Tucker Perkins of the Propane Education & Research Council
In our continuing series of discussions with top supply-chain industry executives, Tucker Perkins discusses propane's role in powering the nation's material handling operations.
Tucker Perkins is president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), a nonprofit organization funded and operated by the U.S. propane industry. PERC promotes the safe and efficient use of propane.
Perkins joined PERC five years ago as chief business development officer and then served as chief operating officer before being promoted to his current role. He has worked in the propane industry for nearly 30 years in a variety of roles for both large national companies and small regional propane marketers. Perkins is active with many organizations aligned with PERC, including the National Propane Gas Association and the Industrial Truck Association.
Q: What is the role of the Propane Education & Research Council?
A: The Propane Education & Research Council was established to expand the adoption of propane as a clean, American-made energy source. The organization does that by implementing safety and training programs, conducting research, and investing in technology development with leading equipment manufacturers in a variety of industries, including material handling, on-road transportation, commercial landscaping, residential and commercial building, and agriculture.
Q: What are some of the ways that you provide information about propane use to the supply chain industry?
A: We are constantly talking to the supply chain industry about the benefits of propane equipment and how propane as an energy source can help them get more work done in an efficient way. Whether that's through a video testimonial showcasing how a company is using propane to get ahead or an educational resource detailing how a facility can start a conversation with a propane supplier in its area, the amount of content we have available for the industry to learn about propane is immense. I invite your readers to visit our redesigned website and see for themselves.
Q: What are the major benefits of using propane to power industrial trucks?
A: Propane is a leader in the material handling market because it offers a number of key advantages over other fuels. Propane boasts lower emissions, greater productivity, and performance that's proven to work for supply chain facilities of any kind.
Q: How do you view the current market for propane-powered lift trucks compared with electric vehicles?
A: Propane will continue to be the fuel of choice for most in the lift truck market compared with electric options because propane can provide savings throughout ownership. Propane forklifts are less expensive at acquisition than electric by almost 30%. Plus, with electric models, there are some hidden costs that are important not to overlook, including the utility costs of keeping them charged. Battery life and power output for electric forklifts also diminish over time and lead to future costs that aren't always considered before it's too late, including additional costly batteries.
Q: Safe fuel-handling practices are always an important focus within our industry. How do you help to educate the industry on the safe handling and use of propane?
A: Nothing is more important to PERC than the safety of those who work with, sell, or buy propane. Through proactive outreach to consumer safety organizations, trade groups, emergency responders, and the public, PERC increases awareness of safe propane storage and handling practices. The best way for DC Velocity readers to engage with the various propane safety information, resources, and training opportunities the Propane Council provides would be to visit the Safety section of our website.
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