Monday, April 30, 2012

E-mail about CNG

"Mr. Bane, I have not been in the cleaning business very long. The man who retired and sold me his business and your equipment said that you had trucks that ran on natural gas a long time ago. There is lots of talk right now about using natural gas. Can you tell me about these trucks and how I can get one?" Tom

The vehicles you refer to, Tom, were powered by CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and it was nearly 22 years ago. Our trucks were rigged with cylinders mounted inside for the CNG. We could also use the truck's gasoline tank by turning a switch on the dash when the CNG ran out. There was also a tax rebate on the conversion which made it reasonable.

We stopped using CNG for two reasons. There was only one filling station in our area, it always had a long line and our techs didn't like waiting. The second reason was the gas company never made available the in-house filling station that was promised in the beginning. It would have been very convenient to have compressors in our garage.

Our GMC ¾ and 1 ton trucks ran very well on CNG. There was no loss of power, engines ran cooler, we got much better mileage and CNG cost less than gasoline. We only had the CNG trucks a little over a year, so we don't really know about long-term effects, but the cooler operation should have made the engines last longer.

I suggest you contact your local gas company to find out if CNG is available in your area. They would probably be able to suggest someone to install the conversion gear, too. Some truck dealers may have the information. I believe CNG is the best alternative fuel except for the lack of filling stations. If they perfect in-house compressors we'll buy them again.

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