Propane Pickup Maintenance: What You Need To Know

INSIDE PROPANE POWERPropane maintenance lead

by Tom Jackson/Equipment World

An increasing number of contractors and fleet managers are looking into the feasibility of running pickup trucks powered by liquid propane gas (LPG).

The reason is simple: with the cost of propane running just north of $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent, these trucks make economic sense for a wide variety of applications. (See the sidebar “Does propane make sense for your fleet?”.)

But before you make the leap into the new world of this clean, low-cost fuel, you need to prepare your shop and your technicians.

To get the skinny on what this involves we talked with Dick Cupka, product development sustainability manager for commercial vehicles at Ford; Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing at Roush CleanTech; and Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development for the Propane Education & Research Council.

The advice given here, in most cases will be relevant to most propane powered trucks and vehicles.

But be sure you follow the guidelines set out in your OEM owner’s manual. Also note that in addition to propane, there are also pickup trucks that can run on compressed natural gas and pickups that allow you to use two fuels on the same truck – one gaseous fuel (propane or CNG) and a backup tank of gasoline or diesel.

CNG and bi-fuel trucks are different enough from propane powered trucks that we will leave a discussion of those to a later date and focus on just propane here. –