A former refuse company owner in Minnesota is reporting that his business failed as a result of defective Cummins Westport natural gas engines.
Troje’s Trash & Recycling owner Denny Troje contends that the seven refuse trucks he bought in 2013 equipped with Cummins Westport engines kept breaking down so much that his drivers could not complete their routes and customers, in turn, kept filing complaints.
Troje said Cummins Westport was cooperative in honoring warranty repairs to the engines; however, the problems just kept stacking up leaving him at one time with only one working natural gas truck out of seven, according to the grandforksherald.com.
“Those engines were pushing rods and pistons right through the side,” said Troje. “You would put in an engine, and two weeks later you would do it again.”
Troje said his seven trucks eventually went through 13 engines. He said the downed trucks kept him from keeping up with business and led him to selling his company, which he started in 1969.
Cummins Westport recalled ISL G and ISX12 G natural engines in 2014 over concerns that freezing condensation in the intake manifold could interfere with the manifold pressure sensor and cause a rise in exhaust temperatures or lead to flames exiting the exhaust pipe.
Hard Working Trucks reached out to Cummins for comment on Troje’s story.
“Cummins Westport is confident in this product and our other products. This particular product has demonstrated high quality and contributed to the success of many other similar customers in this region as well as across North America,” Cummins Communications Director Kevan Browne said.
“This is an unfortunate incident, and while we cannot speculate on this specific situation, we want to emphasize that we pride ourselves on doing everything we can to help our customers be successful.”
Browne said a calibration update was released in 2014 for Cummins Westport natural gas engines that enhances the ability of the management system to identify and then protect the engine from the effects of very low temperatures.
“With this engine calibration, and by taking the required preventive measures and maintenance, natural gas-powered vehicles can be used in the same way as diesel-powered vehicles when operating in extremely cold environments,” Browne said.
Another Minnesota refuse hauler said he plans on buying more natural gas trucks which he says have roughly been as reliable as his diesel trucks.
“We are going to continue buying them,” Dave Wiggins, division vice-president of Ace Solid Waste in Ramsey, Minn., told grandforksherald.com.
Ace Solid Waste has a fleet of 80 trucks and 21 of them run on natural gas.