Autogas Pavilion launches – and other news, notes from Atlanta

April 16, 2015 By    

The inaugural Autogas Pavilion produced a lot of buzz on the trade show floor during the National Propane Gas Association‘s (NPGA) Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo on April 11-13 in Atlanta.

Nineteen companies were represented in the pavilion, where a number of propane-powered vehicles were on display to educate attendees about autogas opportunities.

The pavilion was formed through the NPGA’s Conventions Committee, which looked to help build momentum in the autogas market.

“We’ve gotten great feedback on the pavilion,” says Teresa Wade, marketing coordinator at Trinity Containers, who served as chairwoman of NPGA’s Autogas Pavilion task force. “Each exhibitor said they had a tremendous turnout. It’s fantastic what these companies have been able to do.”

Building momentum in autogas markets

Powertrain Integration sees a notable difference between last year’s Propane Expo and this year’s event.

Last year, the company was trying to build momentum behind its PIthon 8-liter V8 propane engine for Freightliner’s S2G chassis. But today, Powertrain Integration President Bob Pachla says, it’s approaching 1,000 units that power the S2G propane bobtail and a Thomas Built C2 school bus.

Other applications for the engine include an S2G propane box truck and entry into the shuttle bus market on an S2C Freightliner chassis. Freightliner recently announced that utility and beverage truck applications are on the way.

Powertrain Integration also displayed a 6-liter V8 propane autogas engine during the Propane Expo. The engine was installed in 1,000 walk-in vans for UPS.

Keys to controlling insurance claims

Eric Kuster, loss control manager at Fairmont Specialty, explained during an educational session how propane companies can control general liability, vehicle and property claims.

He stressed the importance of performing leak checks on all systems when required as a way to guard against general liability claims.

To avoid vehicle claims, companies should consider using the Propane Education & Research Council bobtail rollover training program with drivers, Kuster says. He notes the importance of defensive driving techniques and the danger of drivers following other vehicles too closely. He says companies should consider installing backup cameras on their vehicles.

Keeping equipment in good shape, reviewing fire prevention methods and reviewing and upgrading theft deterrent systems should help keep property claims in check.

Employees not following established company procedures often lead to large losses, Kuster says.

Technology helps fleets answer: What happened?

Technology is taking a front seat in our daily lives, including transportation, says Blake Gasca, CEO of Convoy Technologies.

Gasca asked attendees during an educational session: What problems are plaguing your fleet today? And he highlighted challenges, such as driver fatigue and distracted driving. Convoy Technologies offers technology that captures real-time and historical video when companies need it most.

“We’re there to protect the drivers and build information around what took place” during an on-road incident, he says.

For more from the Propane Expo, read our entire notebook here.

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