Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Piedmont Natural Gas Aims for CNG Truck Conversions

Piedmont Natural Gas utilizes compressed natural gas in its fleet of dump trucks. (Photo: Piedmont Natural Gas)

Growth of an NGV Fleet

Of the 1,215 vehicles in Piedmont’s fleet, the natural gas company has converted approximately 38% to NGVs since 2009. As of June 2017, it expects that percentage to grow to approximately 42% by the end of the year.
The NGV fleet is predominantly used for customer service-related calls and natural gas pipeline construction and maintenance.
“We have several different models of NGVs in our fleet, with the majority being Ford F-150, F-250, or F-350 trucks. We also have some transit vehicles, such as the Honda Civic, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Ford Transit Connect. We also have been adding CNG dump trucks to our fleet,” said David Nestor, director of CNG for Piedmont Natural Gas.
Piedmont Natural Gas Fleet
Asset Type% of Fleet
Car9%
SUV1%
Truck HD1%
Truck LD73%
Van16%
Grand Total100%

SOURCE: PIEDMONT NATURAL GAS
Piedmont Natural Gas is committed to promoting the use of natural gas vehicles as part of its commitment to sustainable business practices.
“We’ve experienced an approximate 30% growth in CNG from 2015 to 2016, and we expect our CNG business to grow up to another 30% in 2017,” Nestor said.
In 2016, Piedmont and its CNG customers together displaced more than 5 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.

Challenges to Using CNG

The CNG industry is still relatively new, but as more companies choose to convert their fleets to natural gas vehicles, CNG infrastructure and technology will become more widely available.
CNG’s popularity is increasing as more fleet operators are realizing the benefits of compressed natural gas for transportation. According to NGVAmerica, there are currently more than 165,000 NGVs on U.S. roads and more than 1,640 CNG and 123 LNG stations in the U.S. to serve their fueling needs.
“Piedmont is doing our part to promote this technology by helping to build a network of both public and private refueling infrastructure throughout our service territory,” Nestor said.
Piedmont strategically locates its publicly accessible refueling stations near interstates and along major trucking routes.
“We just opened our 11th station, strategically located near the junction of I-40 and US 321 in Hickory, N.C., and we are continually looking at opportunities to expand our footprint and strengthen the CNG infrastructure at our existing stations,” Nestor added. “Our stations are professionally maintained by experienced Piedmont CNG technicians to ensure reliability for our customers. Our public CNG stations accept all major fleet cards for payment to make it easier for our customers.”
Piedmont is also building stations with larger horsepower compressors to accommodate the larger truck tank package and to also reduce the amount of time required to fill the tanks.
Approximately 73% of the Piedmont Natural Gas fleet is comprised of light-duty trucks, with a number of natural-gas-powered Ford F-150s. (Photo: Piedmont Natural Gas)

Approximately 73% of the Piedmont Natural Gas fleet is comprised of light-duty trucks, with a number of natural-gas-powered Ford F-150s. (Photo: Piedmont Natural Gas)

Tips from the Field

Piedmont’s experience in growing a natural gas fleet has been positive, with continued growth on the horizon. For fleets looking to start a conversion, or convert even more vehicles to natural gas, Nestor had some advice.
“Businesses that are considering alternative-fuel sources as part of their sustainability initiatives should consider natural gas. NGVs produce significantly fewer emissions when compared to gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles,” Nestor said.
In addition, Nestor said the largest growth opportunity is in fleet operators who operate heavy-duty trucks. Furthermore, fleets that run regular routes and return to a fixed refueling base, such as delivery vehicles and refuse trucks, can benefit from using CNG.
National and regional fleets can use the CNG station locator on the Department of Energy’s website (www.afdc.energy.gov) to explore more strategic transportation routes that can help a fleet owner increase their CNG utilization.
One major recommendation Nestor had for fleets looking to grow the number of NGVs in use is to have vendors in place to help configure the vehicle correctly for its application.
“In addition, have access to maintenance providers who have facilities set up to work on natural gas vehicles with trained technicians,” Nestor said.
Also, don’t forget to contact your local Clean Cities coalition for networking opportunities and additional assistance. 




Saturday, January 27, 2018

Ford Model T Assembly Line (1919)


Ford Motor Company produced these films to document the assembly of the Model T. The film begins with Part 5 -- this footage was edited out of order -- at a point when the Model T is near completion. As the car moves down the assembly line, workmen -- each assigned a specific task -- maneuver parts into position and attach them to the vehicle. Ford's use of the moving assembly line revolutionized auto making and provided affordable, reliable cars for Americans.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

FUEL SAVING TIPS FOR TRUCKS: REDUCE IDLING, SAVE ON GAS

STUDY PROVES TURNING YOUR VEHICLE OFF MINIMIZES BOTH FUEL CONSUMPTION AND CO2 EMISSIONS.

