Kenworth T800 LNG trucks help fleet bring cleaner air to California

When outdoorsman Vic La Rosa is on vacation in Montana, hiking the hills and valleys to his favorite fishing holes and hunting grounds, he routinely stops and breathes in the clean, fresh air. As president of Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), a drayage, warehouse, and transportation company in Rancho Dominguez CA, La Rosa is helping bring cleaner air to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and surrounding areas the fleet serves.

TTSI is operating eight Kenworth T800 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks, the first alternative fuel vehicles to operate in fulltime drayage service at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach under the major Clean Trucks Program.

The eight Kenworth T800s are equipped with the LNG fuel system developed by Westport Innovations Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, and installed on the Cummins ISX 15-liter engine. The Kenworth trucks have Westport's High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) technology and use 5% diesel and 95% natural gas to power the drivetrain. Running on clean, low-carbon LNG fuel, TTSI will realize greenhouse gas emission reductions of approximately 20% and nitrogen oxide emissions reductions of more than 75% compared with the diesel vehicles being replaced, according to Westport Innovations.

La Rosa said TTSI expects drivers to realize significant savings in their fuel costs since LNG costs about 25 percent less per gallon than diesel fuel. Also, it appears the LNG trucks travel about the same or greater distance on natural gas as the company's diesel-powered trucks on a comparable amount of diesel fuel, he said.

These new Kenworth T800 LNG trucks are working so well that TTSI will take delivery of 30 more later, and plans to eventually replace half of its 300-truck fleet with the alternative fuel trucks, said La Rosa.

The T800 LNG trucks make an average of three round trips per day in and out of the ports and travel within a 60-mile radius of the ports in the greater Los Angeles area. La Rosa said access to fuel isn't an issue since Clean Energy installed an LNG-fueling station across the street from the company's main drayage facility in Rancho Dominguez.

Kenworth's T800 LNG engine has 450 horsepower and delivers 1,650 ft-lbs of torque.

The company plans to go into full production of the Kenworth T800 LNG trucks in 2009 at the company's manufacturing facility in Renton WA.

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