Propane bobtail project officials: Don’t give up

December 11, 2013 By    

It’s been almost a year since full production of the Freightliner S2G commercial propane chassis with an 8-liter engine was originally set to begin. But Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) officials overseeing the project told the council this week in Amelia Island, Fla., to remain hopeful.

Full production is now scheduled to launch in early 2014, but Tucker Perkins, chief business development officer for PERC, says units are now being produced at a slow rate to get them into the field and tested. He says 25 propane companies and 20 school bus users are putting “real-world mileage” on the vehicles.

The chassis project has received considerable attention for more than a year because it would give the propane industry its first propane-powered bobtail built by an OEM truck manufacturer, and it’s also designed for use in Thomas Built Type C school buses. But the delays have stood in the way.

The project’s most recent delay, which we learned about in October, stems from vehicle oil leaks and problems with the check-engine light, but Perkins says those issues have been addressed.

“I know we had some delays, but this is a good product,” adds Michael Taylor, director of autogas business development for PERC. “When you look at new OEM timelines and compare it to this project, we’re not that far off the pace. We created anticipation in the marketplace prematurely; we got excited. But it’s coming.”

Full production will begin following the current durability testing, Taylor says.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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