What do you think about the fuel prices???

Lately I have had a few people ask what I think about the price of fuel and how it effects OHP. As far as that goes from what I have been told our administration has made cuts and adjustments everywhere possible to keep units patrolling the roads and I hope it keeps us out there. I have been told that for every ten cents per gallon fuel goes up it costs the agency $150,000.00 from the annual budget. I can only speak for myself but I have taken measures to lower my consumption both on-duty and off.

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On-duty I keep my tires at maximum pressure, patrol at 60 mph or less, try to get violators to pull over as they meet me to avoid high-speed “catch-ups” and do not leave my car idling unless absolutely necessary. When I started taking those measures I noticed my average mpg seemed to improve by about three. Off-duty I cut-out pleasure driving and less than urgent trips, increased my tire pressure to the maximum and try to maintain a cruising speed of no more than 60 mph. I also started using synthetic oil which is said to improve mileage. If you change it yourself it does not cost more to buy in five quart containers. This seemed to improve my personal vehicle by about three mpg also.

I think the day has came that we should all adjust our thinking a bit. We have always been in love with both speed and power but in reality we seldom need either. I believe the future may see people with heavy-duty trucks such as 1-tons or even half-tons making a living hiring out for many people on those rare occasions most people need a pickup. Perhaps pickup rentals will become popular. Many people such as farmers and ranchers will always need their own pickups. Many people only seldom need them.

Hybrid cars and electric cars are perhaps the future as fuel prices seemed certain to stay high and perhaps go even higher. They seem to be increasing almost two or three cents per week.

Being single I need a pickup and a car but can’t see having both so I opted for a Ford Ranger which is a good combination of adequate power and fuel economy with its 4.0 V-6 engine. It quite simply is all the truck I need. It gets about 21 mpg or a little better with the measures I have taken to conserve fuel. Not great but not bad either.

These are my thoughts on the matter for whatever they are worth. It is very hard for most of us to imagine smaller, lower powered cars but to continue to be able to travel and enjoy it without feeling sick every time we stop at a fuel pump we most likely will have to. A few people will continue to pay to drive gas guzzlers but I wonder if fuel continues to increase in price to say over $5.00 a gallon. There is a heck of a lot of howling going on at $4.00.

While many may scoff or cringe at these ideas I ask that you try something I did. I recently stopped someone for speeding who was driving a Honda Civic Hybrid. I asked what kind of mileage he got and he said 45 mpg. Before you gag about the thought of a hybrid car that isn’t a speed demon do a google search by “Honda Civic Hybrid”. I found it interesting that it’s IMA battery pack comes with a 8yr/ 80,000 mile warranty. To put this in perspective you could leave Boise City and go to Cheyenne, Wyoming and back on about $88.00 at $5.00 per gallon. It costs a little more to buy the car and I doubt it would blow anyone off the highway. It would certainly feel better at the pump however….. I am working on my way of thinking. Will you???!!!


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