Webinar on the Anatomy of a Work Truck (Text Version)

This is a text version of the video for the webinar on the Anatomy of a Work Truck presented on Dec. 17, 2013, by Doyle Sumrall, NTEA.

COORDINATOR: Welcome and thank you standing by. At this time, all participant lines are in a listen-only mode. During the question and answer session, you may press Star 1 on your touchtone phone if you would like to ask a question. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. Now, I would now like to turn the meeting over to Sandra Loi. Ma'am, you may begin.

SANDRA LOI: Thank you so much Marla. Good afternoon everyone. Thank you so much for joining us for another installment of the Clean Cities webinars. As the operator said, I'm Sandra Loi. I work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. I provide technical assistance for the National Clean Cities Program and today, we have Doyle Sumrall the Managing Director of the National Truck Equipment Association here to talk to you about anatomy of a work truck.

With that, Doyle has done this presentation in the past and now he is back again with some updated information and trends that he'll talk you through today. Again, thank you for joining us. We will have a question and answer period at the end so jot things down as you go and you're also welcome to jot questions in the online Q&A function via the web portion of this webinar.

If we have folks on the line that aren't as familiar with Clean Cities. Clean Cities has been going strong since 1993. The program just celebrated its 20th anniversary and the ultimate goal is to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. We have nearly 100 coalitions across the country that work to support these efforts and increase the use of alternative fuel and advance technology vehicles in their local area.

Like I said, this is an installment. We host a monthly educational webinars for our coordinators as well as our stakeholders. Welcome if this is your first Clean Cities webinar. Thank you for joining us. Without further ado, I'm going to go ahead and introduce our speaker and then let him begin.

Our speaker today, as I mentioned, is Doyle Sumrall. He's the Managing Director at the National Truck Equipment Association out of Farmington Hills, Michigan. Doyle serves as Managing Director and as well is responsible for developing strategic alliances and is instrumental in researching and facilitating partnerships which add value for NTEA member companies. Doyle also serves as the Managing Director of the Green Truck Association, an affiliate division of the NTEA.

Doyle has more than 30 years of engineering and business management experience. Most recently serving as Vice President of Manufacturing for Stahl/Scott Fetzer Company, a well-known manufacturer in the commercial truck equipment industry. Doyle is a member of SAE and also serves on the Board of Clean Fuels Ohio, one of our Clean Cities coalitions and Doyle holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Franklin University out of Columbus, Ohio. Doyle, I'll go ahead and pass it off to you. You may begin your presentation. Thank you for joining us.

DOYLE SUMRALL: Thank you so much for inviting me. It's a great opportunity to share some of the things that are going on in the industry and talk a little bit about work trucks. Our title is Anatomy of Work Truck but our industry; it tends to be more than that. It spills over into a number of other things. We'll share some of that today. NTEA is the association for the work truck industry. We have about 1600 members across the country and they span everything from the OEM's to fleets so it's a very inclusive membership.

We have 12 affiliate divisions. Green Truck Association is one of those and focuses in sustainability, fuels, technologies that help improve fuel utilization, reduce criteria fluids and greenhouse gases aligned with some of the things that Clean Cities is doing. A great partnership we have with you guys is very much appreciated.

A little bit about the industry, we can see that since 2010 the industry has been improving. We've gained back quite a bit of strength from a low point and the industry is probably going to reach about 100 billion or a little more this year in sales of product and chassis, significant improvement of about 60% over what we saw in the past.

We also see that the Global Insights forecast is projecting that we're going to have continued improvement and that should run on through 2017. So a nice expansion period and very positive for growth in the industry and it provides fuel for experimenting with some new things, fuels, technologies which is important for the industry to have that strength to move forward. It is a complex industry in terms of how we go to market.

Traditionally, the chassis/OEMs produced a truck. They sent it to a dealer, the dealer made a deal with an end user. Similarly the equipment manufacturer sent equipment to a distributor, up fitters locally and that got mounted and put on but what we see in today's world is a significant number of multiple paths to market. This includes pools and ship throughs which are an extension of many of the up fitters or manufacturing companies tied back to the chassis companies and those cross feed both to truck dealers and to the end users.

Leasing companies are what we refer to as FMC's. We use a lot of acronyms. Fleet management companies are involved, in my cases, own the truck and will lease it to the end user. The interesting thing about this today is that any one of those entities in that block diagram can be the initiator and manager of the project including the end user themselves. Today, we would see all of these entities forming loose coalitions for the work assignment, the job, the development of a particular truck and then they will frequently disband.

