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Monthly Archives

May 2018

Cassia County School District Use Three New Propane-Run Buses

By Headlines

The last day of school was Thursday for Cassia County students and some rode home in style. The school district recently received three new propane-run buses. Jim Hamilton, the transportation supervisor for the school district, said they bought two in 2017. “We liked them so we bought three more this year. We just got them in last week,” Hamilton said. Out of 63 buses the school district has, they have five that run on propane.

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Wisconsin District Sees Savings With 6 New Propane School Buses

By Headlines

A school district here added six propane school buses to its fleet for the 2017-18 school year, replacing some diesel buses, and has seen about $12,000 in savings so far. Since the School District of Holmen put the Blue Bird Vision propane buses into operation, it has saved over $2,000 per bus in maintenance and fueling costs, said Beth Hobbs, the transportation supervisor for the district. 

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Propane Fleet, Part 1: Schwan’s Longtime Confidence in the Fuel Leads to Acquisition of Hundreds of Autogas Trucks

By Headlines

Schwan’s Home Service began using propane fueled trucks over 40 years ago and recently announced plans to add 200 more autogas trucks upfitted by Roush CleanTech. And they’re not stopping there. The Minnesota-based company plans on leasing an additional 400 propane trucks by year’s end. With most of the alternative fuel headlines focusing on electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, it’s worth remembering that autogas ranks as the third most popular fuel in the world.

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Propane Vehicle Preventative Maintenance

By General discussion

Propane Specific Preventative Maintenance

Propane autogas vehicles do promise less maintenance requirements than diesel. But, that doesn’t mean that there are no maintenance requirements. We’ve put together the top three preventive maintenance guidelines you should be following. These will help keep your propane vehicles running smoothly.

Fuel Filters

Propane autogas fuel systems require much less maintenance than diesel fuel systems and are more comparable to gasoline fuel systems. It’s recommended that operators follow the same maintenance intervals and fluid specifications as called out by the OEM for the gasoline engine when operating a ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel system.

The only additional maintenance items for our propane autogas fuel systems are fuel filters. One filter is added into the filling line on all generations of our fuel systems. Another one is the supply line filter between the fuel tank and engine on a Generation 4 style fuel system.

Both fuel filters are serviceable without draining the propane from the fuel tank. There are not any maintenance items within the fuel tank requiring it to be drained for any type of maintenance.

These filters are both recommended to be changed out every 50,000 miles.

If the operator notices a decreased filling rate on a unit as compared to others in the fleet, it could be a sign of a partially clogged filter and it should be replaced regardless of the vehicle’s mileage.

Fuel Tank – Corrosion and Refinishing

Propane autogas fuel tanks should be inspected for signs of surface rust or corrosion on an annual basis. If corrosion or surface rust are found, the fuel tank should be refinished to inhibit any further surface rust or corrosion from forming.

We’ve worked with our propane autogas tank suppliers to develop refinishing procedures. We also have a FAQ document which answers many common questions in regards to tank corrosion and tank inspection at

Special Tools

ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas fuel systems work with standard OBD II diagnostic equipment and require very minimal tooling to work on. However, we created a list of relatively low-cost special tools that we recommend you have in your shop. That list can be found at

We also have information on several types of propane transfer systems. These can be used to speed up the repair process when in-tank repairs are necessary and require the propane fuel to be drained from the tanks. There’s the ROUSH CleanTech Transfer System that uses in-tank fuel pumps plus two other manufacturers’ transfer systems we recommend. You can find out more at

We’ve also developed our own diagnostic software application, known as the ROUSH RDT tool. This tool is available to download for free. It’s like other OEM forms of diagnostic software and requires the use of one of our recommended pass-through devices to communicate between the vehicle and the computer. To download the free ROUSH RDT tool, or for more information about the recommended pass-through devices, visit

If you have any questions about preventive maintenance, please contact Mario Genovese at

Volkswagen Update: May 2018

By General discussion

Volkswagen Update: May 2018

Every month we get closer and closer! Almost half of the state beneficiaries have drafted their Environmental Mitigation Trust plans. About half are still developing them. We are getting down to the finish line for making the case for propane school bus funding. If you haven’t reached out to your representative, now is the time.

As of May 2018:

Five states have final plans:

  • Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska and Nevada

23 states have draft plans:

  • Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin

23 states are still developing their plans and are accepting comments:

  • Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming

Each state has been assigned a beneficiary, usually an environmental or energy government entity. A state listing can be found on the VW Settlement Clearinghouse website.

If your state falls into either of the last two categories, please contact Chelsea Jenkins at to discuss how best to approach your state agencies. We don’t want to miss this opportunity to get more funding for propane school buses!

Ride and Drive Attracts Over 10 School Districts

By General discussion

Ride and Drive Attracts Over 10 School Districts

Last month, the parking lot at our headquareters in Livonia, Michigan, was full of school buses and more. That’s thanks to Holland Bus Company. Sales Manager Ken Haverkate was instrumental in hosting this ride and drive event where more than 10 school districts were in attendance.Holland Ride & Drive May 2018

In addition to the propane and gasoline bus ride and drives, the day was filled with additional learning opportunities. And, to add some excitement to the event, attendees could take a spin in a ROUSH Mustang and Raptor. Here’s what the day looked like:

  • Tour of the ROUSH CleanTech manufacturing floor
  • Overview of alternative fuels
  • Ride & Drive (lunch provided)
  • Demonstration of fueling
  • Tour of ROUSH buildings, including fuel rail machining and dynamometer

If you’re interested in hosting an event like this at our Livonia, Michigan, headquarters, please reach out to your ROUSH CleanTech business development manager. Or use this agenda as inspiration to hold your own ride and drive event at your dealership to help increase your sales of propane buses.

Dealer Spotlight: Bryson Sales and Service

By General discussion

Dealer Spotlight: Bryson Sales and Service

Dealer Spotlight: Bryson Sales and ServiceBryson Dealerspotlight May 2018

Interviewee: Mark Turner

Title: Lead Salesman

Last year, Mark Turner, lead salesman of Bryson Sales and Service, created a new initiative to help sell propane school buses. He observed that new propane sales had flattened or leveled with his current approach. So, Mark decided that he wanted to not only target the transportation directors and mechanics, but also hit a new group — the folks who manage the money.

To turn his attention toward these school business officials or “economic buyers,” Mark set his sights on the Utah Association of School Business Officials meeting. Representatives from across the state would be gathered at one place and he could present to a wide audience in a short amount of time. He secured a guest speaking spot at the meeting, which was co-presented by ROUSH CleanTech.

Mark feels that school business officials are most receptive to the cost of ownership message of propane. He’s definitely on to something as Bryson Sales and Service has doubled its propane customer base in one year with the help of this approach. And, he’s already been invited back next year to speak at the school business officials meeting!

Yet, he cautions that dealers need to educate all levels of leadership at the district to make it happen. That means leveraging from a top down and bottom up approach. Talk total cost of ownership of propane buses with the economic buyers. They know that schools and taxpayers benefit from the lower operating cost of a propane school bus. For the transportation directors, the pitch should be geared toward making it simple. And for mechanics, they want to be wowed by the ease of maintaining a propane school bus. Techs and transportation directors tend to be focused on the simplest solution.

As Mark noticed, the school bus conversation has changed with the introduction of gasoline. He suggests getting in front of the money managers to make the case for propane.

If you’re interested in learning more about leveraging this new audience, please contact your Blue Bird or ROUSH CleanTech sales rep. And, if you can get in front of people like those at the Utah Association of School Business Officials, contact Ryan Zic at to discuss sponsorship options.