollution the mass transit systems in most cities. In Ann Arbor, we have a fleet of about 100 diesel busses that run, most of the time, with only a handful passengers. I once calculated that we would save fuel, and drastically reduce emissions, if we garaged all the busses and just gave each passenger a new Ford Focus.

    VW’s diesel scandal may have the beneficial side effect of reducing the number of diesel cars in America, though given the small sales of diesel cars here, it won’t be much.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Actually, a clean pig is /very clean./ They’re incredibly smart, too–if they had opposable thumbs, we could train them to do manual tasks like a chimpanzee.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Jack, you are sounding positively European right now. All should be free to buy whatever vehicle they choose and pollute as they choose as well. If we all die of lung cancer and emphysema under a thick cloud of Shanghai style smog, who cares?

    At least we would have died as FREE MEN.

    • 0 avatar
      bobmaxed

      LOL Love your sarcasm.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I feel like there is a middle ground between “we all die of lung cancer” and requiring someone with a 2.7L Colorado to get a CDL.

      Is there any actual study about the impact of personal use diesel trucks on the environment? These things aren’t *that* thick on the ground in the first place. This seems like a case of finding the redneck neighbor annoying so we want to put the screws to him over needing to solve an actual issue.

      And, why are trucks being singled out? A Ram Ecodiesel isn’t polluting any more than a 3.0 Grand Cherokee Overland, but the Ram driver is the problem? Or are the diesel Cayenne and Liberty owners going to have get CDLs too? W123 ownets with minimal emissions equipment are exempt forever?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        What is the fatality rate attributed to diesel PM anyway?

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Proving a substance is mutagenic is pretty easy. So yes, a direct cause and effect in numerical terms is impossible to construct.
          The reasoning your question presents is quite similar to the tobacco companies’ defense of their product.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            If wanting to understand the degree of a problem before we change a bunch of vehicle licensing statutes puts me on the side of tobacco companies then call me Joe Camel.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, you can’t 100% prove that someone will die of lung cancer, heart disease or emphysema either, ajla…but you’d be a complete idiot to ignore the data on it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            But you look so cool with your Lucky Strike non-filters.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @danio3834

          The science of Microbiology has grown exponentially and so has the understanding of cellular function. The mutagenicity of various chemicals is getting to be well understood. Probability theory can extrapolate data to the greater population.

          Cancer is more complex that just being exposed to a DNA altering chemical. Billions of dollars are being spent trying to find out why exposure can cause cancer in one person and not another.

          Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease is also well understood and that lung damage can easily be estimated based on exposure.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Well, at least the biodiesel-converted ones smell nice! (If you like your car to smell like McDonald’s! Wonder what they charge per gallon of used fryer oil? :-) )

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I ate at Quaker Steak and Lube one time. The server who almost ran me over in the parking lot as he was rushing in was my server for the meal. He then proceeded to tell me that he was late (though not sorry for almost running me over) because his girlfriend’s dog ate a used condom and he had to extract it from the hungry pooch’s mouth.

    The chili I ordered came from a can and was gross.

    I don’t like Quaker Steak and Lube and have not gone back since.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “Quaker Steak and Lube”??

      Did your waiter change your oil and filter while you dined, then came back with oily hands, trying to sell you chocolate mousse pie and a tranny service???

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I ate in the Quaker State and Lube on Forbes Ave in Oakland once. It was OK. but nothing to write home about. IMHO, the best steak sandwiches always come form indie places, never from franchised chain restaurants.
      As for diesels, modern turbo gassers make them completely unnecessary in cars. I test drove a 1.6L Ford Fusion two years ago and was astonished at the low end torque. In fact, I think it had too much low end torque as I had a hard time driving it in traffic without tailgating the car in front of me. I was either lightly touching the gas or braking. I just couldn’t find that sweet spot on the go pedal.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Do the Fusion-sized EcoBoosts have GDI?

        And you presumably meant “Steak!” :-)

        “Waiter, excuse me, this sandwich tastes heavy — could you please have it re-done with a 0W-30?”

        “Sorry sir, that’s because you were using transmission fluid for ketchup, and it should have been power steering fluid! We’ll get that fixed in a Jiffy for you! How ’bout a “coolant” drink while you wait! Regular or DEX-COOL??!!”

        (I crack myself up!)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The only one I know of here in Denver closed.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    I see a new pickup simulate a 1962 Belchfire and it’s just a travesty. I understand an old truck – but a brand new Ford shouldn’t be modified to spew soot. It’s a crime against nature using things not for their intended function.

    I dream of a world where you could purchase Canola Oil at the service station pump and they ran the diesel engines on that. The smell would be glorious. Paris would really class up things if they just required running them with a nice peanut oil within the city limits.

    Who wants fries?

    The Internet tells me it would work, and Wal Mart sells canola at $5/gal.

    America could bloom with thousands upon millions of acres of legumes to squeeze the oil from in a glorious alternative fuel!

    Edit: And think of using all the extra CO2 to feed those lovely peapods and peanut plants! Green the earth!

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      you can run at least some diesel engines on straight vegetable oil (SVO.) But usually you need to have some sort of pre-heating rig to warm the oil to about 200 degrees F before the engine can effectively run on it, so people who do so often start the truck on normal diesel fuel, then when the vegetable oil is hot enough (heated via engine coolant) they switch over.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Whatever you do, don’t google pictures of disassembled engines that were ran on SVO or WVO . . . it’s a hot-button topic for the true believers, but I’ve researched it enough myself (having owned three diesel-powered vehicles) that I would only use it as a base stock for making biodiesel.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        Because it’s vegetable oil DOES NOT mean it isn’t harmful when burned.’natural organic’ stuff still produces harmful products. Consider wood stoves for example, or tobacco.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    I vote we go a bit further with this idea, and require a CDL and logbook etc for anything that is EPA classified as a “truck”.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      It wouldn’t be too hard to come up with software that creates a log for you.
      Who is going to check and enforce compliance?

