Natural Gas – Conversions, Vehicles and Technology

Retrofitting Your Maintenance Shop for CNG

September 2014, Work Truck - WebXclusive

by Becky May


Retrofitting your fleet's maintenance garage so you can service compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles may seem like a daunting task. Although it is a cost-effective move in the long run, many fleet managers don’t know where to begin.

Central Region Manager Mark Ellis of Maintenance Design Group will clarify some of the common misconceptions fleet managers have about the process during his government session on the final day of the 2014 Green Fleet Conference & Expo, which runs from Oct. 29-30 in Schaumburg, Ill.

Ellis admits that each project plan is one that varies based on the size, type of fleet, type of maintenance and the extent of the modifications needed to be made on the existing facility. “The most common misconception is that adding CNG vehicles to your fleet means a total renovation of your facility,” said Ellis. Heavy or major repair facilities typically are a more extensive process. Despite what many fleet managers may believe, Ellis says that integrating CNG/LNG into a facility can be a very straight forward process.

Ellis started his fleet maintenance and operations work right out of college. He has more than 20 years of experience as a planner and functional design specialist for fleet operations and maintenance facilities. Ellis has been involved in more than 200 projects, starting from the facility design criteria, final design and construction documents and assistance in bid review.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) selected Ellis for the leadership APTA class of 2014. The one-year course of study is geared towards the development of the next generation of CEOs, general managers, and C-suite leaders. Ellis is one of 25 senior level individuals who will go through by current and past transit CEOs and other industry leaders from around the country.

Ellis’ session on retrofitting will be one of four government fleet sessions at this year’s conference. Other conference topics include; building an EV charging station network, grant writing tips for fleet managers, and a case study of the City of Santa Ana and its alternative energy plan.

Visit the event page for the Green Fleet Conference & Expo for more information.

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