Trucks Showcased by PERC Said to Be a Propane First
Some call them yard trucks. But, according to Randy Sohn, western regional sales manager for Tico Trucks, they’re also called terminal tractors, yard goats, yard dogs, yard mules, switchers, and even shunters. We’ve heard spotter, too.
But regardless of the name used, ACT Expo 2016 attendees got to see prototype number one of a new propane-powered design from Tico at the display organized by PERC, the Propane Education & Research Council.
Sohn said that Tico operates a rental fleet of 1,300 diesel-powered yard trucks in ports across the southern and eastern seaboard, but the company is now entering “the sales side of things.”
A Long Beach Port Operator
He said that the propane-powered prototype on display resulted from a request from one of its clients, Ports America, which operates the WBCT/West Basin Container Terminal in Long Beach.
“They’re trying to go all-propane,” he told F&F at ACT Expo. “They’re trying to take their forklifts, their stack reachers – everything to clean energy.”
He said that Tico worked with engine manufacturer Power Solutions International to build a new vehicle “from the ground up” (with Allison Transmission) that can be certified with the State of California and the U.S. EPA. The vehicle has an 8.8-liter spark-ignition PSI engine. In addition to dedicated-propane, t can be made available with a natural gas fuel system (CNG or LNG) or gasoline.
‘Lots of Torque’
“Our criteria is that we don’t care about horsepower but we want lots of torque,” he said.
After two weeks of testing in Savannah, the prototype began work at WBCT where it has accumulated more than 200 additional operational hours.
“All the reports are coming back beyond expectations,” Sohn said. “The fuel consumption is less than what we were anticipating, what our engineers were anticipating. The drivers are loving the torque and responsiveness of the engine. Overall they’re just loving the truck.”
Production This Summer
After ACT Expo 2016 the truck will complete demonstrations at WBCT before being sent to Tacoma, Wash. for additional demonstrations.
Meantime, Sohn said that the company expects to enter “full production on demand in mid-summer,” adding, “There have been numerous discussions here at ACT that will likely lead to production orders.”
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Source: Fleets & Fuels at ACT Expo 2016 in Long Beach, Calif.