May 21, 2013
Kenworth Sales Company, through a partnership with Blu LNG and PacLease, is offering the rental of trucks fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fleets operating along the I-84 and I-15 corridors from Las Vegas, Nev., through Utah, Idaho, and eastern Oregon.
The trucks are provided by Salt Lake City-based Kenworth Sales Company with Blu LNG to providing the LNG fuel to power them.
“We’re excited to be offering private fleets and truck operators a chance to try an LNG-powered truck in areas where such opportunities have never really existed before,” Olen Hunter, director of sales for PacLease, says. “For companies involved in regional food and beverage distribution, oil and gas exploration, hauling raw products for the agricultural industry, or finished products for food processors, this will be an opportunity to test natural gas-powered trucks in their specific operations and duty cycles.”
The rental program will offer trucks in four different configurations to meet the needs of most fleets while matching the LNG fueling infrastructure that Blu is currently installing. The trucks are scheduled to roll off the assembly line shortly and will be available in local-delivery, regional-haul, long-haul and heavy-haul configurations.
The trucks will be available at select Kenworth Sales Company-PacLease locations throughout the four western states near to where Blu has recently completed construction of LNG fueling stations. The three Idaho locations are in Boise, Idaho Falls and Jerome. In Utah, there are three in Salt Lake City, and one in Salina and one in Washington. There are also locations in Las Vegas, Nev., and Pendleton, Ore.
“This also offers fleets the opportunity to make sure the fueling infrastructure has been established to meet their needs and routes,” Hunter adds. “Additionally, they can determine if the price difference between LNG and diesel fuels offers them enough savings to consider more wide-spread adoption of natural gas-powered trucks into their fleet operations.”
The company says more locations will be available as new Blu LNG stations come online and rental truck equipment capacity is added nationally.
“The agreement will provide customers a great opportunity to evaluate the performance and fuel savings of natural gas by using demo trucks within their own unique operations,” Drew Laing, director of marketing for Blu, says. “We are confident this program will provide the transportation industry the assistance needed to effectively adopt this cleaner, domestically produced, and lower-cost fuel.”
LNG fuel has the potential to significantly reduce fuel costs, Laing says. The recent average price of a diesel gallon-equivalent of LNG is running about a $1 below the average price of a gallon of diesel fuel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Clean Energy Fuels.
All four configurations will feature the Kenworth T800 equipped with one 120-gallon LNG fuel tank, a 15-liter Westport high-pressure direct injection (HPDI) engine and manual transmission in various specifications.
The local-delivery configuration will feature a day cab, single drive axle and a weight rating of 65,000 GVW.
The regional-haul configuration will feature a day cab, tandem drive axle and a weight rating of 80,000 GVW. The line-haul configuration will feature a 38-inch sleeper, tandem or tridem drive axles and a weight rating of 80,000 GVW. The heavy-haul configuration will feature day cab or 38-inch sleeper, heavy-duty tridem drive axles and maximum weight ratings that meet local state weight laws.
PacLease can also provide long-haul units with dual LNG tanks for fleets with longer operating ranges.
“The heavy-haul configuration will be particularly well spec’d to handle the punishing environments typical with oil and gas exploration work,” Hunter added. “This rental program has the potential to really open up the market for buying and leasing natural gas-powered trucks. It gives companies an opportunity to use a lower cost and cleaner locally produced natural gas while reducing our dependency on foreign oil.”