New York unveils retrofitted dump truck

The New York transportation department announced last week it will retrofit nine heavy-duty trucks with a clean-burning engine powered by a combination of compressed natural gas and diesel fuel.

The trucks are the first significant step in a two-year pilot “clean air” program sponsored by NYDOT. The retrofits are being installed under a partnership between Baker Equipment Engineering of Rome, N.Y., and Bachman AFV, a company that specializes in clean fuels technology. The retrofits will allow the four large snow plow trucks and five medium-duty dump trucks, to operate on a combination of 80 percent compressed natural gas and 20 percent diesel fuel.

“New York State is the first in the nation to undertake an initiative like this, demonstrating a viable technology that allows critical utility and public work vehicles to run on clean, compressed natural gas and burn less fuel,” said Peter R. Smith, president of the New York State Energy, Research and Development Authority.

Over a seven-year period, each truck is expected to emit 3,000 pounds less nitrogen oxides and 90 pounds less particulate matter. The trucks are also expected to save the state approximately $2,880 a year and reduce fuel use by 5,140 gallons? annually. The retrofits aren’t cheap though, costing approximately $28,000 per vehicle. The cost of retrofitting the trucks is funded by a $500,000 grant secured by NYSERDA. All nine of the retrofits are expected to be completed by late spring 2004.