      In Canada we already have a shortage of vehicle inspectors.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    How about this simple rule:

    Nothing bigger than a half ton in the passing lane. Trucks over 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight governed to 65 mph.

    Enforcement can be done through data mining: you get a ticket for doing 75 and your truck’s supposed to be limited to 65, the truck comes off the road and you get a huge additional fine. All of that data is in the public record.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      65 MPH makes no sense, these trucks can comfortably run 90 MPH all day long, they aren’t the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Big rigs can also run 90 all day long, doesn’t mean they should.

        One of my cars is rated to run 140 all day, but the damn government won’t let me…

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I’m not really sure where your going with this, your unhappy you can’t run what your cars rated at, so similarly everyone else shouldn’t be able to run at the speeds they’re capable of?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            My point is that speed limits have very little to do with what’s considered “comfortable” by drivers.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            My DD has a GVWR of 8600 lbs and its just as comfortable driving at 80 as my dads Mazda 3.

            I’m saying that these 2500s and 3500s of 2016 do not drive the same way as the 3/4 trucks of 1976.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            So your point is that speed limits should be punitive? Did you just pull 8500lbs and 65mph out of thin air?

            I’m also against this plan.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Not sure what’s punitive and what’s not in this case. Aren’t all speed limits “punitive?”

            Jack proposed a complex system to control a perceived problem.
            What I suggest instead is to use simpler rules. I won’t comment on whether or not the intent makes sense, that’s Jack’s baby.

            It does make a certain amount of sense that a truck that’s too heavy for EPA ratings shouldn’t have full unrestricted access to federal highways.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I referred to your plan as “punitive” because it singles out certain classes of vehicles in an attempt to make them less attractive to own. It also sounded like it would be subject to much stricter enforcement than other vehicle classes.

            By your own admission the idea is an alternative to Jack’s proposal, which was to get large personal use diesel trucks off the road.

            Speed limits traditionally are all-inclusive. Some states have lower limits when towing but those are implemented for safety not to make towing stuff less appealing.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            ajla,

            Trucks over 8,500 get a free pass on fuel economy. That doesn’t mean they should get a free pass for everything else.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            It’s not like the fuel economy standards would make any difference on 3/4 trucks, it would just make them less reliable. Using the lack of fuel economy numbers as a crux for your argument doesn’t make your argument any stronger.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            HH:

            Well, I’m against you (and Jack) on this one. I’m perfectly okay with the trucks getting a “free pass”.

            Lucky for me I don’t anticipate any federal truck-specific legislation coming through in the next few years, so I won’t have to march on Washington.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Hummer,

            Not “a crux,” just something to get a sense of scale.

            HD trucks are being used as family cars, and they are exempt from gas mileage regs that everyone else has to follow. Why shouldn’t they be limited in other ways?

            Commercial operators would not object to a reasonable speed limit on federal highways (other than on partisan grounds, obviously).

            Current laws incentivize people to buy more truck than they need, or know how to drive.

            Not talking about those that have a genuine need for HD trucks. In my experience those people are some of the more responsible drivers on the road. They don’t mind obeying a reasonable speed limit, because they know and respect the limits of their rigs.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Reading your lane discipline entries above, I’d say you would do well on the Autobahn. I do suspect for sustained red-line in top gear top speed operation you would likely choose not to drive that vehicle pictured in your avatar. German gas prices would likely be a disincentive as well.

            I do wonder if the USA had unlimited speeds on the interstates, if that would change the mix of vehicle types on the roads.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pickups have gotten progressively larger in part to avoid emissions regulations. That is the ultimate irony of this debate. GVW and footprint rules encourage the production of larger vehicles.

            One could make it mandatory for all vehicles to be rated for mpg or energy consumed per mile/km along with pollution emitted per mile/km. Those emissions would include fine particulate.

            User/licencing fees could be levied on a sliding scale. You polute more you pay a lot more. You consume more fuel, you pay more.

            Exemptions or levy reductions could be allowed for legitimate commercial use.

            If a guy wants to drive an F450 to work or a 10mpg Hellcat than so be it. Just expect to pay through the ass for the privilege.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        It’s not the accelerating or the cruising; it’s the braking and turning. Using Car and Driver’s numbers, an F-350 takes 208 feet to stop from 70 (unloaded), whereas an F-150 5.0 CrewCab 4×4 takes 188 feet. And a 911 needs 136 feet. Lateral acceleration numbers (i.e., cornering) are similar. Arguing that a vehicle’s capacity to turn and stop might inform a safe speed limit for it is not ludicrous. And if we did this, either by lowering limits for large trucks or raising them for better-handling cars, enough people might choose the smaller option to benefit us all.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Who is benefited exactly? How many times have you had to use your brakes to stop at that small of a length. ABS has made the stopping time of 3/4 trucks fully acceptable for everyday driving.

          • 0 avatar
            smartascii

            I’m saying that in an emergency braking situation, the 20-foot difference between the F-350 and F-150 might be the difference between a loss of life or property and not. So the person who does not have an accident because the larger, less capable vehicle was traveling at a slower rate of speed will benefit. And, obviously, this kind of emergency braking isn’t an everyday occurrence for any driver who’s not terrible at it, but it only takes one time.

            Also, ABS helps, but as evidenced by the stopping distances noted in my original post, it doesn’t overcome the laws of physics. If you don’t get how a 7k-pound HD truck is inherently less maneuverable/stoppable (and causes more damage in an accident) than a smaller, lighter car *at the same speed* then you’re being willfully ignorant. It’s obvious, and it’s true.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I have no idea how you would implement and emforce this. Is the government going to require an annual “track test” of everyone’s vehicle?