You may have heard that it takes more fuel to turn your vehicle off and back on again than it does to stay idling when stopped. One fast food chain even made a claim that it was “Greener” to use the drive-through than parking and walking in for a to-go order. With fuel costs and anti-idling laws being an essential consideration for vehicle owners and fleet managers, it’s important to know the facts.

The fact is that even for short stops, it saves fuel to turn off your vehicle. Idling for even 10 seconds produces more CO2 emissions and burns more fuel than simply turning your engine off, and restarting. This was found by a study done by Argonne National Laboratory, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program.

IDLING STUDY RESULTS
Engineers were tasked to study vehicles in the Argonne laboratory’s Advanced Powertrain Research Facility to determine the impacts of idling and restarting. Dynamometer tests were conducted at the facility and revealed that parking a vehicle, turning it off, and then restarting it uses less fuel and produces less CO2 than idling for just 10 seconds. In addition, the study also revealed that the fastest way to warm up a car engine is to drive the vehicle, not by idling it. Argonne found that depending on the vehicle’s size, 0.2 to 0.5 gallons of fuel per hour is used when idling.

EMBRACE ANTI-IDLING LAWS
With these findings, and as states, provinces, and countries continue to introduce climate change action plans and green initiatives focused on greenhouse gas emissions, now is the perfect time to start embracing an anti-idle mindset in day-to-day driving and work operations. And for those that use air compressors, the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor integrates perfectly into environmentally-friendly and fuel-conscious operations.

UNDERHOOD70-GREEN SERIES AIR COMPRESSOR
The VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor produces up to 70 CFM at 100% duty cycle. This powerful rotary screw air compressor is installed under the hood of the work truck and its throttle control automatically adjusts truck engine idle speed just enough to match air demand, which reduces fuel consumption. What’s more, the easy-to-use VMAC intelligent digital controls also cut down on idling, as the control system shuts the truck off when air isn’t being used, and then automatically turns the truck back on when air is needed. This reduces fuel consumption and emissions as the vehicle is not idling when tools are not in use. Learn more about the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor.

VEHICLE IDLING STUDY CONCLUSION
Going back to the fast food chain’s claim, no, it is not greener to use the drive-through than it is to park and pick up your order inside the restaurant. Here are the facts:

  • Idling for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel, and produces more C02 emissions than turning the engine on and off
  • Idling for an hour uses 0.2 to 0.5 gallons of fuel, depending on the vehicle, and fuel consumption increases as idling speed increases
  • Warming up a vehicle by driving is more effective than idling

Consider these findings next time you find yourself idling your truck, whether working on a job site, picking up a food order, or warming up your truck this winter. And when planning to purchase a new air compressor, consider the VMAC UNDERHOOD70 – Green Series Air Compressor.

Source and learn more at: https://www.vmacair.com/blog/


Related blogs: Going Green with VMAC: Lightweight & Fuel Saving Air Compressors

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ford Investing $11B in Vehicle Electrification

Photo by Eric Gandarilla.

Ford will invest $11 billion in vehicle electrification, and plans to expand its current electrified vehicle portfolio to a total of 40 vehicles.

The automaker looks to increase its multi-billion dollar investment between now and 2022, and will also launch 16 battery-electric vehicles among the 40 vehicles it will release, the rest will be plug-in hybrids, Ford announced.

Ford also said it will reveal a full battery-electric performance SUV that offers at least a 300-mile range, for a 2020 launch. In addition to shfiting away from internal combustion engines, the automaker will move investments away from sedans to develop more trucks and electric-powered cars.

The $11 billion investment is more than a previously announced $4.5 billion target from Ford designed to be reached by 2020, which will include developmental costs dedicated to electric vehicle architectures, Reuters reports.

Last December, meanwhile, Ford said it was planning on introducing more than 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, which includes 15 battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars, furthering the automakers growth plan in the country. Among the new vehicles, eight are expected to be all-new SUVs.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

VMAC's UNDERHOOD70-G System Customer Testimonial


After using the amazing UNDERHOOD70-G air compressor on his high-demand roofing jobs, Dale Clozza of Aurora Roofing in Nanaimo, BC, had a lot to say about the efficiency, fuel savings and compact power of one of VMAC's newest, innovative air compressor system - including its ability to TURN HIS TRUCK ON AND OFF as his air tools need air. Learn More: http://vmacair.com/product/underhood-...

