Three steps to proper propane truck maintenance

Handle your trucks and your fuel with caution to maintain your propane fleet

07/09/2014


Nearly 60,000 propane-powered forklifts were sold in the U.S. last year, making up a significant share of the forklift market. Propane is a clean, American-made fuel with very low emissions, making propane forklifts safe for indoor and outdoor operations. As the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) points out, there are certain steps forklift fleets can take in order to ensure continued safe operation of their propane-fueled fleet.

Step 1: Practice preventative maintenance
Preventative maintenance is designed to preserve equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they fail. It’s recommended that propane forklifts receive filter and lube service at least every 1,000 hours or every four months — whichever comes first.

Jeremy Wishart, deputy director of business development for the Propane Education & Research Council, recommends lift truck fleet managers consult with their equipment manufacturer for specific service intervals, as recommendations may vary.
“Preventative maintenance is less expensive than a service call and can be scheduled around off-peak hours of business operation,” Wishart said. “Servicing forklifts before any issues arise ensures minor problems will be caught before they become more extensive and costly.”

Step 2: Prepare the repair facility
Safety is an important consideration for any repair facility, and facilities servicing alternative fuel equipment are no exception. Forklift fleet managers should review the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 58 for information on fuel storage and garaging procedures with propane-powered equipment.
“Propane has similar requirements when compared with gasoline, so facilities that are compliant with conventional fuel codes can often accommodate propane-powered equipment without modifications for ventilation, gas detection, or electrical requirements,” said Wishart. “That’s not the case with all alternative fuels, so it’s important to know the requirements for equipment up front.”
When servicing and repairing propane-powered machinery, the work should be performed in the lowest point of the facility and the tank supply should be shut off when possible.

Step 3: Handle the fuel safely
Propane is a safe and versatile fuel when handled properly. PERC reminds forklift fleet managers to visually inspect cylinders and mounting brackets for any damage before refilling a propane tank. Also, make sure the tank is mounted properly and that the mounting pin is engaged on a regular basis. If there is a problem, Wishart recommends leaving repairs to a professional.
“Don’t try to modify or repair valves, regulators, or other cylinder parts,” said Wishart. “Always call a propane provider or qualified service technician for assistance if there’s ever any uncertainty.”
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a check-off program established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit propane.com



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me