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Propane powered plow trucks?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dillyolboy, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    Who else here runs a propane powered truck? Who sells propane kits? I assume propane would be quieter, burn cleaner, and result in lower fuel costs.
    Wyldman - What did you do to yours to raise the compression? Would an artificial way such as a supercharger work as well. I have heard the stock manifold on a Dodge is junk for running propane? What are some other disadvantages to propane besides fuel availability? Does the truck run hotter cause propane burns hotter than gas?
    Sorry about all the questions :confused:
  2. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom Member
    Messages: 82

    We used to have some propane delivery trucks. The upside was that they were cheaper to run only in fuel costs. The downside was that many underground garages won't allow them in, valves on engines wore out quickly (supposedly solved now), availability of refuel sites inconvenient espeacially when out of city, short range due to size of tanks, hard to start in very cold weather due to propane not volatizing. We used these trucks because the Ontario government subsidised the installation of conversion but the drawbacks far outweighed the advantages and when the government took away all the tax advantages it just became not worth the hassles
  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    i think propane trucks and cars turned out to be a false benefit. all the local ups trucks, cabs, police cars etc went propane. it worked for a few years, but hardly anyboyd sells it at a pump, and its wicked dangerous. a number of cabs involved in accidents burnt up big time. now all i see ups buying is diesel, and all the police cars and cabs went back to gas.
  4. RAZOR

    RAZOR Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    I had a propane power truck about 15 years ago and will never buy one again. At first propane was very cheap, after several years the price more than doubled. If I went out of the city it was sometimes hard to get propane, the filling station were sometimes closed, sold out or had nobody there who was licenced to pump the fuel. Some garages would not allow the truck in their shop because there insurance would not allow it. There were very few qualified mechanics to work on propane systems. The truck ran fine and I had very few problems with it but as stated before the downside is much greater than the up side to me.

  5. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Forget a propane powered truck buy a F350 Powerstroke diesel get a banks power pack in it and a propane injection and if you really want power get some NOS too. Thats the only way in my eyes for propane to be used ;)

  6. maintenanceman

    maintenanceman Member
    Messages: 32

    Our propane truck is an 85 gmc 3/4 ton with a 350. The old gas engine was totally rebuilt as it had 250,000 km on it and was worn out. This was when the decision to use propane was made. Thus we had the heads and valves built to handle propane and added a propane only carb. Changed the cam to a r.v. cam for better torque. When the engine was done it performed as well as the original gas engine, no noticable loss of power. The engine has run for many years and has 100,000 km + on it with no major mechanical problems (other than starter, alternator). Added a push button switch for help starting in cold,(I've started it at -27 degrees celsius without using a blockheater). The price to run propane has drastically increased over the last few years, however the increase in gas and diesel is more. (gas 76+ cents per litre or $3.50+ per gallon). Using propane has allowed us to keep our costs down where as other companies in our area have had to increase costs to account for fuel prices!
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    When I did the conversion,I redid the heads,with good stainless valves and good hardened seats.We also planed the heads and used a steel shim head gasket to help with the compression.When the motor neededs to be opened up for a rebuild I will eventually go with high compression pistons to get the compression up even more.The propane has the equivalent of so much octane,and burns so much slower,you need the high compression and timing to take full advantage of it.

    The manifold isn't the greatest on the Dodge for propane but it does the job.It is a propane only setup,with a dedicated propane carb.The truck runs no hotter than before.

    I would prefer a diesel,but I got the truck (it's a tow truck) for a song,and the propane kit was given to me,so it was a no-brainer to put it on.

    If the engine is built correctly it will last just as long as a gasser,maybe even longer,as it keeps the oil so clean.
  8. 68bullit

    68bullit Member
    Messages: 36

    i have a 86 suburban with 290.000 kms on the original engine.

    to you yanks thats about 190.00 miles give or take and the truck runs fine daily.

    it has a 350 4 bolt main engine thats stone stock,4 speed bull low tranny and can push a house over.

    my buddy came(1 ton military) in and did my drive before my plow worked and he had about 3-4 foot banks and the old sub knocked them down and pushed them back 30 feet into the yard.

    if i let it idle til warm it will run fine for th rest of the day.if i jump on the gas cold she will freeze up like any other lpg vehicle.