Rush Enterprises launches CNG fuel systems division Momentum Fuel Technologies

Through its new company Momentum Fuel Technologies, Rush Enterprises will design and manufacture complete CNG fuel systems for Class 6 to 8 trucks.

Rush Enterprises Inc.

Momentum Fuel Technologies introduces the industry's first complete compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system solution for Class 6 to Class 8 trucks, offering support from design and manufacturing, to sales and ongoing service throughout the product life cycle.

"The industry is ready for a complete CNG fuel system solution," says W.M. "Rusty" Rush, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Rush Enterprises. "With Rush Truck Centers' expertise in natural gas truck sales and service and an unsurpassed support network, we are well positioned to launch Momentum Fuel Technologies."

According to ACT Research Co., adoption rates for U.S. Class 8 natural gas-powered commercial vehicles will grow steadily from 4% in 2014 to an estimated 10% in 2018 and 23% in 2020 (ACT Research Co. Adoption Forecasts 2015).

"We believe that the preference for natural gas vehicles will continue to grow, increasing nearly five-fold in the next five years, as ACT indicates," says Rush.

Product Offering

The company plans to offer both side-mount and back-of-cab mount systems. Side-mount systems include a 40DGE with a range of 176 to 220 miles and 45DGE with a range of 198 to 248 miles. The back-of-cab mount system the company initially intends to offer will be 110DGE with a range of 506 to 633 miles. Momentum expects to offer another back-of-cab mount system, 150DGE with a range of 660 to 825 miles in fall 2015.

According to General Manager of Momentum Fuel Technologies Mike Zimmerman, future product development will include an expanded range of configurations to meet the needs of a number of market segments. "In addition, we will continue to work with Cummins Engine Company and other major engine manufacturers to ensure the Momentum CNG fuel system is well integrated and optimized to work efficiently with current and developing engine technology," he says. 

The approach for this new product line is based on innovative design, advanced safety features, installation expertise and a nationwide support network.

Innovative Design

Company leaders and researchers spent more than 5,200 hours talking to customers about their needs, and then applied those findings to the design, engineering and manufacture of this solution. Customers expressed interest in a number of areas, including driver confidence, system weight, critical safety features, limiting downtime and a complete support network. Momentum Fuel Technologies' solution meets these important needs.

"This system was designed for truck people, by truck people and fuel systems experts," says Zimmerman. "Our thorough research resulted in a system that is light, fills fast, is aerodynamically styled and designed for durability."

Engineered for Fast, Accurate Fill Rates

The system is engineered to maximize fill rates, reserving customers' valuable time for the road. Additionally, fuel flows straight from the manifold to the individual tanks using a parallel-flow fill system.

Built-in safeguards increase driver confidence in fuel levels and reduce range anxiety. The temperature-compensated fuel-level system reflects accurate gas and pressure levels so drivers won't feel the need to make continual fuel top-offs on the road. The Electronic Control Module (ECM) converts the tank readings through the Fuel Level Interface Module (FLIM) and outputs the signal to the factory-installed fuel gauge.

The system comes with both transit-fill and time-fill fuel ports. The design includes oversized tubing with fewer bends and fittings plus a high-flow ball valve. Customers can choose optional front-bumper or passenger-side fuel ports for added convenience.

A Lightweight Fuel System

Everything in Momentum's CNG fuel systems is lightweight by design. The system is constructed of lightweight aluminum and fiberglass composite materials with extruded aluminum in frame corners, base rails and cross members.

A lightweight fuel system means less overall system weight. The Momentum CNG Fuel System tanks use the latest 3M nanoparticle-enhanced matrix resin technology, which results in a 6% improvement in fiber delivered burst strength when compared to vessels with conventional resin. The tank is 25% lighter and 27% more weight/volume efficient compared to a market leader's similar sized tanks.* This system is designed to optimize space usage.

Aerodynamically Designed for Style

The system's design is not only efficient but looks sleek and modern. Curved corners and a raked top enhance aerodynamics. Body lines incorporated in side-mount styling and large-radius back-of-cab corners match cab styling, maintaining OEM aesthetics. A stylish, ergonomic heavy-duty door latch is included for easy use with work gloves.

