East Coast project uses first commercially manufactured CNG-powered concrete mixers

McNeilus Companies, Inc., an Oshkosh Corp. company, recently supplied some of the first compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered concrete mixers on the East Coast to Ferrara Bros. Building Materials Corp., of Flushing, N.Y.

Ferrara Bros. is using its two new McNeilus CNG mixers in the reconstruction of the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Introduced in 2009 as the first commercially manufactured CNG-powered concrete mixers, the mixers offer a clean fuel technology solution. According to the manufacturer, CNG mixers offer lower fuel costs, reduced noise pollution and run six times cleaner than their diesel counterparts, making them both more environmentally friendly and more economical. The CNG mixers also meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2010 heavy-duty engine emissions standards for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).

“We are a very progressive company that’s looking for new technologies and improved ways to do things, and this falls into that category,” says Joseph A. Ferrara, president and CEO of Ferrara Bros. “We truly believe that CNG is the wave of the future.

“The big problem you’re going to be seeing is that requirements for emissions are going to be a moving target,” he continues. “The CNG mixers meet all of the current emissions standards, and as far as we’re concerned, they’re going to meet any standards that will be coming from any government authorities. It’s a more definite fix than upgrading diesel engines.”

Ferrara Bros. is using its new CNG mixers to help meet the concrete needs of several projects at the World Trade Center site, including Tower No. 2, Tower No. 4 and the 9/11 Memorial. Ferrara Bros.

Vice President of Fleet Maintenance Bob Gartman says the CNG trucks have been a good fit for the projects since being placed into service in late December, providing emissions compliance while reducing fuel costs and dependence on foreign oil.

“(The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is) very, very emission-conscious at the Trade Center site,” Gartman says. “The CNG trucks run extremely clean and quiet, so they’re doing very well down there.”

McNeilus CNG products are part of the company’s larger Ngen Initiatives, which promote alternative fuels, fuel-saving innovations and composite products.

“Ferrara Bros. is showing tremendous industry leadership by incorporating McNeilus CNG mixers into their fleet,” says Frank Nerenhausen, Oshkosh Corp. executive vice president and president of the Commercial Group and McNeilus. “We are more committed than ever, despite the current economic challenges, to developing innovative vehicle solutions that are not only productive and reliable, but also sustainable.”

McNeilus CNG concrete mixers are fitted with 6-cylinder, 8.9L Cummins ISL G engines, which were developed by Cummins Westport of Canada. These engines feature cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and state-of-the-art electronic engine controls, resulting in a high-performance, clean-running and reliable engine that meets EPA 2010 heavy-duty engine emissions standards. The mixers that Ferrara Bros. acquired run on the Kenworth T800SH chassis.

This article and accompanying photos were contributed by Oshkosh Corp.