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Thread: Any Solutions

  1. #1
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    Any Solutions

    Seems the folks on this board can come up with ideas for any car-free circumstances. How about this one:

    Every Saturday April-November I work 1/2 mile from home until 1:00, I have to be 25 miles away with 800-1000lbs of equipment by 2:00 for another job. Nearest rental location is 30 miles away. No trains, and only one local bus. I have to transport myself and an employee. Equipment cannot be left at point b, it must be transported every week.

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    What is the exact nature of this 800-1000 pounds of equipment?

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    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    I'm reminded of those classic word problems in grade school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LandLuger
    I'm reminded of those classic word problems in grade school.
    True, the problem seems to have been carefully stated to foreclose any carfree solution. However it does present an opportunity to discuss and illuminate the issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    What is the exact nature of this 800-1000 pounds of equipment?
    8-20 cases paintballs (300lbs)
    2 CO2 bulk Tanks (200lbs)
    40 paintball guns (160lbs)
    40 Tanks (120lbs)
    40 masks (80lbs)
    +more

    Equipment can't be left as it needs to be maintained and/or replaced every week.

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    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    I would definitely have to challenge the assumptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    True, the problem seems to have been carefully stated to foreclose any carfree solution. However it does present an opportunity to discuss and illuminate the issues.
    It was intended in this manner. I always see post here about someones difficult situation and the same old replies everytime. "rent a car", "flex-car" "take the bus" etc

    To be clear, it is a 100% true situation. It is the only reason I am not car-free. I ride/walk everywhere except one day a week 8 months per year.

    I would definitely have to challenge the assumptions.
    What assumptions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LandLuger
    I would definitely have to challenge the assumptions.
    If that means you think the problem has to be transformed or changed in some way to allow a carfree solution, I'd agree with that.

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    bicyclist LandLuger's Avatar
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    How about using this:

    http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPWorld.aspx?id=4136

    Not car-free per se, but oil free.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    To be clear, it is a 100% true situation. It is the only reason I am not car-free. I ride/walk everywhere except one day a week 8 months per year.
    Good onya!

    One thing we can speculate about is, how much would you have to change the situation for a carfree solution to work? You might have to back up all the way to framing the issue in terms of how would people get together on weekends for group recreation in a carfree world. I think in a carfree world it would be very important to pay attention to location and logistic support for recreational group activities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LandLuger
    How about using this:

    http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPWorld.aspx?id=4136

    Not car-free per se, but oil free.
    While I would love to see many of these types of vehicles, they still don't solve many of the problems associated with cars. You're still paying taxes, insurance, maintenance etc. Also it is using a 2000lb machine to move two occupants and equipment totaling 1200lbs. A bike weighs 30 and can easily move 300.

    The problem is so much more involved than one action will ever solve. It involves land use issues, profit over ethics, transportation and soo much more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    You might have to back up all the way to framing the issue in terms of how would people get together on weekends for group recreation in a carfree world. I think in a carfree world it would be very important to pay attention to location and logistic support for recreational group activities.
    I agree. Where in the US can a car-free individual go with great outdoor/indoor recreation, good cultural activities and bars/restaurants. Sometimes these things seem exclusive of one another, or two can exist but not the third.

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    Your looking to make a business/job car free. That's a bit different than not owning a personal motor car.

    Part of your job is transporting 1200lbs for 25 miles.

    Some businesses can not be successful and car free by their very nature. Others may require motor vehicle support that may be more effective if the support was owned/run by business.

    Al

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    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    Where in the US can a car-free individual go with great outdoor/indoor recreation, good cultural activities and bars/restaurants.
    Well, as a provider of a specific form of outdoor recreation, you have more specific constraints. The original puzzler might be solvable if somehow the location of the paintball event were close to your house and the suppliers you deal with.

