Paper Transport recently unveiled the latest in its continuing move toward a more green fleet - the first full-production Kenworth T680 equipped with a natural gas engine.
"We continue our move toward a more environmentally conscious fleet operation by replacing our diesel-fueled trucks with Kenworth's most aerodynamic model powered by compressed natural gas (CNG)," says Jeff Shefchik, president of Paper Transport. "We were excited to share this next step in truck innovation with our employees. This first full-production Kenworth T680 powered by CNG represents our first truly aerodynamic CNG truck in a sleeper configuration."
Paper Transport unveiled the new Kenworth T680 to about 200 employees and their family members at the annual company picnic at its headquarters in Green Bay, WI. The truck is equipped with a 400 hp Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine.
Several years ago Paper Transport adopted natural gas as part of its business strategy to replace 25% of the diesel-powered units in its truck fleet with trucks running on CNG. Shefchik says his company has since reached that goal due in part to the 20 Kenworth T660s powered by CNG-fueled Cummins Westport ISX12 G engines Kenworth delivered through local dealer Wisconsin Kenworth last year.
"Now we're looking to add Kenworth T680s with more advanced aerodynamic features as part of our effort to stay ahead of competitors, who have just started tests of natural gas-powered trucks in response to requests from shippers," Shefchik says.
"We've been operating trucks with natural gas-powered engines for a number of years and getting this Kenworth T680 with improved aerodynamics and the new back of cab fuel system represents the next big step," Shefchik says.
Besides being the first fleet to take delivery of a Kenworth T680 with a 400 hp Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine, the company is also looking to accomplish some other firsts.
Paper Transport wants to become the first among fleets that have already adopted natural gas to take full advantage of additional fuel economy savings the Kenworth T680's best-in-class aerodynamics offers.
"We're looking forward to the improved aerodynamic features of the Kenworth T680 saving us even more money on our fuel bill," Shefchik says.
Generally, natural gas costs Paper Transport about $1.70 less per diesel gallon equivalent of natural gas than what it pays for diesel fuel, shaving about 3 cents per mile off its operating costs, or about $3,300 per truck. While the price spread between diesel and natural gas is currently narrower, Shefchik believes it will widen.
"We believe the long-term potential of natural gas in providing savings over the cost of diesel is there because natural gas is a more domestically produced energy source," he says. "Plus, we can get savings not only from the T680's improved aerodynamic features, but also from how the natural gas tanks are off the frame rails and are now placed at the back of the cab. That back-of-cab placement is a more efficient use of space and will produce far less drag on the truck."
Paper Transport has equipped its Kenworth T680 with 76-inch sleeper with Agility Fuel Systems' new 155-gallon diesel gallon equivalent behind-the-cab compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system. The Agility system utilizes four 26-inch by 80-inch Hexagon-Lincoln Type 4 cylinders, weighs only 2,550 lbs. and requires only 31.25 in. of frame rail space. It can deliver a range of about 600 miles before refueling, which offers the industry's best DGE per inch of frame rail.
There's another reason why the Kenworth T680 appeals to Paper Transport. "We want to be a driver's first and best choice when it comes to good driver candidates deciding which fleet to drive for," Shefchik says. "The Kenworth T680's cab offers a much better working environment for our drivers. It provides more room between the seats, more storage space, a roomy sleeping compartment and a large windshield for greater visibility. Our drivers are excited about its roominess and the T680's overall design."
Paper Transport's Kenworth T680 is being driven by a husband and wife team who are out a week at a time delivering paper products throughout the Midwest, Shefchik says.
The Kenworth T680 in day cab, 52-inch mid-roof sleeper and 76-inch sleeper configurations can be specified with the factory-installed Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine rated up to 400 hp and 1,450 lbs.-ft. of torque.
The paper products hauler started in 1990 by hauling corrugated cardboard, paper wrapping, paper rolls, toilet paper and other paper products for a major paper producer in the state of Wisconsin to warehouses and distribution centers throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States. Since then, the regional over-the-road truckload carrier has expanded its operation to include hauling building materials, furniture and products for a major beverage company throughout the Midwest and Southeast.