WELD COUNTY, CO – As part of its Smart Energy Plan, Weld County is in the process of converting its government fleet vehicles to natural gas vehicles – both Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). On Wednesday, three of the county’s four LNG trucks were on hand at the County Administration Building.
“We are excited about the conversion,” said Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer. “Natural gas vehicles are more efficient and require less maintenance which equates to lower costs for the county.”
The county received its first LNG truck in July 2012 and has already realized a 22% reduction in fuel costs which will equate to approximately $25,000 in fuel savings per year per truck. “Over the life of the truck, we are expecting to save an estimated $100,000 on fuel alone – that’s per truck,” said Jay McDonald, Division Supervisor for Weld County’s Department of Public Works. “Right now, it is costing us 20% less per mile to run our LNG trucks versus our diesel trucks.”
The county’s LNG trucks pull belly-dump trailers and are used to haul gravel for roads and asphalt paving by the county’s public works department.
“Since natural gas, whether compressed or liquefied, burns cleaner than traditional fuel, we are expecting to see a reduction in maintenance costs with these vehicles as well,” said Commissioner Chairman Sean Conway.
To date, the county has replaced 24 fleet vehicles with natural gas vehicles. “Our goal is to replace 10 county vehicles a year with CNG passenger, light-duty and medium-duty vehicles. We are also looking into adding more LNG trucks to our fleet,” said Commissioner William Garcia.
The county plans to add four more LNG trucks to its fleet in the upcoming year. “The Class 8 trucks (semis) run more efficiently on LNG versus diesel,” said Commissioner Douglas Rademacher. “We are continually looking for the best vehicle for the job, and LNG trucks have become a cost-effective option for our fleet.”
Initially the public work’s crew was hesitant about the conversion from diesel to LNG, but now couldn’t be happier with the results. “These trucks have outperformed their expectations,” said Commissioner Dave Long. “The drivers at public works are pleased with the trucks and are ready to add more to their fleet as other vehicles are due to be replaced.”