5 Reasons Why Construction Pros Should Drive Trucks Fueled by Propane Autogas

This clean, cost-effective fuel provides a way for building pros to cut the operating costs for their pick-up trucks.

In today's tight economy, builders, remodelers, and other construction pros are always looking for ways to cut costs. One option? Switch from gasoline (or diesel) to propane autogas. Companies with fleet vehicles — buses, taxis, shuttles, and the like — caught on to the benefits of propane autogas a while back. Now it's time for owners of light- and medium-duty trucks and vans to do the same. Here are five reasons why pros should consider making the switch:

No. 1: Cost
For more than 30 years, propane autogas has cost, on average, 30 percent less than gasoline. Further, propane autogas burns cleaner than gasoline and diesel, potentially resulting in reduced maintenance costs and longer engine life.

"For businesses, the most important benefit is that using propane autogas can lower your operating costs by 40 to 50 percent," Brian Carney, director of marketing at Roush CleanTech, says.

In the pickup category, the Roush CleanTech liquid propane autogas fuel system is available in Ford F-250 and Ford F-350 pickup trucks. For retrofits, only a few modifications need to be made.

On-road vehicles fueled by propane autogas deliver high-octane performance with fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline and considerably less particulate pollution than diesel.

One real-world example of the potential cost savings of propane autogas comes from Josh Fowler, owner of Midwest Roofing and Construction in Dodgeville, Wis. According to an article in Green Fleet magazine, Fowler expects to save about $5,000 per year on fuel costs after converting his company's 2012 Ford F-150 5.OL to run on propane autogas.

"The first month after the truck was converted to run on propane autogas, we used 354 gallons and saved somewhere between $400 and $500 on fuel," Fowler told Green Fleet. "Now that we've been running the truck for a while, we've used more than 800 gallons of autogas and saved around $1,200. The truck is used to pull large loads, and we have been pleased with the reliable performance and towing capacity since switching to autogas."

No. 2: Fuel Supply
Propane autogas is abundant.

Many fleet owners prefer having a station located on their property. Installation of propane autogas infrastructure is affordable. Many propane retailers will install infrastructure at no cost in exchange for a fuel contract. The cost, in many cases, is less than that of installing a gasoline or diesel refueling station.

Propane has the largest refueling infrastructure of any alternative fuel in the United States. With around 2,500 refueling stations located across all 50 states, propane is an accessible, readily available low-carbon fuel. To obtain state-specific information about propane refueling locations, use the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Propane autogas is less expensive, on average, than gasoline.

No. 3: Environmentally Friendly
When compared with gasoline-fueled equivalents, vehicles fueled by propane autogas produce lower emissions:

  • 12 percent less carbon dioxide
  • 20 percent less nitrogen oxide
  • 60 percent less carbon monoxide

In addition to reducing emissions, propane autogas helps lessen the nation's dependence on foreign oil. Nearly 97 percent of propane in the United States is produced domestically.

Finally, being able to use environmentally friendly fuel can be a good selling point for customers.

No. 4: Performance
With funding support from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), companies such as Roush CleanTech and Clean Fuel USA have developed clean, high-performance propane autogas systems for several vehicles with the same factory warranty coverage as comparable gasoline-fueled vehicles. They also deliver the same torque and power as vehicles fueled by gasoline.

No. 5: Product Choices
Industry-leading manufacturers have developed more than a dozen new on-road vehicle platforms fueled by propane autogas. Check out PERC's autogas website for more detailed information.

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