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LNG truck for rent

SAINTE-JULIE, Que. – The first dealership in Quebec to sell a liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck has also become the first to rent an LNG truck. Sainte-Julie, Que.-based Excellence Peterbilt is increasing the availability of the truck,...


SAINTE-JULIE, Que. – The first dealership in Quebec to sell a liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck has also become the first to rent an LNG truck. Sainte-Julie, Que.-based Excellence Peterbilt is increasing the availability of the truck, complete with sleeper, by limiting the rentals to a month per carrier.

“We are trying to reach all the sectors: flatbed, dry van, tankers…to make sure that all of the (sectors of the trucking industry) will be able to try it,” says Christine Durocher, a technical representative with Camions Excellence.

By mid-December 2012, Excellence Peterbilt had already received a lot of interest and bookings for 2013.

“We are creating a market for LNG technology. That is our long-term goal,” Durocher says. She declined to name names, but did acknowledge that, “Some of the top 10 transporters in Quebec are interested in renting it.”

Carriers who rent the truck will join two other Quebec trucking companies running LNG trucks: Boucherville-based Transport Robert, which is well on the way to owning 170 or so LNG trucks and St-Romuald, Que.-based Transport YN.-Gonthier.

Robert has purchased Peterbilt 386, Kenworth T800 and Volvo tractors and YN.-Gonthier ordered two 475-horsepower Peterbilt 386 tractors for delivery last fall.

The tractor that Excellence Peterbilt is renting has a Westport HD15L GX 475 hp/1,800 lb.-ft. engine and an 18-speed Fuller RTLO18918B manual transmission. The two 120-gallon LNG tanks give it a range of about 800 kilometres. The tractor has been outfitted with a 63-inch UltraCab sleeper with Prestige interior.

The dealership, which was the first in Quebec to sell, repair and maintain LNG trucks, will train the drivers with the carriers that lease the Peterbilt.

“This is a look into the future,” says Serge Guillette, director, transport and logistics with Distagro, a division of Sysco Canada. He came to the Dec. 19 show-and-tell at Excellence Peterbilt to learn more about how the truck works. Distagro, a food service distributor to food chains, is in partnership with about 15 carriers to transport its 42 trailers around Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.

“Our first concern is the environment. Our second is the cost of fuel. The idea is that we can save on the environment together and on fuel costs too. Carriers are bidding for our business, so I have to understand what the LNG truck can do for me,” Guillette explains.

Jocelyn Bourdeau, the owner of Transport Jocelyn Bourdeau, in St-Chrysostome, has a keen interest in the LNG technology.

“We are learning and looking at the possible savings,” Bourdeau explains. His company runs a lot in the US Midwest, but he notes that there are still few fuelling opportunities for LNG in the States. He does, however, see a role for LNG technology in the Quebec-Ontario corridor for his company as soon as the fuelling infrastructure is in place.

“We want to lease when the Cornwall, Toronto and Windsor stations are up and running. When Gaz Metro is ready to fuel on the 401, I will lease this truck,” Bourdeau declares.

He will not have long to wait. Before the end of the year Gaz Metro will have public fuelling stations in Riviere du Loup, Quebec City and probably Cornwall, Ont. It already has a fuelling station in Transport Robert’s yard in Boucherville. Gaz Metro is also looking for a location just east of Toronto for another station and may complete its 1,150-kilometre-long Toronto-Riviere du Loup corridor this autumn.

Gaz Metro has signed a deal for a station in Riviere du Loup. It will be located on the corner of Industrial Boulevard and the Trans-Canada Highway. Gaz Metro will build the Quebec City LNG station behind the PetroPass at Exit 305. It should be open this April or May. Until then, carriers can use the Robert facility in Quebec City.

Gaz Metro has purchased the land for a LNG fuelling station in Cornwall, which could be built by the late spring of 2013.
If, for some reason it will not be built there, Gaz Metro will build a station in another eastern Ontario town. Ultimately, says Martin Blanchet, business development manager, Gaz Metro, “We want the corridor to go all the way to Windsor.”

There are challenges to getting wider adoption of LNG technology, says Durocher. “At this time we need training, stations, infrastructure.”

Excellence Peterbilt is doing its part, including giving carriers this opportunity to test the technology before committing to buying any rigs.

Although it is testing the waters with just one LNG sleeper, later this year it will bring in a compressed natural gas (CNG) 26-foot straight truck, with specifications to be decided on later. After that it will buy a Peterbilt day cab with a Cummins ISX 12G engine for local driving.


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