June 1, 2008 By    

PERC offers new online safety tool

Consumer safety messages are available for retailers to use with company brochures, newsletters, invoices, meter tickets or bill stuffers to distribute safety messages to propane customers.


The new documents were developed using the language and instructions presented in Propane Education & Research Council consumer safety brochures and booklets.

The documents are available in five configurations for use in various customer communication materials. They can be downloaded in PDF or JPG formats and are available in color and black-and-white.

The documents and a user guide can be viewed by clicking on the “Consumer Safety Message Documents” link at The guide provides instructions to help retailers or print vendors access and download all of the documents.

Study: Flaming helps with milk production

Propane-fueled flaming for bedding on dairy farms may increase daily milk production as much as 2.9 pounds per head, a research study funded by Propane Education & Research Council found.

The 10-week study, conducted by the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences at Mississippi State University, tested the impact of propane-powered flaming on sand bedding for lactating dairy cows.

Preliminary results show that flaming reduced pathogens at the sand surface. Cows housed on the treated beds produced milk with fewer somatic cells and reduced milk conductivity, suggesting a decline in sub-clinical mastitis. The increase in milk production alone was estimated to improve the dairy’s production by almost $13,000 for the 403 treated cows.

“We want to perform additional research to substantiate our initial results, but we think this propane-based technology could have a significant impact on the dairy industry,” said Terry Smith, researcher at Mississippi State.

The study began in June 2007 and was conducted at North Florida Holsteins in Bell, Fla.

American Welding & Tank increases prices for all product lines

American Welding & Tank LLC announced price increases effective May 15 covering all propane tank product lines.


The new price schedules will reflect a 7.5 percent increase for new tanks and a 3.5 percent transportation surcharge. Refurbished and pre-owned tank price increases will range between 0-3 percent and will also be subject to a 3.5 percent transportation surcharge.

Orders placed May 7-14 for delivery before June 30 will be at the April 1 pricing. Deliveries in June will be subject to the transportation surcharge. Orders placed after May 14 for delivery between July 1 and Aug. 1 will be subject to the new May 15 price schedules. Those scheduled for delivery after Aug. 1 will be subject to prices and surcharges in effect at time of shipment and steel availability.

Orders placed prior to May 15 will be accepted on a first-come/first-served basis contingent upon available inventory and manufacturing capacity at time of order.

Customers with open orders will be contacted to discuss the impact of unannounced raw material or transportation cost increases on existing orders.

Wisconsin governor signs bill with new rules for propane

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed new legislation that changes the way propane companies work, WBAY-TV in Green Bay reported.

Suppliers and construction companies must follow new rules when dealing with propane, and the law creates a communication system for underground gas lines.

The bill was authored after a construction crew severed a propane line. The leak went unnoticed until a deadly explosion in July 2006 that killed two people at the Cedar Grove Resort in Ellison Bay and destroyed three buildings, including the nearby Pioneer Store.

Now suppliers have to provide a hotline with locations of propane tanks and pipes. They also have new licensing and training requirements, and suppliers must carry liability insurance.

Propane suppliers pushed for the new law. In fact, the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association was helping to develop similar legislation in 2003.

EPA grant funding available for propane projects

Almost $50 million in grant funding will be available through the Environmental Protection Agency for clean engine projects to reduce emissions.

The grant program is administered through the National Clean Diesel Campaign, and propane projects are eligible for grant money.

State, local and regional governments can apply for the grants, as can nonprofits and institutions with transportation, educational services and air quality responsibilities.


Stellar to acquire K-PAC waste handling equipment division

Stellar Industries Inc., a producer of hook hoists, truck cranes and service truck accessories, announced an agreement to acquire the K-PAC solid waste handling equipment division of Krause Corp.

The sale will consist of the entire product offering under the K-PAC name, which includes tarpers, hooklifts, cable roll-offs, container handlers and compaction products.

Krause Corp. is a global producer of tillage products and solid waste handling equipment. Krause chose to divest the K-PAC division due to a strategic decision to concentrate on global agricultural markets, which is the core business of the company.

Stellar Industries’ strategic plan is to focus on growing in the waste and scrap hauler industry as well as the entire demountable container and body markets.

Alternative fuel system class to teach LPG installation and service

Technicians and fleet managers from all over the United States are expected to attend the annual ACME Alternate Fuel Systems annual class to be held July 15-17 in Mankato, Minn.

