DIY





Day in the Life of a Wood Gas Driver, Part 2


| 1/31/2014 2:38:00 PM



Wood Pile

If you missed Part 1, click here.

Long trips with a wood powered vehicle are fun. No one can travel so far for so little cost as a wood gasser - just ask any of the members of Drive On Wood, the wood gasification website. These extended trips with wood gas can save a ton of money on fuel, and I feel like it's well worth the effort.

You will need a LOT of wood though. Every mile you burn up another pound. For our imaginary 500 mile trip, that's 500 pounds (better take 600 just in case). Double that if you are coming home again. You can see that it quickly justifies a trailer to haul the wood. My wood gas Dakota will haul a small trailer without issue.

I've had to plan carefully to get enough dry wood ready. Normally I process wood in batches and let it dry before using. For this trip, I'll need 1200 lbs of wood, and it has been spread out in the sun to dry for two weeks. I'll bag it up into old fertilizer bags, made from a durable heavy plastic. Each bag holds about 12-14 pounds, so we need about 100 bags. Bagging the wood is simple but takes some effort. A big shovel and a helper make the job go much faster.

Loading Up

trailer



With the wood bagged, let's load the trailer. Stacking bags of wood so that they won't slide off, and keeping the bag ends tucked in (in case of bad weather), I've found that most of it will fit on the trailer, and some rides on the truck itself. The gasifier stays relatively cool on the surface, so even if a piece of wood touches it there is no danger of a fire. Plastic will melt, though - so I keep the bags some distance away.



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