MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Glasvan Great Dane has announced it will be carrying the Autocar shunt tractor featuring a natural gas Cummins ISL-G engine at all its locations.
On Nov. 12, George Cobham Jr., vice-president of sales with Glasvan, officially made public Glasvan Great Dane’s decision to carry the natural gas tractor in an effort to offer the latest and most environmentally sound equipment.
Autocar, North America’s oldest manufacturer of truck equipment, now offers alternative fuel-powered vehicles and has seen a 25% increase in the proportion of truck orders with natural gas engines in the last year.
“The truck has more horsepower – 300 hp – and produces around 650 lb.-ft. of torque, but despite the higher ratings on horsepower and torque the truck is expected to burn equal to or around 5-10% more fuel by volume than a diesel,” said Cobham.
While the truck may burn slightly more fuel, natural gas costs approximately half as much as diesel.
“The truck is more money. It costs about 40% more than a diesel truck, but there is a payback and amortized correctly, this truck can be cash flow positive right from month one,” said Cobham.
The tank on the truck is worth $25,000, Cobham noted.
“A lot of people think the cost of these natural gas powered trucks is in the engine or the electronic system, but they are incorrect,” said Cobham. “The cost is in the tank.”
The engine isn’t just larger than the diesel, but also significantly cleaner.
“We look at this diesel truck and we have a very complicated exhaust system on it. It’s got SCR – so it’s using urea to scrub the exhaust. It’s got an EGR valve that takes the exhaust back into the engine,” said Cobham. “It’s got a DPF – all these terms SCR, DPF, urea, EGR – these are all hot-button terms for trucking companies. All these items, which are EPA mandatory, cause downtime and that downtime is normally unexpected. It’s always a wild card. The truck rarely gives you a warning to when these things are going to happen, this is the same for all diesel engines.”
Now, with the Autocar shunt tractor, many of these things have been eliminated because they run on natural gas.
“Natural gas burns very clean. The carbon footprint will be less – we are looking at reductions here as much as 70-80%,” Cobham said.
This type of vehicle will become more commonplace in yards and it has been reported, according to Cobham, that Autocar, as of late August 2013, has numerous customers commissioning compressed natural gas powered (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) engines.