November 26, 2014

Potelco, One of Washington’s Largest Fleets, Switches to LNG Vehicles

With operations requiring the use of over 3,000 vehicles, Potelco’s Fleet Manager Steve Steedley, is no stranger to managing the complex logistics of one of Washington State’s largest fleets. So when the power line maintenance and construction company made the decision to incorporate natural gas vehicles (NGVs) into its business, Steve researched the market for about a year before making the purchase.

The company now runs 42 Freightliner M2 model trucks with the Cummins Westport 8.9L ISL G engine: 20 bucket trucks, 20 digger trucks and two fuel tankers. Each vehicle is being fuelled with cold liquefied natural gas (LNG) using the Westport iCE PACK™ LNG Tank System.

“We’re a homegrown company and it’s good for the [local] economy, getting the fuel from here,” Steve says. “It’s all around a good business -- from an economic standpoint and for keeping jobs at home.”

Potelco has over 1,300 employees – the company completes electrical line construction, cable television, gas pipeline, fibre optics, transportation, and telecom projects.
One of Potelco's 42 natural gas vehicles, powered by the Westport iCE PACK™ LNG Tank System filled with cold liquefied natural gas.
There’s currently one LNG station in the State of Washington, operated by Blu LNG, which is located around 15 miles (24 kms) from the company’s location in Sumner, just south of Seattle. To manage his LNG fueling needs, Steve fills up two mobile LNG refueling units – with a capacity of 3000 gallons - at the station, and places the units at their operations across Washington to provide access to LNG to fuel his fleet whenever required.

Steve says Westport’s iCE PACK service website and team have been an essential part of managing the learning curve associated with the adoption of a new fuel. Westport iCE PACK customers have access to a service representative over the phone or in person, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, customers can visit the iCE PACK service website with detailed, real-time information on operations, parts, technical service bulletins, an electronic service tool and more.

What would Steve say to another business thinking about driving with LNG, one year into the process of switching?

“I would tell them to give it a try,” Steve says. “We expect to have a lot more LNG trucks in the next few years. We’re just getting started with natural gas – and we have one of the largest fleets in the State of Washington.”

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