Our beloved delivery truck has taken our produce so many times to the Bay Area that it has clocked up over 365,000 miles. Over 130,000 of these miles it has been running on straight vegetable oil (SVO). The mechanic in Sacramento who have worked on the truck all its life took me aside in October and told me that if I keep on running it so hard it will die in a year. My plan for the last year was to replace it next year with a new truck but still keep it for doing the market and moving anything that needed the pallet size lift gate. I have been looking to see what the new truck of choice is for some time. Other farmers and fishermen at the market have been buying Dodge Sprinters. These run on Diesel and get twice the mileage per gallon that our truck gets with the same payload weight. They are automatic and drive like a dream. They are a 100% Mercedes vehicle that are made in Stuttgart, Germany. The engine burns diesel so efficiently that it is rated by the EPA as an Ultra Low Emission vehicle (ULEV).
After I got my talking to by the mechanics I decided to look harder and found the right truck for us in Roseville. The finances made sense because a truck next year would be at least 9% more because of the collapse of the Dollar. The lease payments are not welcome after all the lost income from the Med Fly but we must have a reliable delivery truck. Our new truck (Helmut) has been doing the deliveries for the past two weeks. We have some work to insulate it and install shelves to hold all the egg coolers and empty boxes.
Many people tell me that they run their Sprinters on Bio-Diesel. the trucks works best on the blend B 50 but this does void the warranty. Diesel in Europe that you buy at the pump contains about 5% Bio-Diesel so the warranty covers that.
The truck is very fun to drive.