However, the strongest organizations we see today build alliances that eliminate the duplication between it. Very significant. Around the outside, federal government and state government, rules, regulations, past incentive, grants and funding has come to have a very profound effect on the industry. It's an important part of the Clean Cities, other associations, even we see DOE today with our National Partners Program involved in influencing these things and green tech suppliers that are coming in from outside the industry.

It's a great deal of different influencers, group partnerships, and a lot of activity around how we go to market today.

NTEA does poll the fleets. We do surveys' as well as other members in the industry but the fleets being the major consumers provide the strongest segment of the industry in terms of the consumption side of the business. In 2013, we polled the fleets early in the year—looked at this mix that we see here, a good diversity across the industry—and their indication was that they were projecting strong purchasing outlook and as we can see, coming through the end of the year, that's coming to fruition.

They also were very clear about the fact that fuel saving strategies were important to them. This has always been the case with fleets. With 63% of the fleets surveyed, a little over 280 said that they were actually writing differences into their specifications to specify fuel savings technologies to be integrated into the truck as it was built before it'd been engineered for application. As you can see—The print's real tiny but across the bottom, this spans everything from alternative fuels to instant start stop technology, auxiliary power units and all kinds of things. Very diverse in what they were going after.

Also, OEM's are the starting point for it all. Nothing goes until it chassis comes off the line and is available to start the work. That perspective, I think, is extremely important. Earlier this year, we had done some conversations with them about how they saw the industry. Certainly, the majority see CNG at the forefront of primary focus, a lot of interest around that primarily driven by the fuel savings and the fact that it is very functional fuel that we're sitting right on the edge of tremendous exposure.

Every day I see numerous releases on new systems, new things that are being done, expansion in that area and the general feeling was that there was a real need for an order of magnitude breakthrough in battery technology versus the electric hybrid or electric drive become main stream or even significantly penetrate the market. We also all believe in—I think this is very sound—that diesel is going to be a primary fuel for a long time to come. We can expect to see some breakthroughs in diesel engine applications, sizing and we're seeing a couple of those notices this year with smaller engines coming from Cummins and some other things going on.

For a long time, we're going to enjoy the huge fuel density of diesel and its impact on the industry. They also indicated that fleets are starting to shift to a lifecycle cost as a primary acquisition criteria and how they're looking at their fleets differently. That actually hits the line of the surveys that we've done. Understanding terms lingo in any industry is important and no different in ours. The next few slides, we'll talk about some of the general things. Certainly not covering the waterfront but we'll hit some of the basics put front and center.

This slide I used—its 2009 data to illustrate the point of how far we've come in terms of the size of the market and the expansion. At that time, about 67 billion in volume. This year, 107.2 billion is what we believe we'll see at the end of the year. As I said, that's a 60% improvement over that time period. That's slowed down in growth. About 4.5% improvement from 2012 to 2013 if we end where we think we are. That's the more moderate approach that we expect to see here in the next three to four years.

Work trucks come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They're not mass produced the way cars are. In fact, they're built in multiple stages. OEM builds part of it and it goes to the field, more gets added. Really—to stress that these are built on a custom basis relative to what we think of as high production lines—the manufacturers involved really engineer each individual truck for its application. It's a fairly sophisticated process.

What we think of as a truck normally a cab chassis but these are built in many, many different configurations. There's approximately 15 companies that produce and sell these. Many of them right here in the United States although a vast amount of that production for immediate heavy duty today is seen being done in Mexico but we see them in cab chassis and cutaways and all different kinds of configurations.

We use the one word truck to refer to them but it's a wide variety of what we see coming. When we start to work on a truck, we really have to look at it and understand that the wheel base is spread between the two axels, the cab to chassis dimension, how far an axel is set forward so the AC, how much nose extending beyond the chassis. People in the industry use these terms, BVC, body weight and we talk in these anagrams. It's the language of our industry and as we move forward, we'll see that each individual equipment type in each segment has more anagrams, more language to learn.

The whole point of work trucks is to carry a load. It's about the pay load; it's about the work effort that the truck can make. Carrying a load really boils down to how much are you imparting to the road from the axels. This whole sketch illustrates that you have two axels and you're carrying the same load that you're trying to carry on one axel and you put a little less weight on the road spot and that becomes important as you look at bridge laws, cross laws and some of the other things.

