South Carolina-based Alkane Truck Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iowa-based Harrison Truck Centers to become a certified assembler and authorized dealer of Alkane’s alternative-fueled trucks. Alkane says the initial assembly roll-out will include Class 7 propane-powered trucks and Class 7 and Class 8 natural-gas-powered trucks.
According to the company, Alkane uses strategic supply agreements with truck component manufacturers worldwide (e.g., chassis and cab from China and engine, transmission, and fuel system from the U.S.) to minimize its financial investment in design, component test compliance, tooling and production facilities. Alkane says all of its medium- and heavy-duty trucks are shipped to Alkane as “knock-down” kits from each component manufacturer; every component is then tested and approved under U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations before being integrated and assembled at an Alkane-certified assembly facility by American workers. Alkane says this paradigm qualifies the company as a U.S. OEM because the domestic value-add content exceeds 51%.
Headquartered in Elk Run Heights, Iowa, Harrison Truck Centers has been a family business since the late ’60s. Harrison began as a truck equipment body builder and later became an Oshkosh truck dealer. In the late ’90s, HTC acquired its first Freightliner dealership in Iowa and has added Freightliner or Western Star dealerships in Clear Lake and Des Moines, Iowa – and four more locations in southern Minnesota. In addition, HTC is among the top glider kit builders in the U.S., which Alkane says makes HTC a a perfect fit for the knock-down assembly operation.
“Harrison’s technical and production capabilities in truck assembly are impressive. Their market leadership role in assembling production volumes of glider kits will allow Alkane accelerated scalability without the typical start-up learning curves,” says Robert Smith, Alkane’s founder and CEO. “This new partnership will help ensure that our Class 7 propane production launch remains on track for the first quarter of 2018 followed by final DOT testing of our Near-Zero 8.9L and Near-Zero 11.9L natural gas-powered trucks later in the year. Alkane’s clean-burning trucks will provide fleet owners a low-NOx emissions solution, positioning Alkane to take full advantage of the billions of dollars in incentives slated for federal- and state-funded clean air initiatives in 2018.”