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Rush launches CNG fuel systems company

May 4, 2015
Dealer network expands into manufacturing

DALLAS.  Rush Enterprises, the country’s largest truck dealership network, is expanding into the alternative fuels arena with a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems company.  Momentum Fuel Technologies momentumfueltech.comwill design, manufacture, sell and service complete CNG systems for Class 6 through 8 trucks, according to Rush president and CEO W.M. Rusty Rush. 

Installation of the CNG systems will be handled by Rush’s Custom Vehicle Solutions, which the company CEO said had already installed over 1,000 CNG systems from various suppliers. Service will be handled through the Rush dealer network’s 120 locations with 14 CNG dedicated bays already built and another 12 under construction. “That’s my leverage,” said Rush at a press conference during the ACT Conference and Expo. “We can service [CNG trucks] better than anyone else.”  He added that Rush has sold between 10% and 15% of all the natural gas trucks purchased every year since 2011 and has already filled orders for 3,783 NG trucks in 2015.

Momentum’s first products, which will go into full production this summer, offer 45 diesel-gallon-equivalent (DEG) side-mount tanks and a 110 DGE back-of-cab array.  A new Peterbilt Model 579 day cab on display at ACT Expo featured both side and back tank packages for a fuel range of up to 1,000 miles according to Momentum GM Mike Zimmerman.  Later this year the new company will add a 40 DGE side tank and 150 DGE back-of-cab system, he said.

Calling it “a fuel system designed for truck people, by truck people and fuel systems experts,” Zimmerman said it has been designed to maximize fill rates and offer flexible fueling options.  The fill system also features electronics that monitor fuel temperatures and pressures to provide accurate fuel level readings, and it can be used with standard dash-mounted fuel gauges.

Other features of the Momentum CNG system include lightweight tanks that combine aluminum and carbon fiber with 3M matrix resins to cut tank weights by 25% and increase capacity by 27% compared to other similar sized tanks, Zimmerman said.

The Momentum CNG systems are being built at a new dedicated plant near Dallas and just down the road from Rush’s Custom Vehicle Solutions facility in Denton, TX.

In addition to maintenance support at the Rush dealer network locations, the company is currently in discussions to provide supplemental aftermarket support through Cummins distributors and other Peterbilt dealers, according to Rush. The company also plans to offer potential fleet buyers consulting assistance in obtaining tax incentives and grants for CNG conversion, he said.

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