          Also, just about every study shows that speed differential is what causes highway safety problems so letting some cars run at 90 while some are restricted to 60 will decrease road safety.

          • 0 avatar
            smartascii

            Semis in Europe are restricted to 80 KPH (around 42 MPH). Speed limits for cars are higher. They have fewer accidents per 100,000 miles traveled than we do, at greater overall traffic densities. I think the difference is lane discipline; I’m not sure. But the point of HeavyHandle’s original suggestion was that, if we reduce the speed limits for HD trucks in the name of safety, people will choose to buy smaller, less-polluting vehicles if they can. If this pisses you off for some reason or other, we could raise the speed limits for lighter vehicles. My response to Hummer was merely to say that, no matter what speed you deem safe for an HD pickup, the braking and handling characteristics of lighter vehicles make them safer at that same speed, so having graduated speed limits isn’t in itself some kind of exercise in stupidity. It may not be workable (and that’s fine), but it seems a less punitive method than Jack’s notion of requiring everyone to get a CDL if they want a diesel truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Regardless of how you feel about the capabilities of HD trucks, can you back up opinions with facts showing large trucks are any more likely to be involved in accidents than small cars?

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        A big rig’s stopping and accident avoidance abilities are likely not up to the task of 90MPH.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          consider that drum brakes are still very common on heavy trucks, since they’re easier to actuate pneumatically.

          it’s surprisingly easy to lock up every single wheel on a big truck.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Some of the most dangerous drivers I encounter are HD truck drivers thinking that because their engine is comfortable at 90 mph that means their brakes, trailers, and trailer tires are comfortable too.

        Cars and trucks alike should be governed to 70 mph max when pulling trailers.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      How about 65 for trucks over 26000, and 75 for trucks over 8500 GVWR?

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        How about 75 over 8,500, and 10 over that on a federally highway makes it a federal offense?
        You wouldn’t even need a speed governor, and you could still get your kid to the hospital in an emergency, provided a jury of your peers agrees with you.

        • 0 avatar
          benchslap

          I am being pedantic, but the federal government has zero authority over speed enforcement except on federal property (national parks, military bases, etc.)

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Enforcement needn’t be their responsibility. If you get a speeding ticket on the Interstate, it goes into the public record. They could use that conviction as evidence that you violated a new federal law: the “brodozer/d-bag act of 2016”.

            The neat thing here is that it’s a very easy law to enforce. It doesn’t prevent anybody from buying what they want. It doesn’t force you to get a license that was originally meant for a something else. It doesn’t have any effect on any driver who is acting like an adult. All it does is provide a clear nationwide rule: get convicted for going 10 over the limit on the Interstate with a HD truck and it becomes a federal matter (on top of whatever state laws apply).

            The obvious precedent is mail fraud. If you use the Postal System to commit a crime, it’s a federal offense, on top of whatever local/state laws may apply.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    I’m absolutely in agreement with this whole piece. Of course, my values draw me to buy what’s sufficient for my needs and little more.

    But you had better believe the Detroit 3 would raise a conniption fit if any sort of regulation as described came up on the docket. They’d hurl numerous reasons as to why this would damage their viability as businesses. The sad part is that it probably would probably cripple them if urbanite poseurs couldn’t appease their big rig fetish. So, yeah, I guess there’s that.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      The US auto companies have been bitching about regulations since positive crankcase ventilation and lap seat belts were made a requirements in the 60’s.
      So, 50 years of bitching, and complying, and operating profitably the whole time (well most of the time except for Big Brother Big Government bailing two of them out). Yup, so it is self evident that those communist Marxist big government regulations clearly kill the “free market” and make doing any sort of for profit business impossible.
      How dare a democratically elected government take measures to protect the health of We The People?
      Am I right?

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    As was brought up during TDIgate, light duty vehicles are responsible for about 10% of the smog. Meaning there are bigger targets out there (*cough* industry *ahem*). However if you cost those targets more money they in turn threaten to pack up and move to China. Not a popular move politically. So like with distracted driving laws, government can pick on the consumer, implement some laws that don’t really solve the problem and point back to us and say “See? We did something about it. So vote for us.”

    Not that the stuff coming out of gas-powered V8 is any better, you just can’t see/smell it. Any commercial license restrictions should affect gas and Diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Explain what harmful substance is coming out of a gas engine with properly functioning emissions equipment.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Generally licencing is based on the mass of the vehicle, and it’s size, not what powers it.

      I do agree with licencing restriction based on performance. So, say a young learner drivers should say have over a couple hundred horsepower for the first year, then gradually increase the power available to them as they learn to drive, similar to how many open wheel drivers start out in carts and the very lucky and few can drive F1.

      Here in Australia there are HP restrictions for young drivers and even riders.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    You can file this one under Ain’t Gonna Happen. The more likely outcome is that emissions standards will tighten, and future vehicles will comply with those stricter standards.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Sounds like statism from our resident self proclaimed libertarian.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      In my experience, the farther to the right someone self-identifies, the more likely they are to propose a legislative solutions to any perceived problem. Especially if they aren’t the ones impacted.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        people who complain about “big government” usually really mean “laws preventing me from doing what I want to do.” they’re usually all for laws preventing *other* people from doing something.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Because self-identifying leftists prefer executive action to new legislation?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          In the last 7 years, I’ve only seen executive action used as a last resort because of a legislative branch that refuses to do its job.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Yes, that’s the mandated response. Good boy!

          • 0 avatar
            VCplayer

            Some might say that new laws are supposed to require a broad consensus amongst elected representatives to come into being, rather than being muscled into existence through the president’s enforcement capabilities, but yeah, it’s probably just that they don’t want to do their job.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      It is a long established principle in our nation that while individuals have rights, those rights are limited when they impact the rights of others. Freedom of speech does not mean you can yell ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater.