Again, we have a whole series of antigrams to describe the weight. You'll hear people return or refer to GVWR or gross vehicle weight rating of the truck, what the curve weight of the truck is, CW and all these various elements are a part of what we need to know as we begin to engineer an individual truck. The other added complexity that we have with trucks—that it's somewhat more simplified than cars—is multiple axels and what axels drive.

This diagram shows the axel configuration. Front and rear, front to rear, one front not driving, one rear driving with two axels, both rear axels driving and a couple of configurations that aren't shown on this today. We also see front wheel drive trucks in some limited applications, very limited, duel axel front trucks and all of those different configurations add to the considerations as you engineer the truck.

Mud flaps, fenders to cover them, torque that's being part of the frame so you get into more technical frames but the RVM of the frame and those kinds of things, all are considerations. The trucks leave the factory and sometimes, once they hit the industry, don't have enough axels on them. We add axels to them is an up fit application. In this case, if the axel has been added front of the original rear driving axel, we refer to that as a pusher axel and if the axel is added to the rear, we refer to that as a tag.

I'm sure anybody who's been in Michigan or some of the other states that have cross laws or very strict bridge laws for weight distribution, you see trucks that appear to be all axel. Lots of axels underneath the truck and many of those are added after market. Some of them can be steerable. It's a very sophisticated system. Typically not driving though.

Equipment components that we add is a whole variety and plethora of things that get put on a truck to make it a work truck and it's typically not all coming from one resource. Many different manufactures involved, the components shipped to an individual upfitter so you can have an areal device, alarms or backup and other things, bumpers added, racks, ramps, all sorts of different body configurations. A significant amount of equipment in infinite variety of things we can up fit a truck.

Each one of these different configurations—depending on what you're looking at—has a different set of criteria, put different demands on the truck for horse power requirements, electrical requirements, sophistication of controls, all kinds of things. We see here a refrigerated body. A litany of different componentry that is around that and a variety that's added to and it is all part of building up the truck for the work application at hand. Steps, toolboxes, lift gates to put heavy loads in the back and many things of that nature.

Additionally, we talked a little bit about the green segments. We're with Clean Cities involved in this every day. We have some great examples here of Odynes truck which actually has enough electrical horse power on it to run a Digger Derrick and actually operate without the main engine running. One of the very early battery electric drive trucks and electric powered ladder ramp for work in a CNG van. Many, many different things today. We're seeing that—We looked at the end of the year, last year, about a little over 5% of the total fuel utilization was alternate fuels meaning not gasoline or diesel and we see that growing.

Some years before, it was down as low as 1%. That expansion is pretty interesting and these things are becoming more important to us as an industry but also adding complexity to the up fit and the engineering configuration of the trucks. That's just a verbal overview and a general anecdotal look at the things that are going on. Now, we'll take a little deeper dive here and actually talk about some of the more complex and a little more technical view of engineering and designing a work truck.

Federal motor vehicle safety standards are something that because the trucks are built in multiple stages, the industry has to be concerned about. We refer to this as alternate stage vehicle certification requirements which meets it. In each phase, starting with the OEM, we have the incomplete vehicle document that is completed by the OEM provided with the truck telling what it complies with at that point, what it leaves the chassis manufacturer and goes into the industry, the up fitter or body manufacture—whoever's putting the equipment on this—it needs to register with the fed as a final stage manufacturer. In fact, it's responsible for compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards and required to put a placard on the vehicle indicating what they've done with it. We'll talk a little bit more about that in a few minutes but this is a shot from the NTEAs product conference that's held each September.

We get about eight or nine of the OEMs there presenting what will be coming out the next year and engineers and others in the industry take measurements, getting truck data, looking at how this is going to impact the upfit for the next year. It's a fairly extensive effort to stay up to speed and well informed on those things. The federal motor safety standards we've talked about are 49CFR571. There's about 61 of them and they cover a whole variety of things. Everything from the lighting configuration to brake fluid and what is to be used.

There's a total of 61 that apply directly to trucks and 48 of them are what we are concerned about in the work truck industry for trucks unless it's a 10,000 GVW or less truck so that the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle. On those lighter trucks, there's more stringent requirements because there's a pretty large quantity, a little bit different class of consideration and end up—like for snow plow and ambulance and some of the others—doing impact tests to validate the fact that they're in compliance with those safety standards. It's a little more complex to manage all that.

