“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Gas Truck Cometh. And Goeth.


Well, the gas truck driver does not want to drive up the jeep trail.  I admit, it's narrow and would be easy to go off of, plunging down into the gully. But he knew the job was dangerous when he took it.  There are times, coming down in my F250, that I get a little nervous I might hook a wheel over too far and go rolling over the side.  I'm sure driving a big gas truck up there is not fun.

However, the road was designed to be hard to get up.  I do not want a freeway leading up to my buildings, nor am I interested in having a connection to the forest service road that someone might consider indicative of there being a good target up the mountain.

The problem is that the driver is not a local.  Those local fellows can go just about anywhere, they grew up here and they are used to it.  This guy is a flat lander and he hasn't got the intestinal fortitude to take the truck up.  I have been up here for decades and I've had drivers complain about the road but I never had one flat refuse to try it before. I went to town, to the office to get this straighted out, but there were no decision makers there. So, I told them if they didn't find someone who can drive to deliver my fuel by tomorrow I'd just switch to another company.  Since the companies fix the prices to keep them high, one is no different than another in that respect.  It's irritating. You just never know what's going to come up next that you have to take care of.

18 comments:

  1. Insane. Ya know this Summer I had someone deliver a dump truck load of gravel and he wouldn't even back into the tall weeds I was clearing out. He said he had no way to tell what could be in there. I am like dude I promise there is nothing in there and we are only talking about 10 feet anyway get out and look. He wouldn't even get out of the truck.

    He did dump the gravel where I wanted it though.

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  2. Sometimes even I am amazed by the bizarre problems that crop up unexpectedly. Almost always they involve having to rely on someone else for something.

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  3. You know, I was wondering about that. I always thought that if I wanted a middle-of-nowhere place that ran on propane, I'd mount my tanks on trailers and bring them into town myself to have them filled and then take them home. I suppose I'd have to use several smaller tanks, but I wonder if that wouldnt be one way to maintain the privacy.

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    1. Ya know, I've been wondering about that myself. I'm lookin to purchase a property that Jesus himself wouldn't want to come up on foot to tote my 500 or 1000 gal propane tank up by trailer, met down by the asphalt.

      Now, we are talking N eastern Montana and I don't know and can't find the laws. They don't make it easy. I suppose I could call a propane company but I haven't picked a property yet. My next option before purchasing will be to see what is available.

      I'm sure each Company is different as buying a couple thousand gals of propane delivered to a FS roadhead may differ as that is a large load from them at a shot. The limit for gasoline is 100 gal's per tvehicle without Hazmat cert.

      On another note, I watched HeHaw tonight. Remembered it from being a kid. The singing about Christian beliefs was refreshing although the gags were stale. "Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me- Whoaaa brought back memories of my childhood of the 60's.

      What a show although I noted the diminishing and revealing clothing on the ladies. Sad that it went this way.

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    2. I don't think that's practical for a number of reasons. One, it would be a colossal chore and you'd have to do it pretty often if you used propane fore everything, as I do.

      I don't know about other places, but there are a bunch of contradictory and confusing laws here on propane. For instance, one propane company can't put gas in another propane companies tank. So if company Z is selling for $2.53 a gallon, and company X is cheaper, but you have a tank from Company Z, you have to buy the more expensive fuel. No one can work on any of the gas appliances or lines in your house except the repairman from the gas company you are buying from. So, if your propane stove needs work, you can't just call a repairman, you have to call THE repairman from your propane company.
      You might think the answer is to own your own tank. But none of the gas companies will work on an appliance or line unless they lease you a tank. Moreover, if you own your own tank you are ensnared in a bunch of B.S. regulations and inspections and licenses and permits ad infinitum.

      The reason propane is the way to go in my opinon, despite all this, is that once you have it in the tank you are not dependent on anything else. That's assuming you are careful not to buy equipment that needs electricity, like a blower on your wood stove, or electric furnace controls, etc. If you do that, you'll have to have a generator and when it quits you are SOL.

      I remember Hee Haw from when I was a kid, I liked Junior.

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    3. Hmm...you would think that in an environment like that some enterprising individual would come up with a free-market solution and advertise his services working on any and all propane systems regardless of supplier. I can't imagine theres a state law about it, although I suppose its possible if the propane supplier lobby is powerful enough (or if theres a union involved somewhere).

      I only watched Hee-haw for the busty chicks in the cutoffs and tiny tops....nothing wrong with that.

