Following some recent reports of cold starting issues on LPG powered trucks in Britain, the UK Material Handling Association have released a Safety Alert which cautions against excessive cranking over of the engine and repeated starting attempts.
David Goss, UKMHA Technical Director, explains, “Investigations into the root cause are ongoing, but some instances have been identified where there is a build-up of deposits in the evaporator (pressure regulator), flow regulator or shut-off valve.
“The concern is that sticking valves could lead to a mixture which is too rich and therefore cannot be ignited. If there are then repeated starting attempts, this can lead to a release of a high unburned concentration of LPG which, in extreme cases, could present a risk of fire. LPG is heavier than air, so it does not naturally disperse and will accumulate in enclosed spaces and low lying areas where it can easily be ignited by an ignition source, such as sparks, electrical arc or a hot surface.”
He continues, “If the engine of an LPG truck does not start within the normal few seconds, then do not continue to crank the engine over and do not repeat the normal starting sequence. Instead you should secure the truck, ventilate the immediate area and contact your supplier to get the truck checked out.”
The Safety Alert gives advice for operators on what to do, and what not to do, if experiencing difficulty starting an LPG truck engine. It also offers guidance to service and maintenance engineers in how to safely deal with an LPG truck which has a reported starting issue.
All the Safety Alerts are published on the UKMHA website and have been created by the UKMHA Health & Safety Group to highlight hazards and safe working practices for technicians working on material handling equipment. They are freely available to members and non-members alike.
This latest Safety Alert is available to download now from the UKMHA website: ukmha.org.uk