BOISE, ID. – Boise State University students made it to the Bonneville Salt Flats late last week. But fell short in an attempt to break the speed record in a vegetable oil-powered truck.
A small team of Boise State engineering students joined a club called Greenspeed. They’re out to prove vegetable diesel engines can be just as powerful as gas diesels. They worked day and night for nearly three months to get their truck ready for time trials at Bonneville. Dave Schenker founded Greenspeed.
Dave Schenker: “We weren’t able to make it in time for the opening. We showed up about halfway through because we were still in our shop working on stuff, getting it ready.”
As soon as they got there, they had to modify the truck to meet safety inspections. It took them until late Thursday before they got the go ahead. Friday would be their first test and the last day of trials.
Dave Schenker: “Everything was looking good and we went to fire it up to go to the starting line and it wouldn’t start.”
They figured out it was a bad switch, but time was running short. They did one run on gas diesel.
Dave Schenker: “We had just enough time to get back to the start. They held the start open just for us. We were the last vehicle to go down the course. And….it didn’t leave us enough time to heat up the vegetable oil to put it in the tank.”
Schenker says the pick-up went 137 miles per hour on gas diesel. He’s confident they’ll break the bio diesel record when they go back to Bonneville this Fall.
Copyright 2011 Boise State Public Radio