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Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc. to Convert Service Fleet to Propane to Reduce Fuel Costs and Harmful Emissions

Lake Michigan Mailers will begin converting its service fleet to accept both cleaner burning liquid propane gas (LPG) and traditional gasoline in an effort to reduce its fuel costs and harmful vehicle emissions.  The company’s conversion to propane bi-fuel systems will be facilitated by its strategic partners Icom North America, LLC and AmeriGas, Inc.

Propane conversions

J. Sells (Director Sales & Marketing Engine Fuels, AmeriGas), Mike Banic (District Manager, AmeriGas), Steve Vande Mark (Area Sales Manager, AmeriGas), Robert Rhoa (CEO, Lake Michigan Mailers), David Rhoa (President, Lake Michigan Mailers) Ralph Perpetuini (CEO, ICOM) Albert Venezio (Sales Manager, ICOM), David Rigney (Regional Alternative Fuel Specialist, AmeriGas)

Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc. announced today that it will begin converting its service vehicle fleet to run on both liquid propane gas (LPG) and traditional gasoline.  The conversion will allow the company to reduce its cost per mile by 32 percent and will reduce the company’s vehicle emissions by emission by as much as 60 percent.

Lake Michigan Mailers a leading provider of document management, mail assembly, mail processing, presorting, data management, digital marketing and distribution services provides document and mail transportation services to companies, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, governmental entities and organizations in a 12,600 mile square mile area every day with its own regional fleet of vehicles.  Annually the company’s service fleet travels more than 477,000 road miles without leaving the Eastern Time Zone.  Since May of 2009, the company has seen its fuel costs skyrocket 71.1 percent.

“We knew we had to make a strategic change in the way we propel our vehicles down the road in order to support our continued market growth in the face of rapidly rising fuel costs,” said David C. Rhoa, president of Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc.  “We evaluated every alternative fuel type currently available.  Propane is the right choice for us for a number of reasons, including cost per gallon, long-term price stability, improved environmental impact, available fueling infrastructure, and vehicle conversion options.  With nearly 90 percent of domestic propane supplies produced in the United States, we are confident that we won’t be subject to the wild price fluctuations that we find in the global oil and gasoline markets.”

The company also expects the conversion to propane to yield significant environmental benefits. “Propane burns cleaner than gasoline resulting in lower harmful emissions.  We expect our propane vehicles will emit 12 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, and 60 percent less carbon monoxide and GHG emissions by 20% than our standard gasoline -fueled vehicles.  Converting to propane is a natural extension of our existing sustainability programs,” said Rhoa.

The company has partnered with Icom North America of New Hudson, Michigan to build and install the EPA-approved vehicle propane management systems.

“Icom was the perfect partner for us on this mission-critical project,” said Rhoa.  “Their EPA-approved systems allowed us to properly convert our existing fleet vehicles thereby reducing our system conversion costs and minimizing the lead time necessary to bring our reconfigured fleet online.”

The propane liquid injection conversion system provided by Icom will allow the company’s vehicles to run on both propane and traditional gasoline with propane being the primary fuel.  “Using Icom’s bi-fuel system extends both the useful life of the vehicle and its service range and helped us overcome a potentially significant barrier – availability of propane fueling stations,” said Rhoa.  “We needed a system that would not tie us exclusively to one fuel type.  The Icom system gives us the cost savings and cleaner burning advantages of propane and the security of knowing that our vehicles will not be stranded for lack of propane fueling stations.”

Lake Michigan Mailers has selected AmeriGas, Inc. to provide propane for the converted vehicles.  “AmeriGas has been an ideal strategic partner for this program,” said Rhoa.  “We approached them with a basic outline of our program objectives.  They provided us with a fully engineered solution that will allow us to reduce our fuel costs, manage the fueling requirements of our propane-powered fleet as it expands, and properly manage our fueling system.”

Lake Michigan Mailer will begin converting its vehicle fleet in June 2012.  The process to convert the existing Michigan-based fleet is expected to be completed by August 2013.  The company plans to begin converting its Indiana -based fleet in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a final conversion date of June 2014.

About Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc.:

Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc. is a family owned and managed company with processing centers in Kalamazoo, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana.  The company is a leading provider of document management, mail assembly, mail processing, presorting, data management, digital marketing and distribution services to companies, schools, colleges and universities, health care providers, governmental entities and organizations throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Additional information about Lake Michigan Mailers, Inc. can be found on the company’s web site at

About Icom North America, LLC:

Icom North America, LLC, founded in 2004, is a U.S.-based company which designs, develops, manufactures, certifies and integrates the patented industry leading Icom JTG Liquid Injection Propane systems and additional Icom products.

Icom offers a total fleet solution including JTG II, JTGhp for Direct Injection, JTG-Dynamic for Diesel engines, and various tank designs including the Toroidal (donut) tanks for commercial and passenger OEM as well as aftermarket vehicles in North America and selected other markets.

Icom JTG II Systems are installed in south Michigan at the Icom Michigan Plant and nationally are installed at trained vehicle up-fitters and installation centers through the Icom Distribution network noted on our website. More installers are continually added. Further Icom works close with Propane fuel supply partners for propane fueling and infrastructure for fleets. Fleets across the country are moving to domestic and green propane autogas.

All products utilize a high U.S. content. North American headquarters are in New Hudson, Michigan.  Further information is available at:

About AmeriGas, Inc.:

AmeriGas is the nation’s largest propane company, serving over 2 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and Autogas from over 1200 locations in all 50 states.  Further information is available at:

Source: PR Newswire

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