Central Freight Lines announced its intention to test 15 new clean air tractors under a grant from the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The latest in a series of steps the company is taking to help protect the environment and foster the use of domestic fuel sources could lead to an addition of 200 natural gas tractors in CFL’s south Texas market.
“The opportunity to test natural gas tractors is part our effort to help improve air quality in the areas where we operate,” says Don Orr, president and chief executive officer of Central Freight Lines. “In the past few years, we have been consistently replacing power units with newer emissions-compliant engines, and adding other environmentally friendly equipment such as propane-powered forklifts. With the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s backing, we can fully evaluate how natural gas tractors will help further our goals and help fight air pollution in some of the major metropolitan areas we serve, including Houston, which has higher air pollution levels than most large cities in the country.”
The new clean air NG tractors joining the CFL fleet will be used for local pickup and deliveries in the Houston-Galveston service area where a natural gas fueling infrastructure is available. The higher upfront cost of the engines, Orr says, will be returned to the company in the significantly lower cost of natural gas. Currently, NG prices are about half on a per gallon-equivalent compared to on-highway diesel fuel.
The 15 new tractors that will be added to the CFL fleet are 2013 Peterbilt 384 4X2 tractors and will be equipped with the Agility 75 DGE Back of Cab CNG Fueling System (75-gallon diesel equivalent). Specs for the tractors include an ISL-G 320/2200 engine and Allison 3000 Highway Series transmission.