      People may smoke, but not if their second hand smoke is killing others. Same principle here.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Your right to swing your fists ends at the tip of my nose.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I am almost certain you won’t get the reference but I swear you are the MDB of this board.

        So because something exists, and it could be modified to do something illegal and thus “impact the rights of others” -or break existing laws- it needs to be so restricted it is practically banned? So that’s: guns (auto fire), computers (piracy), automobiles (emissions worship), household chemicals (drugs) just off the top of my head. I realize you may yourself embrace statism but this is a twisted turn of events for a libertarian, even one which other libertarians may deem a conservative one.

        Seriously Jack, behold the hypocrisy in your own writing:

        “This being the United States of America, with all that implies, I would never suggest that we restrict the purchase of pickup trucks to commercial entities.”

        “The easiest way to do this would be to restrict the operation or ownership of a diesel pickup to holders of a commercial truck license.”

        You may dislike the morons who “roll coal”, and you may dislike people who buy more truck than they need, but “rolling coal” already breaks existing laws and those doing so statistically do not matter. You want to crusade against NOx, you crusade against power plants which make up 95% of emissions as of six years ago which is the most recent statistic I read. You want to end “coal rolling”? You petition mother government to put more teeth into the existing laws or enforcement.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          28CL,
          I don’t think you read the article. It’s not about rolling coal. The point is that ALL diesel engines emit pollutants which are harmful, even deadly.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VoGo,
            Read the SAE link I provided below. You’ll be very surprised on how much more particulates a modern GDI emits over a filtered US diesel.

            Even the EcoBoost emits more particulates than a truck fitted with a diesel, or tractor, or bulldozer.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I did, and I was horrified. Action on both fronts is needed.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            So do gasoline engines, so do electric vehicles by which the electricity to generate them through air pollution or nuclear waste, and by extension the milk you drink via the cows creating methane in the atmosphere which and I quote “Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is more than 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period”. That’s right, your need to exist and drink MILK is indirectly contributing to “climate change”. *Pause for Gasp*

            If the argument really is everything pollutes to some degree therefore *statism* to the rescue, then that’s a really sh!tty argument and whomever is parroting is a f*cking moron (although based on Mark Stevenson’s later counterpoint piece, I suspect Baruth is trolling us).

            “Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities. In 2014, CH4 accounted for about 10.6% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Methane is emitted by natural sources such as wetlands, as well as human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems and the raising of livestock. Natural processes in soil and chemical reactions in the atmosphere help remove CH4 from the atmosphere. Methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere is much shorter than carbon dioxide (CO2), but CH4 is more efficient at trapping radiation than CO2. Pound for pound, the comparative impact of CH4 on climate change is more than 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.”

            https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/ch4.html

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Methane has virtually no relevance to an argument in favor of reducing particulate matter.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            He decided the article premise was all diesel motors emit pollutants, but so does everything else we need in society to some degree, which was my point.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I do agree that “28” is missing the part about all diesels.

            I do agree with the part of his post that points out the fact that there are larger polluters out there than diesel pickups.

            The topic at hand is fine particulate not cow farts.

            But that raises an interesting counterpoint:

            If I become a vegan does that give me moral high ground to buy a lifted F450 crewcab ?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m sorry, but you’re offering a completely absurd argument.

            Imagine if someone argued that we shouldn’t prosecute robbers because there are also burglars and arsonists and rapists. (Hey, there are all kinds of other crimes, so why worry about any of them?)

            Imagine if someone argued that we shouldn’t prosecute murderers because death by other means is already commonplace.

            We’re supposed to suck in harmful particulate matter because cows fart? Is that really the best that you can do?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Pch101 – for the most part “cow farts” was meant as humour.

            I know that somewhere inside that Spock-like Vulcan persona you project lies a sense of humour.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Er, Lou, you need to pay closer attention. He just made that argument above.

            Apparently, we don’t have to worry about NOx because methane is produced by livestock. It’s a lame argument, but that’s exactly what he’s claiming.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Statism in not a blanket 100% evil. It can be appropriate and effective in the right circumstances. It can be abused too, so a little intelligence in using it is needed.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I find the phrase “intelligent government” to be an oxymoron.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          So, you must be in favor of anarchy? No government at all?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “In political science, statism is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree.[1] Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism. An individual who supports extensive intervention by the state is a statist. An individual who supports a very intervention by the state is a libertarian.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism

            “Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies based on voluntary institutions. These are often described as stateless societies,[1][2][3][4] although several authors have defined them more specifically as institutions based on non-hierarchical free associations.[5][6][7][8] Anarchism considers the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful.[9][10] While anti-statism is central,[11] anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organisation in the conduct of all human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism

            I don’t believe true Anarchism is possible unless society was completely destroyed first (i.e post nuclear apocalypse) simply because the existing power structure would devolve into a series of factions to create city-states in some places and sew chaos in between. Given this reality, I would align more with Libertarianism which is closer to the ideals of most of the nation’s Founders. The students of Statism have killed hundreds of millions of people in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            We don’t have to speculate about what systems work. There is plenty of actual empirical experience to look at.

            Totalitarianism doesn’t work for anyone except the rulers. We also don’t have totalitarianism or anything remotely close to it, no matter how much some people whine and moan about ordinary government regulation.

            Anarchism and pure libertarianism don’t work for anyone except the warlords who inevitably spring up. Under those systems, everyone has to spend so much of their time and effort ensuring basic safety that nothing more advanced can get done, and those who are best at ensuring their own safety end up as de facto rulers.

            What does work? Liberal democracy combined with effective legal institutions. There are multiple flavors of that system that have achieved pretty good results, in terms of creating a society people would want to live in. The problems in the US come mostly from basic rules not being enforced very well, whereas the problems in Europe tend to come from safety nets that need design changes.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Wikipedia is not a legitimate source. Do not cite it as an authority.