Designed for Durability

Not only is the CNG fuel system stylish, it's also designed for durability. Rubber isolators mounted between the system and the truck frame rails minimize vibration and absorb system shock, and piano hinges on doors maintain strength and durability. The electrical wiring harness includes heavy-duty Deutsch connectors with color-coded TXL wires. All systems come standard with neck-mounted tanks (more secure than strap-mounted tanks) to eliminate needless erosion and extend life.

Advanced Safety Features

"With Momentum Fuel Technologies, safety isn't an option," says Zimmerman. "Safety technology is standard with this solution. Safety features were created with both drivers and technicians in mind, to keep vehicles up and running, safely."

Area Pressure Relief Devices (PRD) Increase Safety

In the event of a fire or other emergency, area PRDs vent fuel in the system out through tubes at the rear of the system. All PRD vent tubes are fitted with weatherproof caps to protect the system from environmental elements.

Easy to See When Tank Is Closed

Since it can be difficult to tell if conventional valves are closed completely, this system uses quarter-turn heavy-duty ball valves for improved visibility of closed valves.

Color Coded for Quick Visual Indication

All high-pressure lines in the system are color coded so they are easy for drivers and technicians to identify. The live high-pressure PRD lines are powder-coated in blue, and high-pressure fuel lines are powder-coated in red.

Additional Features Enhance Road Safety

A standard fuel door safety warning system prevents the engine from starting if the door is ajar. Optional load lights and rear camera on back-of-cab systems improve visibility and make hitching easier.

Investments in Sustainable Quality in Manufacturing

Momentum Fuel Technologies invested millions of dollars in its 109,000 square-foot CNG-dedicated facility in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, with state-of-the art machining equipment. All major components will be manufactured in house on the most technologically advanced equipment and utilizing Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma processes to help ensure repeatable accuracy and sustainable quality, minimizing supply-chain issues. The facility was designed for dual assembly line capability.

Installation Expertise

Momentum Fuel Technologies' authorized installer, Custom Vehicle Solutions (CVS), performs hundreds of natural gas system installations annually on a broad range of market applications. CVS's on-staff engineers and factory-trained and certified technicians have the most up-to-date knowledge and equipment available, so customers have access to the best installation experience on the market. 

"Leveraging the CVS vehicle integration engineering expertise has led Momentum Fuel Technologies to design a system that's fast and consistent to install," says Zimmerman.

Nationwide Support Network Anchored by Rush Truck Centers

Rush Truck Centers is the nation's largest provider in Parts, Service and support with more than 100 locations in 20 states, including 14 locations with dedicated natural gas service bays. Additionally, there are more than 260 technicians trained in natural gas safety and preparedness, more than 55 trained in fuel-systems and more than 135 trained in OEM systems throughout the Rush Truck Centers network. Rush Truck Centers has made extensive investments in facilities and tooling upgrades to meet safety requirements and effectively service the Momentum CNG fuel system.  Customers have access to a robust parts inventory in stock or for pickup or delivery.  If there's ever a problem, one of Rush Truck Centers' 300 mobile service units will go directly to the customer, to get them back in operation as quickly as possible.

"We are also working with independent service providers including the Cummins distributor and Peterbilt dealer networks, among others, to provide supplemental aftermarket support in areas where Rush Truck Centers does not currently have dealership operations," says Michael J. McRoberts, Senior Vice President of Dealer Operations, Rush Enterprises, Inc. 

Momentum Fuel Technologies will also offer training on system operations, safety, service installation and facility requirements to customers and authorized dealers. Rush Truck Centers further supports customers by providing consulting assistance to help customers navigate grants and tax incentives.

"Rush Truck Centers' customers include some of the largest municipalities and top refuse companies in the country," says Rush. "With a thorough understanding of what values and features mean the most to our customers, we believe the solution offered by Momentum Fuel Technologies will change the way our industry approaches CNG fuel systems."  

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