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National Clean Fleets Partner: Schwan's Home Service

Photo of a Schwan's delivery truck that runs on propane.

Schwan's Home Service, a direct-to-home food delivery business, operates the largest propane vehicle fleet in the United States. About 75% of the company's trucks run on this clean-burning alternative fuel. Company founder Marvin Schwan began using propane in his trucks in the early 1970s in response to the oil embargoes of that decade.

Fast Facts

  • Joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership: October 2011
  • Headquarters: Marshall, MN
  • Operations: Schwan's subsidiaries operate from about 500 locations throughout the United States, including 12 major food production facilities in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
  • Strategies and Technologies: Propane, fuel economy measures, idle reduction

Schwan's Home Service Delivers With Propane-Powered Trucks

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More Information

For additional information contact the Clean Cities National Clean Fleets Partnership account manager, Mark Smith.

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Clean Fleets News

March 17, 2014

Schwan's Home Service relies on propane to power delivery trucks

MARSHALL, Minn. – Schwan's Home Service, Inc., a subsidiary of The Schwan Food Company, operates more than 4,500 delivery trucks powered by propane, which saves the company money and reduces its carbon footprint.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the company a $500,000 grant to convert food-delivery truck engines to run on propane. The grant covered some of the cost for purchasing the kits required to convert gasoline engines to propane.

In addition to converting trucks to run on propane, the company continues to incorporate lighter trucks into its fleet. The new trucks are about 6,000 pounds lighter and deliver a 36% improvement in fuel economy.

The company also lightens the load of older medium-duty vehicles by mounting each truck body on a lightweight chassis. This innovation reduces annual fuel consumption by approximately 3,500 gallons per truck.

In 2014, the company ordered more than 230 new propane chassis to replace older propane-powered units in most cases. The new chassis average about 6 miles per gallon compared to 3 to 4 miles per gallon for the older, larger chassis.

Schwan's also has an idle-reduction initiative that limits the amount of time trucks can idle to reduce vehicle emissions and conserve fuel.

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Content Last Updated: 05/29/2014