            Statism is the “concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry.”

            In other words, it’s a synonym for socialism, which calls for government ownership of major industries. It isn’t what you think it is, and most of the wingnuts on this website who accuse others of being “statists” have no clue about what they’re talking about.

        • 0 avatar

          Yes. He’s criticizing the government, or at least how it tends to function, so clearly he wants anarchy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            C’mon you’re smarter than this. I post references to encourage thought and cement my assertions, even if we may disagree I hope new thought is encouraged in your own mind.

          • 0 avatar

            I was coming to your defense. I get tired of the anarchist label being thrown just because someone thinks the government is overbearing and/or incompetent (especially given that it is both).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My bad, but that is how I feel (encouraging thought).

          • 0 avatar

            Good luck. This is a brave new world, my friend. We don’t have an open court of ideas these days. We have echo chambers.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @ttacgreg – unfortunately we often do see “little intelligence” used in drafting legislation.

        Often legislators care more about making it appear that they are doing something as opposed to actually doing something.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Emission delete, 8″ stacks “coal rolling” brodozers are extremely VISIBLE, a huge part of their appeal, but fairly rare considering, when you do the math, especially in densely populated urban areas where it mostly matters. Except that’s where gross polluting TDIs and slammed Acuras/Civics with the ‘cats’ cut out, thrive and fly under the radar.

  • avatar
    Hogie roll

    Jack’s porker probably makes more emissions burning all that oil it’s cooled with than a modern diesel! Heeeyyoo!

  • avatar
    TheGrainman

    The new Bugatti Chiron makes 1180 ft-lbs of torque. Unfortunately, only the author would posit that makes it a good towing engine. He’s trying to compare apples to giraffes. His experience pulling a car around is both insulting and laughable. Real men out in the trenches are pulling equipment, stacks of hay, etc. In engineering we have a tile if thumb that you have to divide the “power” by the RPMs to get a relative measure of usability. Its why am old Cat with 120 hp will drag your silly child ecoboost. I honestly am sorry about the bros and their misplaced sense of masculinity but this proposed legislation is a joke. You want my farm to require a CDL? We can’t afford that but who needs local small farms anyway, right? Sure would make my life easier if I only worked one full time job. We already have to get a Class A and a commercial registration in California. So maybe you just didn’t do any research.

  • avatar
    benchslap

    How has no one mentioned fuel economy yet? My Power Stroke gets 17-19mpg combined whether fully loaded or empty. The V10 gets like 9mpg on a good day. Once gas prices go back up, that is a massive difference in expense.

    Additionally, in the collective praise of the EcoBoost, it has been left out that it tends to get worse mileage than an equivalent V8 when towing or under load.

  • avatar
    sandmed

    It’s become nearly impossible to disable emission controls on pickups since RAM went to urea injection in 2013. Just as important, EPA put the hammer down on distributors of the engine software that disables the limp mode control over the emission equipment on the truck. If you try to modify anything relatively new without the aftermarket software it just refuses to run.

    So we’ll see the mods gradually disappear over the next 10 years or so. And meanwhile most states have inspections which can take out the violators. No need to make new laws.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    “the same way AR-15s jump in price any time Mr. Obama gets on television and starts wringing his hands about any mass shooting that can’t be attributed to religious extremism”

    WTF Baruth? Did you really think this needed to be part of your rant? Heres a stat for you to think about….in 2013 there were 33,169 deaths in the US related to firearms (excluding firearm deaths due to legal intervention). 1.3% of all deaths in the country were related to firearms. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_02.pdf

    Before anyone accuses me of being a left coast tree hugger I’ll cut you off before you start…I was born and raised in Alaska and have killed more living things with guns than anyone should have a right to. I only wish I had quit believing the NRA/GOP crap earlier.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Where in Alaska, if you don’t mind my asking?

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      That means that gun deaths are about 103 per million people. If the EPA numbers Jack’s quoting are correct (and I have no knowledge of how they’re calculated or what percentage of that’s composed of the US fleet of diesel pickups) then his 500 to 8,000 deaths per million (Per year? He’s not specific.) equates to between 160,000 and 2,500,000 deaths. There is therefore *some* possibility that diesel trucks kill more people than guns. That doesn’t seem correct, but there you go…

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      I feel Jack only mentioned that as a thing that always happens, without actually adding any political meaning to it (but he sure made it widely open for interpretation)
      Also, if I recall correctly of those 30K killed, over 20k pulled the trigger thelmselves, so evolution is ‘thinning’ the ranks already.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    While I usually agree with Jack, this one seems a little out of character. I’m always skeptical on the correlation of deaths to some random vice of the month. People dying of lung cancer caused directly by diesel particulates. Really? Not second hand smoke anymore? Environmental dust? Tire fires? BBQ grills?

    It’s also humorous to listen to non-truck people talk about what truck people actually need, versus what they can get. You can insert literally ANY two groups in this discussion, and one will say the other can get by without X. Racing for instance. Who needs to do that? There is already a substantial barrier to entry on these trucks, and that’s the $50k starting price point on most of them. Not convinced we need to add legislation to that. So really this article was created as a click generator, which I’m sure it will do a bang-up job at.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    The laws against rolling coal are already on the books, they just need to get enforced.

    Around here, I can tell you the number of times I’ve seen/heard about a truck getting ticketed because its wheels were wider than its body: 0.

    I can tell you the number of diesel owners who have got an emissions ticket for rolling coal: 0.

    I can tell you the number of truck owners who get tickets for installing amateur 15 million k HID lights: 0.

    The number of stancenation cars with fartcans that pull emissions tickets is insane. And they’re serious tickets – they can easily hit a few grand. One guy said his emissions ticket cost more than his turbo.

    Selective law enforcement is bologna and undermines the rule of law. We need to enforce laws or take them off the books.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Great article, Jack.