    Carfree consumers of have more flexibility. I try to make maximum use of local resources when it comes to recreation and leisure. Some activities are admittedly just plain out of carfree reach for me. Take fishing as an example. It's technically possible for me to fish locally here in urban Austin, but in practice it's not worked out at all well. Among other problems, unleashed dogs go after the bobbers and the last thing you want to do is to hook someone's pet. So I don't even try to fish locally any more. But I have other choices. Cycling has to be the single greatest recreational opportunity for the carfree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    While I would love to see many of these types of vehicles, they still don't solve many of the problems associated with cars. You're still paying taxes, insurance, maintenance etc.
    If there were no cars, the govt would taxes bicycles or other aspects of our lives. The only reason we don't have to pay to tag a bicycle is that there aren't enough of us on the radar. Make no mistake they will get their money one way or another. Furthermore, vehicles like this are much, much more efficient than typical gasoline equivalents and require vastly less maintanence. My ebike is based on almost exactly the same technology and the only motor parts designed to wear out are the wheel bearings (near lifetime) and the battery--compare that to the infinitely more complex modern IC engine. I'd say getting people into these would be a big step towards solving our nation's problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    Also it is using a 2000lb machine to move two occupants and equipment totaling 1200lbs. A bike weighs 30 and can easily move 300.
    Yes, at 5 MPH, but this doesn't meet your stated performance demands: twenty-five miles in one hour. Look despite what we might hope or dream in a wealthy society there will always be heavy vehicles on the roads for applications like this. What we must do is divorce ourselves from the pollution and national security risks that come with oil-based vehicles. Free--ok, inexpensive/renewable--energy is literally all around us; just look at how many years of the worlds energy demand can be satified by a minute of sunlight that reaches the earth. These vehicles are future proof; all they need is a source of electric energy that can come from a myriad of sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    The problem is so much more involved than one action will ever solve. It involves land use issues, profit over ethics, transportation and soo much more.
    Oh, was this was the point of the thread?
    Last edited by LandLuger; 02-15-07 at 02:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    . . . unleashed dogs go after the bobbers and the last thing you want to do is to hook someone's pet.
    Hilarious. What a mental picture.

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    If you need a truck for your business, then get a truck for your business. If you use it only for business, have it titled to your company and take the deductions for it. Try to minimize usage, and use a clean and efficient machine. This will save you money and minimize environmental damage.

    You know what? It is going to be at least 100 years, or more likely never, before all motorized vehicles are rendered useless. Someday we may develop sustainable motor transport for freight. But don't hold your breath.

    Meanwhile, using dwindling petroleum supplies for commercial vehicles only (or at least mainly) will conserve those fuel supplies, and also reduce the environmental harm done. I don't object to the use of commercial vehicles, at least until an alternative comes along. What I object to is the totally unnecessary squandering of resources, wasted on on the personal transport of people who could easily travel by some other means.


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    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    8-20 cases paintballs (300lbs)
    2 CO2 bulk Tanks (200lbs)
    40 paintball guns (160lbs)
    40 Tanks (120lbs)
    40 masks (80lbs)
    +more

    Equipment can't be left as it needs to be maintained and/or replaced every week.
    1. What exactly needs to be maintained and why can't it be maintained on site before/after the event?

    2. What exactly needs to be replaced and how does it get to your home? For example, if you have CO2 delivered to your home then have it delivered at the site instead.

    3. Is there any way to give yourself a little more time? 25 miles/hour is going to be tough with that much equipment. If you can take off from your first job at 12:30 and postpone the event until 2:30 then you could get one of these quadricycles:

    It holds 500 pounds and you can order it with a 7 speed hub. You can get an optional trailer to hold more (I'm not sure how much the trailer will hold, but you could always get two quads and have your employee ride one of them). Alternatively if you could shed some pounds via #1 or #2 then you might be able to just use 1 quad. There are also other quads from other manufacturers such as this one:

    Holds 1,000 pounds and can be ordered with 6-36 speeds.

