For Border Valley Trading, finding a way to lower emissions and fuel costs wasn't like looking for a needle in a haystack.
The company turned to Kenworth Truck Co. and local dealer, Inland Kenworth, for the right truck to accomplish both. The Brawley, Calif.-based alfalfa, sudan and klein grass hay producer and exporter recently replaced its fleet of trucks with 15 liquefied natural gas-powered Kenworth T800s. The company plans to add five more LNG-powered T800s later this year once its proposed fueling station in the Coachella Valley, about 140 miles east of Los Angeles, near Palm Springs, receives approval by the local planning commission.
“The economics of operating new LNG-powered trucks versus our late-model diesel-powered units favored the LNG trucks,” said Border Valley Trading President Greg Braun. “We save money because the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach waive their $70 clean truck fee for our Kenworth T800 LNG trucks, and we also save 15 to 20 percent on the price of LNG fuel over that of diesel on any given day.” Converting the company's fleet to clean-burning LNG also fulfills the company's commitment to the environment through its green initiatives, added Braun.
The 15 Kenworth T800s are equipped with the Westport Innovations LNG fuel system and Westport GX engine, which is based on the industry-leading Cummins ISX 15-liter engine. The Kenworth trucks use 5 percent diesel and 95 percent liquefied natural gas to power the drivetrain. A typical Class 8 truck using the cleaner burning LNG fuel may reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and greenhouse gas emissions by up to an estimated 33 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to a diesel-fueled truck.
Border Valley Trading is one of California's largest exporters of compressed hay. The company grows, harvests and exports between 150,000 to 200,000 metric tons of compressed high-quality alfalfa, sudan and klein grass hay raised in the San Joaquin Valley and Imperial Valley.
“The drivers really like all aspects of the Kenworth T800 LNG truck,” Braun said. “The ride comfort, performance and dependability of these Kenworth trucks are better than the diesel trucks we replaced.
Kenworth was the first truck manufacturer to offer an LNG fuel system as a Class 8 factory-installed option. The T800 LNG truck, which offers an operating range of at least 300 to 500 miles, has a large dash-mounted display to monitor the LNG fuel level. LNG fuel tanks can be configured to suit a range of customer requirements. The vehicle is available with a day cab, Kenworth Extended Day Cab or 38-inch Kenworth AeroCab(R) sleeper. Kenworth T800 LNG trucks also may qualify for up to $28,800 in IRS tax credits, and for other federally sponsored programs, such as the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and Clean Cities.
Kenworth's Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com.