Towing capacity of wood gas truck

Hey there, brand new member. Just curious if you convert a truck that has the capability of towing saying 10,000 lbs will it still be able to do that running off a wood gasifier or would I need to mix in regular fuel? Please excuse the ignorance of my question I’m new to all this. Thankyou!

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Good morning Tasha and welcome to the site .

I will be out the door in just a little while and firing up my wood burning work truck . I will be pulling a 40 foot trailer hauling hay . I expect the weight and the load will be over the 10,000 pounds you mentioned . Also the trucks weighs about 9,000 pounds.

I will be making short 8 mile round trips and will be able to run 100% wood. If I were making longer trips and staying up with traffic I would need to add in a little gasoline to avoid overheating the gasifier.

When hauling cattle to market I can usually make a 20 mile round trip with no gasoline if traffic is light.

One can build a gasifier big enough to handle the loads at higher speeds but if the same gasifier is operated at slow speeds without the heavy loads the gasifier will run too cold and tar the motor .

Below is a link for my work truck with lots of pictures and video if you are interested. I think I have been using the truck for about five years now. :grin:


Turn down ratio.

Great topic, how much can you tow and still idle the engine without tar production.

What are your thoughts on preheating the air for lower power levels only and running cool air for high load.
Many year ago at the Gasification list Doug Williams said this was a bad idea what are your thoughts?

Is there any other way to increase the operational envelope of a producer plant?


Hello Wallace

I think with enough time , money and effort one could design a gasifier that could adjust to low demands ( staying hot ) and also adjusting to high demands ( cool enough to avoid melting ) But I think the more piratical approach for us poor people would be designing the gasifier to take care of the low end needs without producing tar. For the upper end once the gasifier has reached it temp limit add gasoline to take care of the extra performance needed .

If gasoline ever gets to the price that we can’t afford a little to compete with the fast traffic the chances are we will have little competition on the road anyway . ( bicycles , buggies and pedestrians ) :blush:


I am not worried about gas.
Next car will be electric in my plans.

But there is always going to be a need to produce electricity.
Low loads and high loads play havoc with tar cracking and high hearth loads with over heating and thin gas.


Thankyou very much for the very informative response Wayne!! This is so exciting! So with the gasifier you have for your truck, are you able to operate it at slow speeds without it getting too cold? Also I was thinking about either of these trucks for the project, do you think they are good candidates? Thanks so much! :Dgrin:

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Good morning Tasha,

I can’t think of many times the gasifier would get too cold but there have been times when hooking up trailers or binding loads the truck would start sounding rough and I would switch to gasoline until I was back in the truck and driving.

I would stay away from the diesel !! It would take a LOT of modification to operate on woodgas

With a truck as big as a one ton and planing on pulling loads it will be important the the truck will run in hybrid mode . The add says this truck is set up for propane and I have no experience with that and can’t advise . Carl Zinn and others are using a devise to control the fuel pump for hybrid driving

I can say that I have driven 94 and 95 dodges that will hybrid very well letting the computer handle the gasoline additions . .

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Hmmm learning more each day, just curious what is the GCWR of your truck you use to haul the hay? Do you use it to haul the 15 tons? Is 40 miles the longest you’ve gone with a load like that on 100% wood? Could you possibly elaborate more on hybrid mode? Also now I’m looking at this one.

Sorry for all the questions!! Thankyou soo much for the advice it’s extremely helpful! :grinning:

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Good morning Tasha

According to the identification tag in the door of the truck the GVWR is 8,800 pounds .

I am not sure what the total loads would be, however the trailer are heavy and plus the weight of the loads being 5-8 thousand pounds ?

As long as I keep my speeds down , on level road and no need for heavy acceleration I need no gasoline. Usually when I add gasoline ( hybrid ) it is not for the lack of power but to keep the gasifier from over heating .

Hybrid driving is adding gasoline for additional power or to keep from over heating the gasifier . On some model vehicles the fuel pump voltage can be manipulated or the computer can detect a rich fuel mixture and compensate.

Below are a couple good threads on hybrid driving .

I think these treads are in the premium section but below are a couple of video that show hybrid driving .


The GVWR I’ve learned is the total max weight of the truck with people, cargo etc… the GCWR is the overall weight of tow vehicle and trailer everything. You minus the GVWR from the GCWR and that’s apparently how much trailer weight the vehicle can tow. I can probably look it up if you don’t know if I know more about that specific truck, It’s beyond impressive that it can haul those loads on the wood gas, in this photo of yours that’s definitely well over the weight of my 35’ 10,000lb travel trailer. Basically I’m trying to make sure the truck I get will still be able to pull my trailer once converted to wood gas because you’ve mentioned in your videos it loses 30% power. So I’m thinking you must have a heavy duty truck and I need to go for the same amount of power. Unfortunately that link to the thread on hybrids says I don’t have permission to view it, youtube links work though. THANKYOU!! :Dgrin:


When the gasifier starts to overheat I’d fog the steam right to it.

Towing weight, loooong story short is a pickup will pull about anything a fellow wants (near the farm) until you hit the open highway and the DOT explains to you that a popcorn fart is too much weight.


Observing the AF meter when you run with gasoline the computer compensates for a lean or rich condition if it can based on the amount of throttle the gasoline has.
When you switch gasoline off the mixture defaults to what ever you have set for manually.
Is that correct Wayne?

Does this effect the engine coolant of exhaust gas temperature much?

Hello Wallace

I don’t think the engine temps change . The fuel /air ratio stays about the same . As I add in gasoline I also open up a air mix valve to allow more mixing are to compensate for the additional gasoline


Hello Tasha

The truck and trailer will haul much more weight than I usually haul but I can’t see through my mirrors . Also with the hay stacked like in this picture a couple of men can’t roll them off , must have a machine. They weigh 750-1000 pounds each.


Stupid question time:
Is the truck fuel injected?

Looking at the last photo I see an F150.
As I recall some of these used a Multi port fuel injection system.
Is the EFI system still operating and in control of the liquid fuel delivery?

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Good after noon Wayne K did you have too hybrid the f 150 much too haul that load home.

Hey Wayne, Is your v10 ram a 2500 or a 3500? :slight_smile:

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Good morning Wallace .

The ole ford is a F-250 with a 460 cabureted motor .

It is only about a 4 mile trip home with this load so the gasifier does not have time to overheat .
. No need to add gasoline because I don’t need a lot speed on this trip .

This being a carbureted motor it is more difficult to drive hybrid compared to EFI. The best way to work this truck hauling heavy loads would be driving until the gasifier is getting hot and switch to gasoline allowing the gasifier to cool and repeat as needed .

Here are some ford videos from the past ( 5 years old )


Good morning Tasha .

My V-10 is a 95 Dodge D2500 4X4

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Awesome thankyou for all the help! I’m going for that 94’ f350 4x4 I’m excited! :slight_smile:

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