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NGVAmerica Advises TMC on NGV Trucks

March 22, 2016 in CNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Inspection Intervals and Maintenance Facility Recommendations

NGVAmerica is presenting new recommended practices to make it easier to operate natural gas fueled trucks to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology Maintenance Council. NGVAmerica working groups are working on the new RPs for the corresponding TMC panels on two topics: CNG system inspections and natural gas vehicle maintenance facilities. updated March 23

ATA-TMB+NGVAmerica-logosTo be formally accepted, the NGVAmerica RPs will go through a TMC balloting process. It’s likely to begin next month for the CNG system inspections, says association technology and development director Dan Bowerson, as work on the NGV maintenance facility recommendations continues.

Back-of-cab CNG fuel cylinder assembly .. photo courtesy Penske via NGVAmerica

Back-of-cab CNG fuel cylinder assembly .. photo courtesy Penske via NGVAmerica

NGVAmerica has recommended breaking CNG system inspections into three categories:

  • detailed visual and complete high pressure system inspections to be completed annually;
  • a general visual inspection, including examination of system shielding and readily accessible system components, to be completed at each preventative maintenance inspection; and
  • a cursory visual inspection of exposed surfaces to be conducted during every pre- and post-trip vehicle inspection: shields and enclosures would be reviewed for any damage, and system components for any signs of damage or leakage.

Following meetings at the recent ATA/TMC annual gathering in Nashville, Bowerson has briefed the NGVAmerica board, noting that the NGV association is working closely not only with with ATA/TMC, but with the U.S. Department of Transportation to incorporate the CNG inspection recommendations into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s FMVSS 304 regulations.

Dueling Authorities

NGVAmerica’s working group on maintenance facilities also met with TMC officials in Nashville.

The goal, Bowerson told F&F, “is to provide user guidelines to either modify an existing maintenance facility, or build a new maintenance facility for servicing natural gas vehicles.”

The draft RP highlights the electrical, heating, ventilation, gas detection, and architectural requirements for NGV maintenance facilities. A key challenge, Bowerson notes, is to reconcile the voluntary guidelines of the IFC/International Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association/NFPA 30A with the requirements of local authorities.

NGVAmerica’s maintenance facility modifications working group has proposed modifications to the IFC for 2018 code clarification for NGV maintenance facilities, he says. IFC code hearings are to take place in Louisville, Ky. April 17-27.

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Source: NGVAmerica interview with Fleets & Fuels

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