Mack makes headlines at Waste Expo

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Mack Trucks Inc. on Wednesday, June 10, announced the availability of natural gas-powered engines for refuse applications. The Mack TerraPro Low Entry model now is available for order with heavy-duty natural gas engines supplied by Cummins Westport; the TerraPro Cabover model will be available later.

Mack officials made the announcement at a news conference during WasteExpo 2009 in Las Vegas, Nev., where the company also announced the results of field tests of Mack trucks equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology in demanding refuse applications. Mack says the tests continue to demonstrate the durability, effectiveness and performance of the company’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emissions reduction technology.

Mack TerraPro Low Entry natural gas model

The 9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G is rated at 320 hp, can use compressed (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG), and has a three-way catalytic converter to meet EPA’s 2010 emissions standards.

“We’re bringing the Mack tradition of application excellence to alternative fuel vehicles,” says Dennis Slagle, president and chief executive officer of Mack, based in Lehigh Valley, Pa. “The natural gas products we’ve now brought to market will extend our position of leadership in refuse into this emerging segment.”

Groot Industries Inc., a major waste hauler in the Midwest, already has placed an order for Mack TerraPro Low Entry models with ISL G engines. The 20 units will run on CNG and are scheduled to go into service in the Chicago area by the end of the year.

“Refuse companies these days are expected to be environmental leaders in their communities,” says Brian Curry, director of fleet and facilities for Groot Industries. “We look for ways to serve customers with the cleanest and most efficient trucks available, which is why we were so interested in Mack’s natural gas solution. Our Mack TerraPros will help us reduce emissions and our carbon footprint, as well as lessening the U.S.’s dependence on foreign oil. We’re very pleased to have the first of these new CNG Mack TerraPros. And since they’re factory-built and come with factory support and warranty, we have even more confidence they will deliver the performance and durability Groot demands.”

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Mack officials have seen a growing number of municipalities mandate alternative fuel vehicles as a condition of contracts with refuse haulers. “Natural gas has a number of significant benefits,” says Tom Kelly, Mack senior vice president of product portfolio management. “It burns very cleanly, there is an abundant supply here in North America, and it’s comparable to diesel in terms of cost over the life of the vehicle.”

Kelly also emphasizes that the Mack trucks have been engineered specifically and built to operate on natural gas, an important advantage over aftermarket conversions. The ISL G engine is installed on the production line at the Mack Macungie assembly operations plant.

SCR testing in refuse applications

Mack says the work with the severe-duty cycles in refuse collection is part of its extensive customer field test program validating the performance and operation of its EPA 2010 solution in real-world settings. In addition to enhancing fuel economy and overall vehicle performance, SCR aftertreatment significantly reduces active regenerations of the diesel particulate filters (DPF), increasing productivity, according to the truck maker; in over-the-road applications, Mack says it has eliminated active DPF regeneration completely.

“We now have more than three million miles of customer test experience with SCR, and the results reinforce our confidence that 2010 delivers increased fuel economy, lower operational costs and a continuation of Mack’s legendary durability,” Slagle says. “SCR is a proven, mature technology that provides cleaner air and reduces the carbon footprint of trucks that are the backbone of our economy.”

Refuse customers operating trucks with Mack MP series engines and SCR aftertreatment are reporting excellent performance, power and fuel economy, according to the truck maker, and they have not experienced any issues involving the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) used in SCR or with any other component of the technology. Test units have been placed with refuse fleets in a variety of environments for evaluation, including high altitude, severe winter weather and hot, humid summer conditions, Mack says.