When purchasing a new work truck, it’s common to focus on the immediate and visible benefits of ownership – such as the purchase price or how many miles per gallon the vehicle gets. But fleet owners also need to consider the benefits at the end of its lifecycle because it can help them decide on the right vehicle.
Propane autogas vehicles provide a lot of value when it is time to replace or retire the asset, whether fleet owners plan to sell privately, at a public auction, or trade-in the vehicle. Here are a few things to consider when making the decision.
Clean Engines Lead to Longer Vehicle Life
Propane autogas is a clean-burning fuel, so it not only has a low emissions profile, but the fuel doesn’t degrade or prematurely wear engine components such as 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 build-up on the valves that naturally occurs in gasoline engines.
Propane autogas does not require additional standard options, like emissions and fuel filters and fluids, to operate daily. Simply put, propane autogas is a clean-burning fuel and when the vehicle is properly maintained, owners enjoy a longer life cycle with much lower maintenance costs.
A longer life cycle with fewer maintenance requirements and lower costs helps propane autogas vehicles provide fleet owners with the lowest total-cost-of-ownership of any fuel.
A Growing Market for Used Propane Autogas Vehicles
There are several options for fleet owners to consider when retiring propane autogas work trucks — and it’s only going to get better, with more than 200,000 propane autogas vehicles in operation across the United States. According to annual sales data compiled by the Propane Education & Research Council, the used propane autogas truck inventory is increasing and the number of buyers for used propane autogas trucks is increasing with it.
Options Abound for Truck Owners
One of the most common practices for fleet owners may be a dealer trade-in for a newer vehicle model, but in some markets, this may not be an option just yet. However, there are other options to consider.
If your fleet is not considering or cannot pursue an outright trade-in option, don’t despair. For vehicles equipped with an EPA or CARB certified conversion kit, fleet owners can easily remove the propane autogas fuel system, reinstall the OEM gasoline fuel system, and sell or trade as a gasoline truck. This is a preferred option when the local market is commanding more for gasoline vehicles at the time of sale.
Many fleets choose other, potentially more lucrative options to dispose of the older vehicles. Like other conventional or alternative fuel vehicles, propane autogas vehicles can be sold privately or at public auctions. Both venues attract buyers who are interested in the propane autogas vehicles or are interested in parts for remanufacturing. This is true of late model vehicles or vehicles with significant body wear or damage.
Propane autogas vehicles can command value in these venues because buyers are familiar with the fuel and see the true value in the total vehicle or just parts of the vehicle. They know that propane autogas engines operate clean their entire life and the engines and other major components are typically in pristine condition. Some buyers will choose to deploy the propane autogas vehicles into their operation while other buyers may choose to harvest the high-value components which are remanufactured and sold in the high demand aftermarket parts business.
Not only do propane autogas vehicles offer the lowest total-cost-of-ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle, but they also offer benefits and options to fleet owners at the end of their life cycle. Fleet owners are encouraged to talk with their dealer or aftermarket company to determine the best options for their fleet. To learn more about the benefits of using propane autogas vehicles, visit propane.com/on-road-fleets.
About the Author
Michael Taylor is the director of autogas business development at the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.