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U.S. Looks to Lift Weight Limits for Natural Gas Trucks

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. House and Senate have bills that would raise federal truck weight limits for natural gas vehicles.

Heavier fuel tanks and equipment on natural gas trucks can add as much as 2,000 pounds more than diesel trucks, putting these trucks at a competitive disadvantage.

Senators James Inhofe and Joe Donnelly have introduced the Natural Gas Long Haul Truck Competitiveness Act, complementing a similar measure introduced in the House in January by Rep. Sam Graves.

The bills would allow the Department of Transportation to permit natural gas trucks to exceed the 80,000-pound Interstate limit by the weight of their tank and fueling system.

“Legislation such as this will help accelerate the growth of the Natural Gas vehicle market and provide [the U.S.] with the environmental benefits and greater energy independence that comes with using clean domestic natural gas as a vehicle fuel,” said Rich Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica.

Kolodziej said the extra weight of the gear on natural gas trucks causes a two-to-three-percent revenue loss due to reduced payload.

“This legislation brings the federal regulation for long-haul trucks into the 21st century by giving natural gas powered trucks the ability to compete on the same playing field in the amount of freight it can transport,” Senator Inhofe said in a statement.

“Natural gas is a clean and affordable domestic energy resource that has the potential to drive American energy independence to reality,” Inhofe said.

Dave Crompton, president of Cummins Engine Business, said the legislation would eliminate a disincentive for use of natural gas in heavy-duty trucks.

Some Natural Gas Options:

 
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