Contractor turns to CNG, Westport for delivery fleet alternative

Updated Jun 8, 2014
Westport FedEx
FedEx’s U.S. domestic residential volume surged to 72% for the quarter ending in May.

A suggestion from a truck dealer, a little research, a state incentive program: One hard-working truck fleet owner added it all up and his answer was compressed natural gas.

Harry Carver, a FedEx contractor based in Tyler, Texas, has nine routes from Longview to Kilgore and recently purchased a CNG-powered Ford 5-F59 Step Van for his fleet of 14 trucks.

And he’s got his eyes on four more, the folks at Westport Power report.

The truck makes 90 stops a day and is equipped to carry 250 boxes – it’s no issue with the 1,000 cubic feet of space in the back, two shelves and a rollup door.

Harry said he read about different fuel options when his local Ford dealer told him about a demo truck equipped with the dedicated Westport WiNG Power System.

“I checked on the price on Tuesday and bought the truck on Wednesday,” Carver says.

terplogoCarver’s trucks drive over 36,000 miles per year. He says the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program, an incentive program operated through the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan – was one of the deciding factors in deciding to transition his fleet to CNG.

The program’s website states the grant provides reimbursement of up to 90 per cent of the incremental cost for replacement or repower of medium and heavy duty vehicles greater than 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight.

The program is intended to encourage owners and operators of heavy-duty or medium-duty vehicles to convert vehicles to natural gas or replace vehicles with a natural gas vehicle.

“It’s getting over seven miles to the gallon, 7.1 or 7.2,” Carver says. “I have a great driver. The motor oil when you check it, it’s all clean.”

His driver fills up at the local Independent fuel systems station. He notes that his truck currently has 21,000 miles on it.

He says the city of Tyler is converting its garbage trucks to CNG and he’s optimistic more fuel stations will come online nearby.