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    4. You would think that there would be independent guys who could work on gas lines, but there aren't any here. I would be willing to bet it's more a liability thing than anything else. It's amazing how many gas related fires there are in winter, mostly because of valves going bad on propane heaters.

      Just think, all those beautiful women from Hee Haw are old ladies and grandmothers now. :-(

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    5. Turtleburt,
      You have to have deep pockets. The propane I just ordered was $2.57 a gallon, up from $1.87 a gallon price in August. So a thousand gallons would be $2,570 plus $179.90 sales tax, plus a delivery fee, plus an "environment impact fee" plus a "fuel surcharge" if you were buying here. I don't know about all the add on's in Montana but it would be high just to pay for the fuel alone.

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  4. oh Harry - i am so sorry for your troubles!!! when we moved here, we moved our stuff 1,000 miles in an 18-wheeler and we knew there was no way the truck would make it up our driveway!!! so we just unloaded stuff to our truck and then drove the truck up and then unloaded again - it was a real pain! and took all day!!! when we ordered 6 cubic ft of topsoil, we went out of our way to explain to the guy taking the order that there was no way the guy driving the truck would be able to make it up the driveway. they guffawed. buddy showed up, parked the truck at the bottom of the driveway, came up, took a look around, said "no problem" then backed the truck up the driveway with such ease and dumped the topsoil EXACTLY where we wanted it!?!?!?!? that guy should drive for NASCAR or something!!! we tried to give him a bottle of water and a $20 tip but he would only take the water. we were super-impressed! our driveway is pretty steep, 130ft long and has a sharp turn. but it sounds like yours is a lot worse. i hope you can figure out a solution and/or find another company. buddy, if it's not one thing - it's another eh?

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, the Big Wig from the gas company is coming out today. I told them yesterday that if they didn't want to come up here, that was fine, I would just switch back to my old company and no hard feelings. They said the boss would come out and take a look at it. He could have saved himself a trip because I am so annoyed I think I may switch anyway, it doesn't cost me anything to switch from one company to another and we have a bunch of companies in the county.

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    2. You should ask him for a discount for the hassle factor and the trip down to the propane office in exchange for remaining a customer.

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    3. Matt, I went down today and signed up with another company that I figure is more reliable. Propane was $1.87 in August, now it is $2.39. Propane is priced on a barrel of oil, and oil is down. So somebody is giving somebody a good going over on this deal.

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  5. If you own you own tank it is just should be just a matter of switching companies, someone will welcome the business.

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    1. Duke, I lease the tank for a number of reasons, but it's still just a matter of switching companies. It's not a big deal other than being annoying.

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  6. Firstly, I am going to complain to my parents about calling me Sol. lol They should have just called me Sunny and had done with it.

    Now to the post, to get us more off grid, we have been looking at options. We are weighing up solar panels and a self filling wood chip furnace (gasification log boiler for heat).

    Or solar panels and a back boiler on a wood stove.

    We would have a problem running a freezer though.... we haven't quite worked it all out. I am hoping to build a rocket mass heater. this will require family help. since we only have really awful weather for maybe 1-2 months. it is the problem of it being damp and cold.

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  7. Sol,

    You're right, I never thought of it but your name is the same as the military acronym for "S*** out of luck." :-)

    There is a company named Sun Frost that makes propane powered refrigerators and deep freezes. They also make very low energy consumption appliances. I had a Sun Frost refrigerator and it worked great for ten years. Then it started acting up and we had to get a new refrigerator because no one could work on the Sun Frost. Also, we had to have it shipped into a town a good ways away by train and I had to go pick it up at the train station which was a pain.

    I just run everything off a generator now. I have a good diesel generator, two above ground 500 gallon tanks, and that's the easiest way to go as long as you have fuel. I built a big "off grid" power system in 1999, complete with generator, deep cycle battery bank, massive array of Siemens solar cells, inverter and the whole nine yards. It didn't work worth a damn in the mountains, especially in winter. It was a pain to keep up, because the batteries required all sorts of specific procedures like "equalizing" to keep them in shape. The batteries were very expensive purpose built , and had a maximum service life of 36 months, at the end of which they had to be disposed of and new ones purchased and installed.

    I finally just said to hell with it and now I just use the generator. The big drawback there is that you can hear it for miles.

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    1. Something to think about. As we will do all of this on a semi urban lot. maybe we will still have to bee hooked up to the national grid and sell it back so we don't have to think about the batteries.

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    2. That would be great if you could generate your own power and sell it back to the power company if you had surplus. People do that here in the states, because I've read magazine articles about it. Our electric membership cooperative doesn't do that though.

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