CNG car hauler tested by Toyota
Toyota Transport, the Japanese car manufacturer own car transport operator in the US, is now testing its first hauler running on compressed natural gas instead of diesel. Thanks to the switch the truck spews out by 85% less particulate matter and 10% less carbon dioxide than its counterpart powered with diesel would. The truck and trailer configuration were designed and built by Peterbilt and Cottrell, Inc. to meet specifications outlined by Toyota, who commissioned the vehicle.
Placing the CNG tanks proved something of a challenge as trucks used as car haulers offer very limited space in which those high-pressure cylinders can be accommodated. Since the truck uses a nine-car trailer and an over-the-cab head rack, the task was a demanding one, but Peterbilt and Cottrell worked closely with Toyota to find a solution and they did. The outcome of the effort is the first full car hauler trailer with head rack that Cottrell has manufactured onto a CNG truck.
The new vehicle is bound to become a busy one as the 32 hauler trucks currently used by Toyota Transport's southern California branch cover approx. 100 thousand miles per year each, collectively delivering 200 thousand cars each year. Even provided it's a rolling testbed and fuel isn't as readily available as diesel, the new CNG truck is expected to cover 7000-8000 miles per month. Hopefully more such vehicles will follow soon!
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