Texas Trials of CNG-Fueled Mercedes Econic NGT Offering Different Engine Option
Waste Management is quietly evaluating Mercedes-Benz Econic NGT refuse trucks in Texas, with two vehicles in hand and a third expected soon. The compressed natural gas vehicles are attractive for their driver amenities and maneuverability – and because their introduction to the U.S. market would bring operators a new choice of engine, says Waste Management fleet supply chain director John Lemmons.
The low-step Econic NGT boasts excellent driver ergonomics and visibility and, with rear-wheel active steering, a turn radius capability Lemmons describes as “extraordinary.”
The trucks are powered by the 6.9-liter, dedicated-CNG Mercedes M 906. “It’s a dedicated-natural gas engine,” Lemmons says. “It is not Cummins Westport.
‘We’d Like to Have a Competitive Engine’
“We don’t have anything against Cummins Westport,” he says. “But it’s the only game in town.
“We’d like to have a competitive engine,” Lemmons told F&F.
The Mercedes powerplant offers about 300 horsepower and 900 foot-pounds torque. The trucks have a U.S.-made Allison 3000 transmission.
Waste Management, which has upwards of 1,600 natural gas vehicles in operation, is testing the Econic NGT trucks under a three-year U.S. EPA waiver.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels interview