Minnesota-based McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corp. company, recently announced immediate commercial availability of the first compressed natural gas (CNG) concrete mixer, which is said to meet the U.S. EPA 2010 heavy-duty engine emission standards for NOx and particulate matter.
The McNeilus CNG-powered mixers will be fitted with 6-cylinder, 8.9L Cummins ISL G engines, developed by Cummins Westport of Canada. The engine features cooled exhaust gas recirculation and state-of-the-art electronic engine controls. The company plans to offer both Bridgemaster and Standard mixers on either the Kenworth W900 or T800 chassis; other chassis manufacturers' CNG platforms are pending.
The new mixers offer clean fuel technology to the heavy-duty truck market. When compared to their diesel engine counterparts, the company affirms, these new units offer lower fuel costs, reduced noise pollution, and are six times cleaner, making them both more economical to run and environmentally friendly than diesel mixers.
The launch follows an early-April funding approval by California's South Coast Air Quality Management District to demonstrate a prototype natural gas-powered mixer. The project includes a six-month testing program and developing documentation for the truck's maintenance and operational use. In addition, southern California's Robertson's Ready Mix Concrete recently began running a noncommercial prototype in its mixer fleet, with company officials saying they were considering purchasing as many as 100 natural gas-powered models if the demonstration is successful.