“We’re excited about CNG because it opens a whole new way to improve efficiency,” says Dart Transit President David Oren.
Owner-operator Dart Transit Company has launched a small fleet of CNG powered tractors dedicated to Andersen Window Corporation, a North American windows and doors provider. The Eco Tractors run a dedicated route between Andersen’s window and door factory in Bayport, Minnesota and its consolidation center in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
While a CNG fueled truck costs about $45,000 more to purchase than a diesel-powered tractor, potential fuel savings make that a reasonable investment. Fuel cost savings with CNG can reach $25,000-$35,000 per year per truck, depending on miles driven. Tank capacity is equivalent to 60 gallons of diesel –about 360 miles (580 kms). Practically speaking, that limits CNG trucks to short-haul applications.
To make the Andersen Window dedicated service work, a new CNG fueling station was installed by U.S. Oil at a truck stop near Andersen’s facility in Menomonie. It is the result of a unique partnership between Dart, Andersen, U.S. Oil (a division of U.S. Venture, Inc.), Breakthrough Fuel, Excel Energy as the gas supplier, and the Cedar Country Cenex Cooperative truck stop. Natural gas reaches the fuel station by pipeline, where equipment compresses it on-site to 3,600 pounds per square inch.
Despite the current limited number of fueling locations, Dart sees big potential for the fuel, especially as truck stops add CNG to their services. Dart President David Oren says that other shippers have already approached the company with an interest in beginning their own CNG operations.
“We’re excited about CNG because it opens a whole new way to improve efficiency,” says Oren. While initial equipment cost is high and delivery range is limited, CNG offers some big advantages: much lower cost per mile, less price volatility, and dependable domestic supplies. Best of all, natural gas is the cleanest fuel available, producing 28% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel.”
(This article compiled using information supplied by Dart Transit Company)