Dino costs

I know that nobody here is running 100% wood-powered. I’m curious as to how much the well-established Gassers spend on dino-fuels. If one could guestimate the BTU values of their wood to dino use ratios, that’d be great too.

I’m still 100% dino-powered. :frowning: In other news, the non-completed people need “I’D RATHER BE DRIVING ON WOOD!” bumper stickers.

With my leaky carburetor idle circuits I was burning a dribble of gasoline on the way to Indiana. I think it worked out to 80 MPG or so, while running “pure” woodgas. It wasn’t enough to power the truck, just enough to drain my wallet a little. But I did dip into the gas when I needed to, mostly on hills or letting the gasifier cool down to refill.

Note that anyone with EFI will be able to run true 100% woodgas, and then the MPG goes up and up the further you drive. So mileages will vary enormously depending on your use case.

Before the Woog Hawg’s engine went into retirement, I used less than one gallon of gasoline for the last 400 miles. I use a carburator, but I have a fuel shutoff solenoid to completely stop fuel flow. I fire up the gasifier several minutes before starting the engine on gasoline. This lets me switch to woodgas within a half mile down the road. The only time I use gasoline is the start up and 15 seconds before shutdown. I live in the Ozarks and have lots of hills to climb. I generally don’t switch to gasoline on these hills unless I am holding up traffic. That’s very rare. Sometimes I am down in first gear at 18 MPH as I top the hills. This causes my POWPM (pounds of wood per mile) to be rather high. I think I average 1.5 POWPM.

I suppose I should clarify my question. I mean top to bottom: Diesel to run a chunker, sips of gas for start-ups, power needed “goosings”, etc. If you want to throw in total usage, non-gas tractors for example, that’d be great too.

Obvisously, I am not asking for precise figures but a guestimate of “This month I drove 1,200 miles and in the process used X gallons of diesel, Y gallons of gasoline, and Z bags of wood chunks”

Good Morning Mr. Brian,

It appears that about 75% of my dino transportation cost is the wife’s driving. If it is where I can I will take her on the errands in the wood burners but sometime I am too busy to do so and she goes on dino. I wish I could teach her to dow but that one might be over my head. One ray of hope is the son will be dow within the next year and will help with some her transportation and errands.

The wood chucker operates with so little diesel its almost a none issue but if I had to make some kind of pure guess I think the tractor would chunk about 8,000-15,000 pounds per galloon of dino???

I checked my records and it seems I am using about 15 gallon of dino in the ram per month (this truck would get about 5-8 miles per gallon of dino with its routine). This is my daily driver and the average day I will drive 30-50 miles and my include pulling trailers. The average day may have as many as 12-15 shut downs and start ups. A lot of the miles are around farm with high hours to mile ratio.
The v-10 does not have pusher blowers so the particle start up is to use the motor vacuum (dino) to pull the WG to the motor. The time on dino can be measured in seconds vs. minutes if there is no rush for driving and the vacuum motors are used to heat the gasifier. After the start of the morning the time for starting is less.

In this video from 4:50 -5:25 one might estimate dino usage.

In this video it shows driving while the gasifier is warming 1:50-3:25

After the trucks have been operated and have set less than 3-4 hours this video shows the particle starting process and the one I use for most daily routines.

This video shows with blowers no gasoline is necessary but for particle use a little gasoline is cheap.

When driving the dakotas on long trips 400-800 miles I am not able to see much difference in the dino gauge. If I pull to the side of the road to refuel the gasifier and entering fast traffic when finished I will use dino about a min. If there is no need for fast acceleration I may use dino for only seconds.

If I have stopped for a while I will use the procedure in vid #3 to get back on the road.
I added some fuel to the 92 dakota in the last trip we took to MO. I can’t remember when I last added to the 93?


Wayne: Thanks for the great input.

I am curious about the amount of smoke/exhaust coming off your truck in the first video around the minute 6:00 mark. It seems to be about mid-bed, 2 or so feet forward of your rear axle. Is that an exhaust leak from a heat exchanger? Expelled woodgas that wasn’t clean enough to run through the engine yet? Straight-piped exhaust at the cat?

Also, somewhat off-topic, have you calculated the required HP/Torque/RPM to smoothly run a wood chunker similar to yours? Also, do you happen know the gear ratios for the rearend you use? Would a higher or lower ratio be better for such an application?

Thanks again for the great info.


It might not be obvious, that video was taken in mid-January, temperatures likely in the 30s. What you’re seeing is water vapor “steam” from the exhaust, same as any car would make, until fully warmed up.

Good Morning Brian,

Thanks for pointing that out. The video might be misleading but on very cold morning there will be steam coming from the motor exhaust for the first few minutes, gasoline powered or wood powered.

Because I was demonstrating a cold start up there was no running of the motor prior to the light off.

Yes you are looking at the exhaust pipe about mid section of the truck.
The only area there should be any smoke visible is from the open hopper lid when refueling or reversing the air flow. When lighting the gasifier if there is any smoke exiting the blower ports or flare ports the char bed is poor. (Visible haze OK)

I am turning the wood chunker input at 400-500 rpm. I think it would require 2-4 HP. The fly wheel is very beneficial on this setup.
The ratio of the rear-end is 6-1. If one is building from a big truck rear-end the ratios will be very close to mine. I am very satisfied with the rpm of the cutting action, I wouldn’t want it any faster or slower.