Love's Travel Stops is doing its part to help make compressed natural gas available to trucking companies looking for a cheaper alternative to diesel.
The Oklahoma City-based company announced Monday it is adding fast-fill CNG fueling capability at eight Texas travel stops on the highways between Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.
“The major interstate corridors between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio are ideal locations to place fast-fill CNG for adopters of this natural-gas alternative,” said Jon Archard, director of fleet sales at Love's. “A typical Class 8 truck can cover up to 450 miles after filling up with CNG, so Love's locations near these three metro areas make sense.”
CNG market expands
The news drew praise from oilman T. Boone Pickens, an Oklahoma native who has been pushing the trucking industry to switch to natural gas.
“You have to commend Love's Travel Stops for such a leadership move. The fueling infrastructure to support the move to natural gas as replacement for OPEC oil/diesel, is expanding, and fast,” Pickens said. “Despite incredible gains in domestic oil and natural gas production, gasoline prices remain high. OPEC is a cartel, and the Saudis control price with their production.
“The best way to break the cartel is to inject serious fuel competition into the transportation mix. Love's is helping push that. Good for them.”
Love's opened its first fast-fill facility, thought to be the first of its kind in the nation, in October at Interstate 40 and Morgan Road to serve heavy-duty trucks.
The company is working to switch some trucks in its fleet to CNG to save money on fuel costs. Such trucks need rapid-fueling technology to keep drivers on schedule.
“At our existing location in Oklahoma City, drivers are experiencing fill times comparable to fueling with diesel,” Archard said. “Speed is a top priority for Love's because our fast-fill CNG dispensers are located on our diesel islands.
“We are focused on our customers and know professional drivers need to fuel quickly and get back on the road.”
Archard said CNG is a viable, lower-cost alternative fuel for trucks.
“A gallon equivalent of CNG is significantly less than a gallon of diesel or LNG (liquefied natural gas), so the drivers and fleets running on CNG see dramatic cost benefits,” he said.