Omaha Truck Center eyes state’s first NatGas dealership
Omaha Truck Center, Inc. says it plans to build the first natural gas-compliant truck dealership in Nebraska.
Shain Heiss, Omaha Truck Center Fuel Solutions Specialist, says the company hopes to build the operation in the next six months and open in the summer of 2014.
The Truck Center Companies Fuel Solutions dealership will be available to both commercial and non-commercial vehicles. Working in partnership with Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD), it will be adjacent to MUD’s compressed natural gas fueling station, the first in west Omaha.
“We are excited to work with MUD on bringing these projects to Omaha,” says TCC president and CEO Trey J. Mytty. “CNG-powered vehicles have a bright future and run on fuel that is abundant in the United States. It’s another opportunity to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”
“MUD’s role is to facilitate market development for natural gas vehicles, and we couldn’t do that effectively without a local partner willing and able to provide solutions to the challenges fleet operators face in adopting an alternative fuel,” said Mike Corrigan, NG Vehicle Specialist, MUD. “Truck Center Companies has taken a strong leadership role by being that local resource for their customers.”
Mytty says the dealership will have six service bays and occupy approximately 15,000 square feet. It will accommodate all alternative fuel vehicles, including both CNG and LNG, as well as propane and electric. It will support all classes of light, medium and heavy duty vehicles, including tractor trailers, and will perform required CNG tank/fuel system inspection and certifications.
Heiss says the idea for the dealership was born by the growing use of NatGas trucks in the market they serve.
“There are a couple hundred natural gas vehicles in Omaha, right now,” he says. “And the majority – about 75 percent are local gas utility trucks.” Heiss added the dealer has seen some growth in natural gas trucks sales, which prior to this year was mostly municipal.
In opening the new facility, Heiss says there was also an opportunity to provide something other than sales and infrastructure, which get the most attention in discussions about the feasibility of natural gas in the marketplace.
“Everybody talks about the chicken and eggs – infrastructure and truck sales – but I believe there’s a third component: Service,” Heiss says. “A lot of dealerships don’t even know how to deal with some of this stuff, and can’t provide all three components.”
The new dealership will also sell new Freightliner alternative fuel vehicles and offer retrofits on existing vehicles.