Central Freight Lines to test Pete CNG tractors

Central Freight Lines (CFL), a less-than-truckload (LTL)  for-hire common carrier, has announced its intention to test 15 new compressed  natural gas-powered Peterbilt tractors under a grant from the Houston-Galveston  Area Council (HGAC).  This latest in a series of steps the carrier said it  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,” said Don Orr, president & CEO of CFL. “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.

   “We are firm believers in using  domestically produced fuels like natural gas to help reduce consumption of  foreign oil,” Orr added. “Natural gas-powered tractors support U.S. energy  producers, including many in our home state of Texas. In addition, many of  those companies and their suppliers are our customers.”

   The new CNG-fueled tractors  joining the CFL fleet will be used for local P&D in the Houston-Galveston  service area where a natural gas fueling infrastructure is available. The  higher up front cost of the engines, Orr noted, will be returned to the company  in the significantly lower cost of natural gas. Currently, natural gas prices  are about half (on a per gallon-equivalency) that of on-highway diesel fuel.

   The 15 new tractors that will be  added to the CFL fleet are 2013 Peterbilt 384 4X2 tractors. They will be  equipped with an Agility 75 DGE back-of-cab CNG Fueling System (75 gal. diesel  equivalent). Specs for the tractors include a Cummins Westport ISL-G 320/2200 engine and Allison 3000 Highway Series transmission.

   Privately owned and operated,  CFL operates 1,600 tractors and 8,000 trailers from 51 terminals throughout the  Southwest. www.centralfreight.com

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