It’s no secret that landscape contractors can benefit from adding propane-powered commercial mowers to their fleets. But contractors may not realize that the benefits of the fuel can continue year-round when used in propane autogas trucks.
Propane autogas is actually the third-most common vehicle fuel in the world behind diesel and gasoline. Like propane mowers, it can help contractors reduce fuel costs and emissions, with the power and torque necessary to haul equipment trailers during the summer and push plows in the winter. Using propane autogas can provide several advantages compared to gasoline or diesel trucks.
Regardless of temperature, propane autogas engines are reliable
In colder climates, diesel-powered trucks are often the default for snow removal services. However, diesel engines often require a lot more than turning the key in the ignition to get moving in cold temperatures. Adding fuel conditioners to limit fuel gelling or losing productivity to hours spent warming engines with block heaters are commonplace with diesel trucks in winter.
In contrast, propane autogas vehicles crank reliably in cold temperatures and don’t require additional fluids or heaters, reducing costs and unnecessary investments. In fact, because propane is completely gaseous when it enters the engine, there are no concerns of fuel freezing or gelling whatsoever.
Lowest total cost-of-ownership
Because of propane autogas’s quick start time, employees on the clock aren’t waiting for trucks to warm up. And they don’t need to leave trucks to idle to keep cabs warm — wasting fuel or even damaging diesel engine parts designed for minimal idling like injectors, turbochargers, and particulate filters. Propane autogas engines and emissions systems are less complex, and ultimately eliminate the need for pricey particulate filters or diesel emissions fluid, greatly reducing costs to the vehicle over its lifetime.
Additionally, propane autogas is a clean-burning fuel, which doesn’t degrade or prematurely wear engine components like diesel and gasoline can. When properly maintained, propane autogas has fewer residual contaminants in the oil that can damage engines, and there is also less carbon buildup on valves that occurs naturally in gasoline engines. Simply put, vehicle owners enjoy a longer life cycle with much lower maintenance costs.
Throughout the year, too, contractors will see reduced fuel costs by operating a propane autogas vehicle compared to gasoline or diesel. On average, propane autogas costs between 30 and 50 percent less per gallon than gasoline and diesel. Contractors can further protect themselves from fuel fluctuations by establishing a fuel contract with a propane supplier, which holds the price per gallon for a set period of time.
Contractors who want to learn more about using propane autogas vehicles in their fleets can contact their local propane retailer, or visit Propane.com/Propane-One-Fuel-Solution.