After researching alternative fuels, Craig Kersemeier, president of K-tech Kleening, in Schofield, Wis., chose to switch from diesel to soy-based diesel. He chose this fuel because it does not require any engine conversions.
Of the company’s fleet of 44 trucks, three currently run on the fuel. Though Kersemeier’s goal is to convert the entire fleet to the alternative fuel, he’s waiting until more gas stations offer soybased diesel. “If it’s available at a gas station, we use it. If it’s not available, we use regular diesel,” he says. Some states offer grants to gas stations to convert to bio-diesel.
Another hold-up is that the restoration company’s trucks have engines mounted on them for use in power washing. Those engines tap into the fuel tank of the truck and, as of now, cannot run on the bio-diesel fuel.
The soy-based fuel costs about 25 cents to 28 cents more per gallon, but that’s an expense Kersemeier is willing to pay. “As stewards of the earth, we choose to pay it,” he says. And he knows from past experience that prices will come down as the fuel becomes more prevalent. When Kersemeier first switched from standard cleaners to green cleaners to reduce chemical exposure for employees and customers, the products were more costly and less efficient.
“A green product can give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. [Green] products now are as good as, if not better than, [traditional products] in some applications,” Kersemeier says.