Just about every major construction project around the world relies on diesel-guzzling dump trucks to move billions of cubic-feet of earth and rock every year. With the trucking industry looking at natural gas as a replacement for diesel, the Kenworth T880 vocational truck now offers with a natural gas engine option for those wanting to go a little green and save money, reports Green Fleet Magazine.
The Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine offers earth moves 400 horsepower and 1,450 lb-ft of torque, and can be had with either manual or automatic transmissions. The ISX12 G engine has been optimized to run either compressed or liquified natural gas, and according to Kenworth it’s ideal for dump trucks, concrete mixers, and other vocational uses.
Natural gas has been touted as the solution to America’s energy woes, though there is strong evidence to suggest that the fracking bubble is about to burst. I won’t hate on Kenworth for offering buyers the option of CNG though, which in many places costs between $1.50 and $2.00 per gallon-equivalent. That’s about half the cost of diesel, and sans all the soot particulates that gunk up the atmosphere and our lungs. That does come at the cost of some power though, as the base PACCAR MX-13 diesel engine comes with 500 horsepower and 1,850 lb-ft of torque.
The T880 also comes with other features meant to improve fuel economy, light a lightweight aluminum cab, and Kenworth offers several diesel-electric hybrid truck options as well. Natural gas is the lesser of two evils in this specific case, but if the fracking bubble does indeed burst, will the cost savings of operating natural gas vehicles go with it?