driving the propane route

nile84

Senior Member
Persian
Hi

Friends, I'm reading "Hag-Seed" by Margaret Atwood. I came across this phrase: driving the propane route.

Bert—the husband—couldn’t make enough off the alfalfa and was driving the propane route to make ends meet, plus he cleared driveways in winter.

Does it refer to the man's being a driver of those big vehicles used to transport liquid and gaseous commodities?
Or it has some other meanings?

Thanks.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Many rural communities in the U.S. do not have natural gas piped to every home. The homes are too far apart for this. Instead, if they want to use gas for cooking, heating water, etc., they use large propane tanks. The tanks have to be exchanged for fresh ones when they become empty (or shortly before they become empty). The propane route is the route that an employee of the propane company drives to exchange old tanks for full ones.
     

    nile84

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Many rural communities in the U.S. do not have natural gas piped to every home. The homes are too far apart for this. Instead, if they want to use gas for cooking, heating water, etc., they use large propane tanks. The tanks have to be exchanged for fresh ones when they become empty (or shortly before they become empty). The propane route is the route that an employee of the propane company drives to exchange old tanks for full ones.
    Thank you, Egmont :thumbsup:
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Many rural communities in the U.S. do not have natural gas piped to every home. The homes are too far apart for this. Instead, if they want to use gas for cooking, heating water, etc., they use large propane tanks. The tanks have to be exchanged for fresh ones when they become empty (or shortly before they become empty). The propane route is the route that an employee of the propane company drives to exchange old tanks for full ones.
    Small correction ;)
    Out here in rural America where propane (liquefied petroleum gas or LPG) is used for heating, cooking, etc., the tanks are far too large to be routinely exchanged.
    Rather than exchange the tanks, a large tank truck equipped with a pump comes to refill them.:)
    This picture of a typical tank shows a 250-gallon (946-liter) version.

    And the truck:
     

    nile84

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Small correction ;)
    Out here in rural America where propane (liquefied petroleum gas or LPG) is used for heating, cooking, etc., the tanks are far too large to be routinely exchanged.
    Rather than exchange the tanks, a large tank truck equipped with a pump comes to refill them.:)
    This picture of a typical tank shows a 250-gallon (946-liter) version.

    And the truck:
    What a great explanation. Thanks a million, sdgraham.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Small correction ;)
    Out here in rural America ...
    Thanks for the additional information. I based my post on what's common in condominium developments in rural and semi-rural areas near Boston. (My wife and I finished a year-long search for one not long ago, so we saw lots of propane tanks like this before buying a unit that is a bit closer to the center of a town and has natural gas piped in.) I didn't know that similar tanks aren't used in the rest of the country.
     
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