Take Care with Propane!

Proper installation of a frame-mounted tank costs extra dollars, but pays off in safety

Jim Halverson survived a major propane accident himself, so it isn’t surprising to find out that he’s adamant about practicing proper propane safety. 

“You’ve invested a lot of time and money in your career,”  the Lomita, Calif., farrier told an audience of horseshoers during the 2001 Northern California Classic in Placerville. “Don’t throw it all away by being careless with your propane.”

“Barbecue-Style” The Pits

Halverson says the “barbecue-style” propane tanks often used by farriers aren’t safe for over-the-road transportation. He recommends going to a dealer who specializes in attaching propane tanks to recreational vehicles (he suggests looking under “Motor-Fuel Conversion” or “RVs” in the business pages of the phone book) and having them install a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved tank to the frame of your vehicle.

A tank itself will cost about $350 and expect to spend another $600 to $700 having it welded to your vehicle frame. Such an installation will include high-pressure fittings and hoses and will meet DOT standards.

Companies in your area will also be able to let you know about any state or local ordinances that may cover propane use and transportation.

Don’t Do-It-Yourself

While Halverson knows many farriers may feel capable of doing such work themselves, he cautions against it.

“Most people who mount these tanks on trucks would make terrible horseshoers,” he says. “In general, we make terrible tank mounters. Let people who know what they are doing do this.”

If you continue to use portable propane bottles, use DOT-approved ones, which…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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