  • avatar
    AzianRedneck08

    As a diesel enthusiast, I don’t want any sort of limitation or ban on diesel trucks. I will say a number of owners have ruined it for people, but if done right, people can have a modified diesel truck and not be a nuisance to other folk on the road. The right way to modify it, is to limit the amount of smoke “coal” because it isn’t as efficient and it is just unburned fuel. I’ve researched and found that some modifications will help diesel trucks. Modifications can add fuel economy and power like any other modification, but that doesn’t necessarily mean coal will be spewed out all over the place. By the same token, I don’t see people complaining when a modified gas car has some exhaust come out, or if it’s so loud to annoy others. Every genre of car people have something that they don’t particularly care for, but I find that diesel trucks have been getting the most crap for it.
    I don’t see how limiting or banning something makes sense in the automotive world. Today it’s diesel trucks, tomorrow its modifications on cars in general. People don’t have to like everything people do to their vehicles. Some people don’t modify vehicles, other’s dump tons into a civic. If you ban one genre of car, then that just leaves it open for the banning of all genres of cars.

    • 0 avatar
      bcunningham68

      This article is such a bs topic. There would be riots because of this. Being a diesel owner that pulls a boat or Polaris on the weekends I couldn’t imagine having to get a license to drive to my ranch or the lake.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What a load of fncking sh!t Jack.

    I’m pretty open to most any article, even the advertarticle like the one on French cars.

    But this is quite inane, even from you.

    http://articles.sae.org/13624/

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      BAFO,
      Just because GDI engines pollute doesn’t mean we shouldn’t limit the pollution caused by diesel engines.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VoGo, as is well known I’d like to be addressed as Big Al, Al, Big Al from Oz. Thank you again as I’ve already highlighted this point to you previously. “Al” is easier to type in than “BAFO”. Hmmmm …… trolling from you??????

        Now, on with an answer to you comment.

        Where did I “state” what you put forward?

        My comment has nothing to do with your statement. My comment is directed at Jack for such an ill researched trolling article, with no truth.

        The problem in the EU is the older diesels. Unfortunately the EU still has millions of Euro IV and below diesels on the street. When the GFC hit the EU should of targeted these vehicles only for their cash for clunkers programs.

        As for the US, new diesels overall are cleaner than new gasoline engines in relation to particulate emissions. Another whammy on top of the GDI’s greater particulate emissions over a diesel is the particulates from a GDI (according to the article) are smaller than diesel and can lodge deeper into the lungs, causing more damage.

        I’m also pro diesel/compression ignition, as I do consider this the best route to take for FE improvements.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Big Al,
          No offense intended with the acronym. I honestly didn’t know.

          Personally, I think that where we have strong evidence something is killing us, we should take prudent steps to limit the harm, especially when the only cost is to the precious egos of suburban dads desperate to show they are tough with diesel pickups. (this is not directed at you)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @VG – Yeah, don’t ever use the BAFO acronym. No exceptions. Unless you’re in a hurry.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BAFO is more upset about Jack stating diesel pickups would be better served by being replaced by Ecoboosts. The mention of Raptor was another bee in his bonnet.

            I’m still waiting for aluminum being intertwined into the topic.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “we shouldn’t limit the pollution caused by diesel engines.”

        No one is saying that we shouldn’t. My understanding is that our diesel emission laws are some of the strictest in the world. Our country’s diesel passenger car market is nonexistent, we uncovered the TDI scandal, and the HD diesel trucks being complained about here generally cost over $60k and make up a mini fraction of the personal-use market.

        Is there any proof at all that our emission rules are failing to make a positive impact or that an increase in personal use diesels are causing additional harm to people and the environment?

        If we need to decrease diesel pollution beyond the current level, why don’t we make the emission standards we already have stricter instead of screwing around with licensing rules or speed limits?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          They are stricter than your gasoline laws. This is why I make comments to a certain few regarding the fairness of US emissions regualtions, as with many other regualtions protecting Detroit.

          These are called technical barriers.

          These GDI emissions were known about with the advent of the GDI technology.

          Why hasn’t the EPA acted on this, long ago??

  • avatar
    GT_Fan

    My 2000 Ram 2500 with the 8.0l gas V10 pulls my 34′ fifth wheel travel trailer just fine. I’ve been all over the country with it. It would be nice to get the better mileage and torque that a Cummins offers, but I saved a ton of money up front and haven’t had any problems with the engine.
    Another issue: I hunt with this truck and I’ve got to say that not having to deal with turbo lag makes inching my way up rocky Jeep trails a lot easier. The lack of diesel clatter also means that when I get out to hunt, I haven’t scared away every elk within five miles.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    “…than the minor contributions of private automobiles to climate change.”

    Oh, would that it were.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    Jack,

    I love your comment “This being the United States of America, with all that implies, I would never suggest that we restrict the purchase of pickup trucks to commercial entities. You should be free to buy what you like.”

    Yet, in the SAME paragraph, you decide that we need to restrict these vehicles to commercial (CDL, DOT, etc.) users.

    So a person that does a lot of highway driving and wants the fuel efficiency and durability of a Cummins Diesel can’t have on because he/she doesn’t have a CDL which cost additional $$ and training upfront and to maintain (Gee thanks !! All I wanted was to drive a Ram 2500, but I know how to drive a 18 wheeler…)

    Since I love this insane concept, why limit your concept to just diesels?

    Let’s find where people live and if you live close enough to work (let’s say under 2 miles), you can’t own a car. “It’s better for the environment”

    You state that taking six occupants out of a F250 crew and gave them a Harley Davidson it would be better. Why ? Harley’s are noisy and are dangerous when mixed with cars (never mind the big truck that HAVE to remain). Let’s just give everyone a bicycle! Look at the gas and environment we can save then !!!!!

