Central Freight Lines (CFL), a less-than-truckload (LTL) for-hire common carrier, is to test 15 new clean air tractors under a grant from the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) in Texas, USA. The latest in a series of steps the company is taking to help protect the environment and foster the use of domestic fuel sources could lead to an addition of 200 natural gas tractors in CFL’s south Texas market. The 15 new tractors are 2013 Peterbilt 384 4X2 Tractors and will be equipped with an Agility 75 DGE Back-of-Cab CNG Fueling System (75 Gallon Diesel Equivalent).
“The opportunity to test natural gas tractors is part our effort to help improve air quality in the areas where we operate,” said Don Orr, president and CEO of Central Freight Lines. “In the past few years, we have been consistently replacing power units with newer emissions compliant engines, and adding other environmentally friendly equipment such as propane-powered forklifts. With the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s backing we can fully evaluate how natural gas tractors will help further our goals and help fight air pollution in some of the major metropolitan areas we serve, including Houston, which has higher air pollution levels than most large cities in the country.
“We are firm believers in using domestically produced fuels like natural gas to help reduce consumption of foreign oil,” Orr added. “Natural gas powered tractors support U.S. energy producers, including many in our home state of Texas. In addition, many of those companies and their suppliers are our customers.”
The new clean air, natural gas tractors joining the CFL fleet will be used for local pick up and deliveries in the Houston-Galveston service area where a natural gas fueling infrastructure is available. The higher up front cost of the engines, Orr noted, will be returned to the company in the significantly lower cost of natural gas. Currently, natural gas prices are about half on a per gallon-equivalent compared to on-highway diesel fuel.
All Peterbilt compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform vehicles are equipped with the Cummins Westport ISL-G engine which offers a 320 horsepower rating and 1,000 ft-lbs. of torque. Efficient and emissions compliant, the engine produces horsepower and torque comparable in capability and service to the diesel engines. It has a maintenance free three way catalyst (TWC) that is 95% effective in NOx conversion and is highly effective in controlling all CO and hydrocarbons. Additionally, the Peterbilt Model 384 has been recognized as fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly by the EPA’s SmartWay program.
(This article primarily compiled using information from a Central Freight Lines press release)