HARRISONBURG, VA – Lewis Pest Control in Alabama expects to save more than $16,000 in fuel costs and displace approximately 20 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually with eight propane autogas trucks. Alliance AutoGas converted the fleet vehicles, five of which were funded through the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program.
For President and General Manager Scott Lewis, switching his vehicles to propane autogas came down to dollars and cents. A small, family-owned company that provides pest management services to Alabama, southeastern Mississippi, and the panhandle of Florida, Lewis Pest Control has trucks that average 30,000 miles per year, so cutting fuel and maintenance costs is a top priority.
“I took a look at a number of alternative fuels, and I couldn’t find any others that were as good of a fit for my fleet vehicles as autogas, or the infrastructure ended up being cost prohibitive,” said Scott. “Autogas was the most viable option for reducing my fuel costs and receiving a quick return on investment.”
Lewis Pest Control converted three Chevrolet 1500 trucks from gasoline to propane autogas in 2008, and then received funding assistance through the program to convert two Chevrolet 2500 trucks and three Ford F-150 trucks, which were completed by December 2011. Alliance AutoGas worked with Scott to convert his first three vehicles, and it also provided the installations, fueling, and customer support for the entire regional grant program. Local Chevrolet dealer Brooks Chevrolet became a certified Alliance AutoGas conversion center to complete the conversions.
Each truck was only out of commission for about two days during the conversion process, resulting in no upset of operations – an extremely important consideration for a company running 60 vehicles across three states.
“My drivers like the propane-autogas trucks and say they’re no different or less convenient than their gasoline vehicles,” said Scott, whose own personal vehicle runs on propane autogas. “I have also been very pleased with the propane-autogas vehicles. I always tell people that it’s great knowing we’re using a domestic fuel that reduces emissions, but, ultimately, the dollars and cents have to work for a small business like mine. And, they do.”
Lewis Pest Control’s long-term plan is to fund autogas conversions for two additional vehicles every year. Scott said he currently pays around $1 per gallon less for propane autogas than for gasoline, so achieving a quick return on investment is very feasible.