The class teaches students how to perform installations and service propane fuel system vehicles for maximum efficiency. Technicians are taught how to diagnose and fix a problem in the most timely and economical way.

Rick Nordstrom, the instructor and an ASE-certified master technician, has more than 30 years combined experience in the automotive and alternate fuel industry.

Each class is limited to no more than 20 students so it can be personalized to each student’s needs or situations they may face in daily operations. Technicians and fleet managers needing troubleshooting tips and the most up-to-date comprehensive information about propane fuel systems are encouraged to attend.

ACME School is conducted at the Best Western Hotel & Conference Center in Mankato and the ACME shop. The cost of the class is $350 and includes lunches, technical manuals and a personalized approach, solving the attendees’ everyday fuel system questions and issues that a technician or fleet manager would face.

If you are unable to attend or have a large group that could benefit from training, Nordstrom can bring ACME School to your location.

For more information about ACME, visit or call 507-345-4000.

Midland debuts remanufacturing facility at open house

Midland Manufacturing, producer of railroad tank car safety valves and equipment and a division of OPW Fluid Transfer Group, unveiled its new valve remanufacturing facility with an open house on May 1 at the company’s headquarters in Skokie, Ill.

The new facility features 3,000 square feet of space that is dedicated to Midland’s remanufacturing activities. The workspace, which has been designed for lean manufacturing processes, will be managed by a team of nine valve-remanufacturing experts that will bring more than 50 years of production and engineering experience to its valve remanufacturing program.


National Propane Gas Association

Debra Wilson has been hired as the public and government affairs assistant. She had been the administration coordinator in the Homeland Security & Technology Office of the National Governors Association where she managed meetings and conventions, maintained all office databases and managed grant budgets.

Peter Ferrell has been hired as the executive assistant to the president. He comes to NPGA from the office of Rep. Tom Tancredo where he served as the legislative correspondent. He drafted policy letters, tributes and commemorations; managed constituent relations; provided legislative research support; and managed the office’s internship program.

Gas Equipment Company Inc.

Jim Roberts, director of information systems in Dallas, was honored as employee of the year.

Todd Meyer was named salesperson of the year for LP gas markets. He services Northern Missouri, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska territories from the Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis warehouses.

Lance Looper was named salesperson of the year for industrial markets. He services industrial accounts in the United States from the Houston warehouse.

Outstanding service awards for the year went to: Michele deBlonk, Mary Stout, Karen Webber, Scott Nichols and Bill Gautier of the Dallas branch; Katy Stelter, Jarrod Griffin, Frank Abrego, Mike Armstrong and Priscilla Chandler of the Houston branch; Bill Staggs, Steve Garrett, Tim Barton and Bill Fisher of the Indianapolis branch; Joe Rush and Mike Maxson of the Fayetteville, N.C., branch; Don Estridge and Gordon Griffin of the Little Rock, Ark., branch; Steve Baze and Stan Hess of the St. Louis branch; Bonnie Bourne of the Richmond, Va., branch; and Raymond Swain of the Atlanta branch.

Elster Gas North America

James Ward has been appointed product manager for gas measurement products within Elster Gas North America’s business unit, Elster American Meter. Ward will be responsible for driving the commercialization of new products, channel development and the promotion of Elster American Meter and Elster Instromet measurement product families.


John Kucharski has been named vice president and general manager. Kucharski has 30 years of experience in managing manufacturing operations with a strong background in industrial/manufacturing engineering.

William (Bill) Soulon has been appointed customer service manager, specializing in quality assurance and industry regulations. He has 25 years of propane industry experience.

Midland Manufacturing

Zack Gorny has been hired as the new director of supply chain. He comes to Midland after spending eight years working in several supply chain roles. He will be responsible for the purchasing and shipping departments at Midland with key objectives emphasized around supplier performance management, inventory reduction and material cost reduction.

Liberty Propane

Brian Keefer has joined Liberty Propane as general manager in the Jenkins Gas-Morehead City (N.C.) service center. Keefer possesses years of propane management experience across several markets in the West and Southwest.

Stellar Industries Inc.

Al Kuhlman has been promoted to customer service representative. He will handle parts sales and technical assistance for Stellar customers. Kuhlman had spent two years as a truck assembler for Stellar where he was key in the final assembly of mechanic and tire service trucks. He was also responsible for prepping chassis for mechanic truck packages, and he also installed hydraulic pumps, PTOs, cranes and compressors.

Control Instruments Corp.

Brian Barrett has been hired as a direct regional sales manager covering the Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana territories.

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