Monday, December 16, 2013

Is your garage ready for alternative fuels?

Overlooking costs and regulations past the pump is one of the most common mistakes fleets make when switching to alternative fuels. Figuring total cost-of-ownership - including infrastructure, garaging and maintenance - is an important step in choosing the right fuel and can help you avoid unforeseen expenses.

If you’re modifying a repair garage or building new to suit your green fleet, here are the top questions to ask before you begin.

1. Is your facility code compliant?

The first step in readying a garage for alternative fuels is making sure your facility is compliant with general code requirements for traditional liquid fuels. Since propane autogas has similar requirements to gasoline and diesel, facilities operating within these regulations can easily accommodate propane autogas-fueled vehicles without modifications for ventilation, gas detection or electrical requirements.

However, this is not the case for all alternative fuels. For example, a CNG repair and maintenance facility requires additional gas detection and ventilation equipment.

Secondly, a review of national codes and regional compliance codes with your local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is recommended before making any changes. The two codes fleets need to review for propane autogas-fueled vehicles can be referenced online at - the website for the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).

2. Will the facility provide minor repairs, major repairs or both?

Repair garages are placed in two different categories for code purposes. A major repair garage is where actions such as engine overhauls, painting, bodywork and motor vehicle fuel tank drainage are performed.

A minor garage is used for basic tasks, such as tune-ups, parts replacement and fluid changes.

Major and minor repairs may take place in independent facilities or can be performed in separate areas within the same building.

A review of compliance to existing local and national codes for liquid fuels is recommended before making modifications to facilities.

With propane autogas, there are no additional requirements for minor and major repair facilities. They are the same as gasoline and diesel requirements. Read more here.

No comments:

Post a Comment