    4. If you really can't budge on anything then you'll, gasp, have to do your own homework and call around. There is this double quad (two people, four wheels):

    However, I don't know how much weight it holds and what kind of gearing is available. It might be possible to do 25 mph with two people. If not then you might try contacting different quad manufacturer's to build a custom design for you. Even a custom design would probably be cheaper than your motorized truck.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadricycle

    However, I think it's a little unreasonable to say that you can't budge on your requirements. All forms of transportation have their limitations. You have to be a little flexible when switching between any two forms of transportation. What if you didn't have a drivers license? Would you say, "I can't wait a month to get a driver's license"? No, you would make yourself a little more flexible.
    Last edited by makeinu; 02-15-07 at 04:32 PM.

  19. #19
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    Try to minimize usage, and use a clean and efficient machine. This will save you money and minimize environmental damage.
    You could even use a diesel truck and run it on waste oil. In warm/hot weather diesel vehicles apparently run fine on filtered waste oil that has not been converted to biodiesel.
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    Personally I think I would look for something like an electric truck Tiger Truck is one that comes to mind. Or possibly an electric assist for a cargo trike? They have some advantages over an infernal combustion engine. Only issue I can foresee would be licensing and road use. They are restricted in many areas and our right banned in others. In those cases the electric assist on a Bike/Trike would be the way to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    1. What exactly needs to be maintained and why can't it be maintained on site before/after the event?

    2. What exactly needs to be replaced and how does it get to your home? For example, if you have CO2 delivered to your home then have it delivered at the site instead.

    3. Is there any way to give yourself a little more time? 25 miles/hour is going to be tough with that much equipment.

    4. If you really can't budge on anything then you'll, gasp, have to do your own homework and call around.

    However, I think it's a little unreasonable to say that you can't budge on your requirements. All forms of transportation have their limitations. You have to be a little flexible when switching between any two forms of transportation. What if you didn't have a drivers license? Would you say, "I can't wait a month to get a driver's license"? No, you would make yourself a little more flexible.
    1. Equipment is in use until sunset. We have several hours of cleaning/maintenance that requires light and water.

    2. Supplies are picked up before leaving town.

    3. Schedule is fixed. Using this schedule I can make as much in one long day as the rest of the week.

    4. To be honest this question was more of a conversation starter than a specific question that I expect a solution to. As a previous poster stated, it's a commercial use of a vehicle, the business more than pays the cost to own and operate a car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    1. Equipment is in use until sunset. We have several hours of cleaning/maintenance that requires light and water.
    This only precludes you from doing it the same day. It does not preclude you from doing it on site. On whatever day you do the cleaning/maintenance at home you can do it at the site instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    2. Supplies are picked up before leaving town.
    Because it is most convenient to do so. If you didn't have a truck then it would not be most convenient to do so. You could bring the supplies another day (perhaps the same day that you do the cleaning/maintenance).

    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    3. Schedule is fixed. Using this schedule I can make as much in one long day as the rest of the week.
    How much money is an extra hour really going to cost you? I doubt it would be more than the amount you would save in insurance, gas, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8ingbull
    4. To be honest this question was more of a conversation starter than a specific question that I expect a solution to. As a previous poster stated, it's a commercial use of a vehicle, the business more than pays the cost to own and operate a car.
    I. The business may pay your cost to own and operate the car, but does it pay the total cost to humanity?
    II. So what if the business covers your car expenses? Those are lost profits. That money could be in your bank account instead of be burned in the engine.

    I agree that there are some situations and some businesses where motorized transport will be necessary. However, this is not one of them.

  23. #23
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    I. The business may pay your cost to own and operate the car, but does it pay the total cost to humanity?

    "Oh, the Humanity!"
    -- Herb Morrison, WLS Radio, May 6, 1937
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 02-16-07 at 01:53 PM.

  24. #24
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    You're being pretty vague for a non-hypothetical situation.

    That your home and job are 25 miles apart is the #1 problem. If you didn't want to drive, they wouldn't be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS
    You're being pretty vague for a non-hypothetical situation.

    That your home and job are 25 miles apart is the #1 problem. If you didn't want to drive, they wouldn't be.
    My home and "job" are 8 blocks apart. Unfortunately land near to town is so expensive that outdoor recreation is almost impossible unless using government land. I understand this to be true in most towns/cities.

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