    People are going to buy what they want as long as they can afford it. Just have “Big Brother” levy a nice tax on diesels under, say 20,000 lbs. GVWR and you will get the same thing.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Truck manufacturers will never let anything like this happen.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Very good article. When I visited Ankara a few years ago, I stepped out of the cab downtown and just about choked on the diesel fumes. I thought, ‘Seriously? Their government wants everyone to drive these oil-burners?” Spent the next week with an annoying cough and dripping eyes.
    Back here, I live in Alberta, Canada where what you call “Bro-Dozers” we call “Rig-Rockets.” You can sit at a stop light in Edmonton and be completely surrounded by 1-ton diesel quad-cab four-bys. Unlike highway tractors, their exhaust pipes are right at bumper level for us in cars. And yes, the boys here have discovered rolling-coal too. Generally though, diesels in North America are far more regulated for emissions than in a place like Ankara.
    While I would never say someone shouldn’t be allowed to buy a rig-rocket if they want, I do think incentivizing other choices is not unreasonable (neo-liberals start your flame-throwers). The deal is we all live every single day with visible and invisible carrots and sticks. When I look at the trucks today I am struck by the thought of how the heck did my dad run his plumbing business with a simple 1/2ton panel truck with an inline-six? In fact, these trucks despite their huge proportions and monstrous torque (650ft-lb?!) are so useless as trucks, the owners all have to pull tool trailers behind them.
    The only reason trucks have become the automotive equivalent of heavy steroid use gym rats is marketing. Trucks became what they are because musclecars were essentially legislated away. The manufacturers were happy to offer a high-powered product that met easier emissions and safety regs and – bonus – was cheaper to build with bigger profit margins and would be snapped up by younger guys with cash!

  • avatar
    slow_poke

    would probably be good for the planet to have annual registration fee be related to GVWR and engine size. @L engine and gvwr of 3500lbs, $n registration fee. 8L engine and gvwr of 9000 then registration is 4x or 5x more… if you wanted to be really draconian, double it for diesel.

  • avatar
    zipster

    Jack sometimes your articles are worthy of a Pulitzer. This is one. Unfortunately, many of your readers cannot discern or focus on the central issue: the health dangers caused by particle emissions. Instead they become distracted by debates over dealing with coal rolling and irrelevant comments on the technical features of different vehicles. Others cannot imagine a world in which they are somehow restricted from displays that they believe enhance their manhood The difference between rolling coal and choosing to drive a vehicle that presents an unreasonable risk of harm to others, primarily because the needs of their ego, is one of degree only.

    Put this article on your trophy wall. I guarantee you will be vindicated.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    But what about the children in my “VoGo” voice.

  • avatar
    BiturboS4

    “the secular religion of climate change”

    Religion is based on blind faith in superstitious writings of bronze-age people, as told to us by institutions that for centuries closely guarded the texts, selectively interpreted to justify cultural biases. Not to be confused with science, the the study of fact, based on evidence and reproduceable results. You know, the basis for climate change.

    Cultural suspicions aside, it amazes me that people are somehow averse to the concept of protecting the planet that makes life possible. In every direction you look out into space, no matter how far you can see, all we can tell is that the conditions that make planets habitable are extremely rare and unreproduceable. Let’s protect the planet we have.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Who exactly is it that has a problem protecting the earth? Certainly not I, just like Scientology I won’t sign up to follow a blind leader that only ridicules and calls for restrictions of the people on this earth.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Umm a huge percentage of scientists on the planet agreeing on human effects causing climate change constitute a “blind leader”?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          The answer to every climate change problem is taxation and restriction of personal liberties, I mean realistically what is the likelihood that certain people aren’t coming out on top?
          In higher education your taught that science is an always changing entity where new information is continuously found and previously held beliefs are continuously changed. In climate change science your told that the science is settled and your a Neanderthal if you question the validity.

          So yes it is blind faith following a blind leader.
          Anything is possible, but little is certain.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Hummer – 97% of scientists agree that climate change is mostly man made. There have been over 2,000 research papers on the topic.
            Case in point:
            Oceanographers don’t study weather, they study oceans and see coral reefs being dissolved.
            WHY?
            CO2 is absorbed by ocean water. It acidifies the water and coral reefs are mostly calcium carbonate dissolving the reefs. A basic chemical reaction to acid.

            I’ll put it in more common terms:

            What are Tums and how do they work?

            Hint= calcium carbonate in tum neutralizes stomach acid.

            Scientists from various disciplines are in agreement on this.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “Religion is based on blind faith in superstitious writings of bronze-age people, as told to us by institutions that for centuries closely guarded the texts, selectively interpreted to justify cultural biases.”

      *tips fedora*

      Are you euphoric yet?

  • avatar
    George B

    Unnecessary micromanagement, Jack. Simply set standards for pollution from a vehicle and require vehicles to meet that standard. Shouldn’t matter what fuel the vehicle uses or how fuel is converted into motion so long as the vehicle passes the pollution test.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    Before I say this, yes I know there are bank/office managers somewhere that drive these big trucks and everyone whines about them. But in my (small amount of)experience most of the people I know who own one, already have a CDL. I have 3 friends with Diesel trucks, and guess what? 3 CDL’s.. it wouldn’t stop them. I plan on being a future owner, and I also have my CDL from working for my dad.

    As for the trucks themselves, I don’t really notice the smell, I think people are just being way too sensitive. I’m not a fan really of “rolling coal” either, or while I’m at it people who life and put wheel spacers on their trucks, yuck. I love the sound diesel clatter though, and the pulling with one is unmatched. Seriously, sure, I can take the company 6.0L Chevy 2500 and get where I’m going. But, I’d way rather take the 6.7L Powerstroke, it doesn’t even break a sweat.

