Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc., from Mokena, Illinois, has begun testing what the company claims is the first front discharge concrete-mixer truck powered entirely by compressed natural gas (CNG) in the United States. The company is piloting the new front discharge vehicle in an ongoing effort to reduce its reliance on petroleum consumption and help diminish the company’s carbon footprint. Contributing toward the national goal of reducing demand for imported oil is also a major benefit.
Ozinga has worked with McNeilus Truck Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Company, to develop and field test the new CNG powered Oshkosh S-Series front discharge mixer. The S-Series mixer, which utilizes a Cummins Westport ISL-G engine, has a McNeilus designed CNG system mounted behind the mixing drum. The innovative placement of the CNG storage tanks does not interfere with the vehicles productivity or performance, and is designed to be flexible in capacity for different applications.
Westport ISL G engines will reduce carbon emissions by 80-90 percent while wielding the same horse power and torque performance as their diesel predecessors. The reduced emissions from just one truck being converted from diesel to natural gas would be the equivalent of taking 325 cars off the road.
“Our manufacturing process goes on during the transportation of our product,” said Tim Ozinga, Director of Communications. “Concrete is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials available. So now, coupled with the clean and safe properties of natural gas, we can complete the manufacturing cycle and ensure that our product’s delivery is just as environmentally responsible as the product itself.”
As a sustainable building material, concrete can help projects achieve LEED certification. Compared to other construction and building materials, concrete is locally produced, yields a long life-cycle, is 100 percent recyclable and can be engineered into special applications such as permeable pavements.
“Ozinga has taken a lead in developing specialty concrete products to help reduce energy consumption and storm water runoff,” Ozinga said. “The CNG vehicle project is an extension of our product innovation, and will help make our green products even greener.”
The first front discharge truck will begin field testing next week in the Indiana market. Ozinga believes more CNG powered trucks could be in the company’s future, representing the company’s firm commitment to the environment and the community.
Ozinga has already had success using the domestic fuel source at its flagship Chicago manufacturing facility which has its own CNG refueling station. Tim Ozinga is proud of his fleet of 13 rear discharge CNG trucks based there. “Based on our research, it is our belief that we have one of the largest fleets of entirely CNG-powered Concrete Mixer Trucks in the world”, he said.
The 84-year-old company has manufacturing sites across the Midwest which operate nearly 100 trucks in total.
(This article compiled using information from an Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete, Inc. press release)