CNG on a lawn truck?

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by Maco Services, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Maco Services

    Maco Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    Just saw the new forum, and wanted to jump in with both feet.

    We have a utility truck that is a chevy 2500 which we purchased at auction from a local utility. It has an CNG system which will allow us to use less expensive compressed natural gas to fuel the truck, and it automatically transfers over to fuel if the CNG runs out. Equivilent to gas, it runs about 1.85 a gasoline gallon equivilent, but there is only 1 public station here.

    I've considered buying a compresser, special and expensive compressor, which you can put at the shop at it will fill the truck overnight.

    Has anyone had any experience with these? Anyone run propane, LPG, or CNG on a lawn truck to save fuel or sell their services as a "green" operation?
  2. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    had a propane truck where i worked during high school, you could go a year and still read the writing on the dipstick thru the oil.

    i havent had any experience with the compressors but it could benefit you if you convert your fleet or buy new stuff running on CNG. There are lots of tax breaks and benefits out there for going to alternative fuel.

    I'm a big advocate of CNG, and replacement vehicles will come with cng from now on.

    this was my neighbor for a few months...

  3. Maco Services

    Maco Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    I've got an engineering back ground, and lived in TX, and various coastal regions, those rigs bring back memories.

    I think any equipment that has fuel flexability is a great thing. It keeps the market in check more quickly, as users can change from tank to tank instead of each time they buy a vehicle. I'm certainly going to keep my eye out for these, especially on the used market. I've been involved with a handful of alternative fuel companies, and our next venture will be along the same lines. Save to oil for plastics and lubrication, domestically we've got plenty of ways to fuel the countries transit needs, but the higher the cost, the longer the transition time.

    Do you know if you have many public CNG stations near you?
  4. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    Untill I read this thread I have never heard of somebody using cng in a truck. But we don't have any places around that can compress it that I have seen
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    petrohawk, chesapeake, and the cities of shreveport and bossier city have built CNG stations, and are converting thier fleets. but here in the haynesville shale we have an over aboundance of natural gas. so its easily acquired and cheap.

    the rig in my pic is a trinidad rig. NOMAC drilled all of our wells, that was in a section beside us. the ones here are typically 12000 feet deep and 4500 feet horizontal

    also heard they are about to drill the first oil well aboit 5 miles from me.
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    In 2000 the state of AZ had a rebate program to push the "green vehicles" it was a crazy rebate. I bought 2, 26-K ford f150 trucks and basicly got one for free. The only catch was you had to have enough cash or credit to pay for them up front and then the state refunded you like 40% of the purchase price of the entire vehicle. Even though the cost of the conversion was only about 5-k, funny thing was I looked into it a year or to earlier and it was only about 3,300 bucks, what a scam that was. I was interviewed at a fueling station and whenever they ran a CNG story for the next 2 years it was me on the stock footage in the background. I'm lucky I wasn't shot, once the public found out about it they were rightly outraged. Thank you Janet Napalatano I was one of the first to take delivery. I also got $15 registration for the life of the vehicle that was a 600 savings the first year too. The special license plates allowed me to drive in the HOV lane alone... man those were the good ole days.

    I still have one of the trucks 228-K miles with no engine problems. The tranny is shot now and its sitting on the side of my house. It was under-powered on CNG by about 10% hardly noticeable. the fuel mileage was also about the same. I didn't get the compressor on the house another 5-k but again the state reimbursed you for it I just didn't have the $$$. My neighbor did but he didn't like it. It took quite a while to fill the tank and it made a lot of noise.

    It was difficult to find service techs to work on the vehicles and they changed the CNG platform on us in 02 or 03 and parts were difficult to get. Also my CNG tank has a "lifespan" of about 10-11 years it is stamped right on the side. I didn't find that out until I pulled off the decorative cover to clean out the bed. Its out of date now. I would buy another CNG truck in a heartbeat.

    I have heard you can blend/add CNG to diesel and get improved power and MPG but I'm just too busy to monkey around with that kind of stuff.
  7. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    yeah a friend of my dads in oklahoma that works with CNG and products says they are really close to running 18 wheelers on 90% CNG
  8. Maco Services

    Maco Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    Glad to hear there are some others out there. If your buddy still has a compressor he wants to sell, let me know. My plan was to hook it up at the end of the day, and have a compressed tank the next morning.

    I've heard you can get the tanks reinspected and extend the expiration date, but I've yet to find what qualifications are needed or cost to certify.

    Like I said, we have only a single public pump. There are quite a few buses, trash trucks, and city vehicles using CNG, but I doubt many normal citizens use it in this city. If I could, I would use it on everything, but the conversions are cost prohibitive unless I find a compressor.

    Any other deals on tanks or systems, please pass on reputable conversion companies. Our local gas company obviously spent an arm and a leg on these trucks and I've heard GM and Ford both offer a factory conversion that can run on CNG. No clue on incremental cost. Anyone can find out if there are filling stations nearby by searching on google, or the national energy website will provide all locations as well.
  9. Maco Services

    Maco Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    GQLL - Looks like there are 4 stations within 25 miles of you, 3 public, 1 private.
  10. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    my guys had an accident 2 weeks ago and tottled one of my f250's and my f450. I decided we're going with a gas/cng combo for the 250 replacement and biodiesel for the 450. I specialize in effiecient irrigation and lighting, being "green" in those areas giving the company name two meanings, now we're going to be green on the road as well. I'm planning to switch all of the vehicles over to cng or bio by spring, other than the 3500 duelly that is my main equipment towing vehicle
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011

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