    IMO, neither side of the argument does themselves any favors ever. The truck side by things like rolling coal, lifts, huge wide tires, driving them into highly congested areas, speeding, etc. But neither does the “car” side, bishing about people keeping their 60k investments washed(seriously?), saying every owner is compensating, etc. This proposed idea for a law you’d just drive the divide between them farther I think. Plus this is America, drive your Prius, Civic, whatever-I find them to be miserable to drive around and lacking of value but that’s your choice, let me make mine thank you.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    Alternate title: A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Poor People from being Burthened by Diesel particulates and for Making them Beneficial to the Publick.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The environmentalists probably knew exactly what they were doing when they pushed Europeans into diesel cars in crowded metropolitan areas in order to kill many thousands of people. Hopefully all of the dead were people who thought the government could solve their problems.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    This reminds me of Prop 65 from the great state of California, where basically every product sold in this country has a label that says it causes cancer.

    You look at any substance closely enough, and you can find some health hazard. I’m sure having a fire in your fireplace also puts out particulates that stays in people’s lungs. Should we ban those also?

    I don’t like diesels, I think the negatives outweigh the positives, but they are not a health hazard that the government needs to ban.

  • avatar
    hybridkiller

    “As an example, the 2003 Dodge Ram with the Cummins diesel could generate 460 lbs-ft of torque, which is spectacular. It also happens to be the amount of torque produced by the Ford EcoBoost 3.5L V6 in the Lincoln Navigator. So if you could tow something with a 2003 RAM diesel, you can now tow it with a Navigator or F-150…”

    2003 5.9L Cummins – 460 lb/ft @ 1400 rpm
    Ford 3.5L Ecoboost — 420 lb/ft @ 2500 rpm

    If you’re towing a trailered race car – and only occasionally – sure, either one will do, but the EB will likely burn twice as much fuel.

    If you need to tow 10,000+ lbs? (and do it on a routine basis) I’ll take the diesel, thanks.

    I agree that the Ecoboost is a great choice for the poser truck guy that likes to brag about how much torque he’s got while only using a third of it, but let’s not pretend it’s equal to a Cummins medium-duty diesel V8.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The licencing/logbook thing will never happen, get real. Cops won’t enforce a new “coal rolling” law, at least not how you’d hope they would.

    1st, as mentioned above, the dirty offenders may be cops themselves. Cops don’t care about ’emission laws’ enforcement, per say, no more than illegally tinted windows. They largely ignore these, until they need a reason to pull you over. Racial profiling? Heard of that? Or just leaving a bar at 2am? Leaving a known crack-house or high crime area, with plates from the “good side of town”?

    These “coal rollers” have a whole list of “code violation” anyway. Have you ever seen a brodozer pickup not missing its mudflaps? If they got ’em, what are they hiding?

    I’ve been pulled over for “rolling coal”, before it was a ‘thing’, long before diesels had any kind of emissions equipment. I worked for a company with a smokey UD flatbed. And not just a warning, but an actual “fix-it” ticket. Seems like there’s always been rules or laws against it, just rarely enforced.

  • avatar
    DavidB

    Enjoyed your article as usual, Jack, and basically agree with it. Now that I’m out of popcorn and am at the bottom of the comments (and read most of them) — Were you sincere?

  • avatar
    binksman

    First, I have my CDL and I would probably support requiring a CDL of drivers of vehicles with GVWR of over 10k lbs. It simply would require a basic understanding of the physics of controlling a large vehicle that most people in the light-duty truck segment don’t have. Requiring more training could be enough to deter many people from buying more truck than they think they need, especially if the manufacturers anticipate and build actual smaller trucks.

    Diesel engines serve a purpose. The diesel popularity for personal use really kicked off in response to high gas prices because back then a diesel truck did have better reliability and fuel mileage (not so much now). For many diesel owners, a diesel engine is still the best tool for the job. The only car I’ve driven that made close to its advertised highway mpg when loaded full of passengers was a diesel. I don’t know of a truck out there, even a 3/4-1 ton truck, that can get as good mileage as the EcoDiesel Ram, towing, hauling, or empty. To ban all diesels or eliminate them from the market is just silly until you develop a drivetrain that can actually do the same job better.

    Lastly, there a lot of hate in the comments here for bro-dozers (I’m not disagreeing) but remember that it’s just a fad. In a couple years, some other fad will find a way of annoying your sensibilities and a a few years from that you’ll likely forget all about those coffee can-sized exhausts and synthetic scrotums. But if you make a law to sooth your own butt hurt caused by someone else’s poor taste, you are not only forever stuck with that law, but you’ve set precedence to create similar laws that may eventually punish you for your own poor style choices.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    AMEN JACK!!!

    I have been on board with such plans for a long time. I appreciate the personal choice, freedom, liberty, eagles, stars & stripes arguments that truck owners typically throw in my face. However, there just is no good reason for so many trucks on the road and they are the scourge of our highway system.

    My proposal would be twofold. First, all pickup trucks would have to abide by the 55 mph speed limit imposed on commercial trucks. This would limit appeal but allow those who need to continue to purchase. Also, registrations nationally would use a weight based system with fees going up exponentially the further you go past past 4000lbs.

    Sorry, but my daily commute which I refer to as “the daily farm equipment parade dodge-em game” is just ridiculous. Something needs to change.

    • 0 avatar
      madman2k

      In the UAE, trucks and vans are limited to 80kph, and the far-right lane in a lot of places. It sucks driving one on those roads.

      Drove cab-over flatbed medium duty trucks there a few times, the trucks were geared very short to make up for the underpowered diesel engine, so much over 80kph would have been unpleasant anyway.

      I imagine a multi-range 18 wheeler with gears like they build them with in the USA would be frustrating to drive there. They have no problem going 80+ MPH here.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    The fuel economy in that ecoboost will tank in comparison to the diesel when towing. For most people the boosted gasoline engine would be perfectly fine, but towing a race car might feel the same up until you stop every 180 miles to fill up.

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