New York Heavy-Duty Fleet Adopting Natural Gas Tractors


Food distribution company Willow Run Foods Inc., based in Kirkwood, N.Y., says it will be leasing 15 heavy-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks from Ryder System Inc. as part of a new clean transportation initiative.

The Kenworth trucks feature the new 11.9-liter ISX12 G natural gas engine from Cummins Westport and CNG fuel tanks that have 150 DGE of capacity. Willow Run Foods will run these vehicles from its distribution center outside of Binghamton, N.Y., into New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey – completing round-trip deliveries without refueling.

Grant funds from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will offset about 75% of the incremental cost of the CNG-powered tractors. The vehicles are $234,000, and the full natural gas systems tack on $80,000.

‘Even after accounting for the increased cost of the CNG trucks, the project is still expected to save the company $100,000 annually through a reduction of 175,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption,’ according to Willow Run Foods.

Ryder and Willow Run Foods operate a maintenance facility in Kirkwood that will be upgraded to accommodate the servicing needs of the new natural gas fleet. The trucks are expected to be deployed next month.

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