Note: This story is part of a larger package on glider kits and their viability for owner-operators. Click here to see the main story.
Glider kits can give owner-operators an easier, cheaper way to delve into natural gas power than buying a new dedicated truck off the lot, says Lyle Jensen, chief executive officer of American Power Group, which works with glider kit makers and truck buyers to employ a dual-fuel system.
A glider kit that employs the dual-fuel system runs about $50,000 less than a new truck fully powered by natural gas.
The system is installed at the end of a glider kit build and costs about $30,000, which can be financed either with the truck or separately through APG. The system allows the engine to burn a mixture of natural gas and diesel, but the engine still can run exclusively on diesel if natural gas is not available.
Jensen says the devices can save owner-operators between $1,000 and $2,000 a month in fuel, given natural gas’ price. The system costs between $700 and $850 a month on a 48-month lease, depending on a buyer’s credit history, Jensen says. Buyers then have the option to purchase the system by paying the remaining balance at the end.
But the system has a 20-year life and can be moved from truck to truck, so savings can continue to be seen well after the two-year installment payments are up, Jensen says.
Both Fitzgerald and Ervin’s collaborate with APG on the system, which is installed through the WheelTime network.
The system includes a natural gas fuel tank, hoses and other components to route natural gas and inject it into the cylinders, and installation.
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.