Home » Refuse trucks that run on natural gas saving Lexington money, helping environment

Refuse trucks that run on natural gas saving Lexington money, helping environment

City has 13 vehicles; seven more expected to arrive in the fall

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 1, 2015) — Lexington’s 13 compressed natural gas trucks the city began using in August 2014 are saving $1.50 to $2 over the cost of a gallon of diesel fuel. Add in the maintenance costs, savings amount to about $6,500 per truck. A tune-up lasts about 50,000 miles and oil changes are good for an extra 25,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 3.37.01 PMLexington, which uses 128 refuse fleet vehicles, has ordered seven more natural gas trucks that are expected to arrive in the fall.

The Multi-Pack trucks – which can empty Herbies, Rosies and Lennys from the side or from the rear, cost $353,000 per unit. The new front-loader trucks cost $272,000 per unit. Multi-Packs have a 75-GGE fuel capacity and the front loaders have a 90-GGE fuel capacity. Both can hold 12 tons of garbage, recyclables or yard waste.

Since the new trucks were introduced, Waste Management has added 11 fuel lines at its facilities on Old Frankfort Pike. The trucks are fueled overnight within a 7-8-hour time period, said Chris Phillips, Waste Management’s fleet liaison.

The new trucks also have a safety fueling feature, said Phillips. The fuel line opening is covered by a plastic cap that is removed when the nozzle is inserted into the line. “The truck won’t start while that cap is off” preventing drivers from attempting to drive off while the truck is fueling.

The fuel tank is on top of the truck, Phillips said, and some routes had to be redrawn to avoid low bridges such as the railroad bridge on North Broadway near Loudon Avenue.

The fueling station has a computerized feeder, Phillips said. It can fill 11 trucks at a time or fill just one. If only one truck is hooked to the station, it shuts off the fuel to the other bays.

The trucks can fuel from the front or from the side, he said. It was designed so that trucks pull into the bays instead of back in, reducing the possibility of an accident. “No drivers are backing up,” he said, “which is another safety issue.”

It takes only a few seconds to remove the cap from the gas line and insert the nozzle. When the truck is full of fuel, the pump automatically shuts off.