Monday, January 15, 2018

Enoven HD Contractor Body Tour


Dustin Ferris with Enoven Truck Body + Equipment gives us a tour of the highlights of their version of the Contractor Body that they showed off at the Nor Cal Ford Truck Club annual event in Woodbridge CA. From the heavy duty flatbed base that is sandblasted and powder coated to the heavy duty winch binder to the heavy duty tool boxes, this bed has been well thought through. LED lights, unique removable component rack system, removable steel gates, and much more. See more about Enoven at http://enovenind.com/

Friday, January 12, 2018

WM Systems PC Ramp




WM Systems PC loading ramp.For more information contact: National Fleet Products
at 763-762-3451


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

VMAC G30 SOLVES COMMON AIR COMPRESSOR CHALLENGES

Common Air Compressor Challenges


To celebrate the recent launch of the VMAC G30 Gas Engine Driven Air Compressor, now powered by Honda, VMAC ran a G30 Giveaway Contest. (Watch the video on our Facebook page!) In this contest we asked entrants to answer three simple questions. One of these questions asked fleet managers and operators what their top challenges with their current truck-mounted air compressors are. Here are the results:

Common Air Compressor Challenges

With seven options to choose from, the top three results were size, air output and weight, accounting for almost 60% of the responses. The VMAC G30 was designed and engineered to address the concerns fleet managers and operators have with their current equipment.

SIZE

VMAC G30 Gas Drive Air CompressorAir compressor size was the number one challenge our survey identified. The VMAC G30 is 50% smaller* than other competitive air compressors, measuring just 34” (l) x 21.5” (w) x 24” (h), making it small enough to fit on the side pack of a single rear wheel service body. The compact size frees up to 15 cubic feet on the truck body, and leaves more room in the back of the truck for supplies, tools, and equipment. Another bonus is that visibility is improved, as the short height of the G30 means it won’t obstruct the view in the rear window.

VMAC G30 Gas Drive Air Compressor

AIR OUTPUT

Not only is the G30 compact, it is also powerful—50% more powerful* than other competitive air compressors. Producing 30 CFM 100% of the time, the G30 can operate at 100% duty cycle, which means you won’t have to wait for air to build, and you can work without interruption, thanks to continuous air supply. The G30 doesn’t need a large air receiver tank either, which aids in the size challenge.

WEIGHT

Weight challenges are minimized with the VMAC G30, which weighs 50% less* than other competitive air compressors. Weighing just 205 lbs (93 kg), the G30 is over 200 lbs lighter. Not only does every pound of GVW count when building a truck service body, especially because vehicle weight restrictions vary by state, but the Environmental Protection Agency reports that for every 100 lbs of weight reduction, a vehicle’s fuel economy can increase by up to 2%. This means that with 200lbs less weight, the VMAC G30 can save you up to 4% in truck fuel costs.

*Compared to competing 22 to 30 CFM reciprocating gas engine driven air compressors, with 30-gallon air receiver tank.

OPERATING IN COLD TEMPERATURES

Respondents in Canada and the Northeast and Midwestern states noted operating air compressors in cold temperatures to be particularly challenging. To ensure the air compressor can operate in extreme cold, a cold climate kit can be installed on the G30. The G30 with cold climate kit is proven to start-up at temperatures of -30°C (-22°F).**

**Due diligence and additional care may be required for prolonged operation in temperatures reaching below -15°C (5°F).

TRANSFERABILITY

The VMAC G30’s lightweight and compact design makes it easier to transfer than heavier air compressors weighing over 400 lbs. The lifting hook makes for easy installation on the service truck as well.

MAINTENANCE

The VMAC G30 is easy to maintain, with servicing recommended every 200 hours or every 6 months. The compressor is oil injected; oil forms a seal between the rotors so they don’t wear against each other. The G30 compressor doesn’t contain any gears, reed-valves, piston rings, or components that will fatigue or become fouled, which means with proper servicing and operation, the compressor should never require rebuilding. The G30 comes with a VMAC Lifetime Limited Warranty, and the reliable Honda GX390 engine comes with a 3-year warranty (limited).

OPERATING IN HOT TEMPERATURES

Operating air compressors in hot temperatures was a concern for some operators and fleet managers, predominately those located in areas like Texas, Virginia, Arizona, and California. The G30 is proven to operate at temperatures up to 40°C (104°F) and is protected by a compressor oil temperature switch that opens at 140°C (284°F) and shuts down and disables the engine until the oil temperature drops below 139°C (282°F).

MINIMIZE CHALLENGES WITH THE VMAC G30

Each of these seven challenges can be addressed with upgrading your air compressor to the VMAC G30 Gas Engine Driven Air Compressor. Not only is it 50% smaller, 50% lighter, and 50% more powerful, but it is also proven to operate in the most extreme climates. It’s also easy to transfer and maintain, allowing you to spend your time on the job, not struggling with your equipment.

Learn more about the VMAC G30, or find a dealer. You can also find a VMAC Sales Rep—they’ll be happy to answer your questions, and provide you with a demo of the air compressor, so you can see the G30 in action for yourself.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

BEDSLIDE BEDBIN Accessories


Take a closer look at the BEDSLIDE accessories. See how the BEDBINS work with everyday items and why they are a great addition to your BEDSLIDE.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Ford F-Series Super Duty Limited


Ford – America’s truck leader – today pulls off the wraps of a new F-Series Super Duty Limited that sets new luxury standards for high-end heavy-duty truckers.