Two other parts that we are concerned with, 567 covers, specifically, the labeling requirements for two or more stage vehicles and then, 568 to ensure that the vehicles are in compliance. Additional regulations on top of that. If people are interested in looking for more detail, we can certainly provide that offline. Final stage manufacturers, again, are anybody in the industry who works on or does anything to these trucks. An important consideration is that there's two sets of concerns.

One, up until the point where the truck is first sold. The first retail sale which typically is the point of title into that truck, there's responsibility to put the label on, to validate these things. After that first titling, there's no longer a requirement to label but there is a required mandate to be in compliance with the federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Folks who have a truck out in the field that someone has already up fitted and it's been sold, they own it, a private individual, of course, can do a number of things to their trucks as they choose but any professional working on that truck has to be sure that they don't negate compliance with any federal motor vehicle safety standard or if they do any work or additions to it, that that work is, in fact, in compliance. It extends to everybody, truck dealerships, anybody who's working on them. That's why today you see, often, a truck will come in and somebody has put in an after market exhaust system on it. The dealership will actually take that off and put factory equipment back on. To illustrate an example we can all identify with.

Again, it's all about the work truck and I put this slide in to illustrate even a simple van that is being used for—in this case—it looks like some highway work. They're holding up little flashing signs or whatever and there's a lot of racking, a lot of interior configurations all adding weight and things to the truck, the barrier between the work area and the front of the truck. A lot of consideration for those things.

Here's a shot of documentation, a quick montage of those things. We have the tire placard there on the upper left hand side so weight that each of the tires is actually able to carry. You have a payload after the truck is completely configured. Those are required on 10,000 and under GVW trucks and not others. Lower left hand side is a weight chart, what weight you're allowed to have on the axels. Ford, in this case, it's illustrated as one of the OEM's providing technical information.

The shot of the white long label there is bridge laws, how much weight can be on an axel or how far those axels have to be spread apart to carry it and of course, to the far right hand side, the certification label that you see inside the door jam of the truck on the drivers side once the truck has been complete and fitted. It's something to look for.

Next, we'll maybe talk a little bit about how all this stuff impacts the weight distribution and calculations and those kinds of things, the payload. We'll talk a little bit about drive and duty cycle like we've already talked at the beginning for each substantially. Hopefully, you're chuckling a little bit at this point. We've got lots of these kinds of pictures, a bunch of them from—Even here in the US, they're not quite so dramatic but they illustrate the point that often the owner/operator of the truck doesn't really understand what the limitations are for that truck.

As the group that's responsible for putting these trucks together, engineering it for service, making sure that they're in compliance, as we think about adding things on, keep it in mind that the payload is the primary objective for the owner and that all the work that we're doing, we need to keep that in the forefront of our mind. This shot illustrates the various weights of a pretty simple truck and that you have to be concerned with—as you begin to think about weight distribution and those things—the chassis weight, the body weight. If you put a winch, a crane, the passenger sitting in it, each one of those things is subtracted off of the truck's capabilities to establish the end payload.

That would include the other things we add on and the kind of technology, fuel, fuel storage stuff, all go on that list that subtract down and find out what we can ultimately then carry as payload. It's a balancing act. There's a plus side. We're putting big fuel tanks. We're putting after market batteries and drive systems but we can also think about putting a lightweight body, aluminum, plastics, other polymers and composites that take weight off. You have to put on a 300 pound additional fuel load, you can take 150 to 300 pounds off of a unit by simply converting body to aluminum. A little more money but over the life of the truck, that preserves the payload carry capability of the vehicle.

As we think about, also, center of gravity, the stability of the truck, the ability for it to brake properly, to drive correctly is dependent on its weight distribution, how it will handle and how it acts. This is a simple illustration of finding the center of gravity as it builds up mass. It shows that if you had this little block stacked that the center of gravity—which is that round symbol—would be just below the level of the lower block side and virtually in the center of the block pile if you look at it side to side or top down.

If we start to think about trucks, we need to establish that place. The first step in doing that is to start looking at the truck in a three-dimensional way. From the side, we would start out and consider the total weight of the truck and how much of that weight is being placed on each of the axels. This gets to be a busy slide but very much illustrates the point that you do that by doing a moment diagram on the vehicle and all of its components. You pick a point like the center of the front axels—as illustrated here—you rotate the mass, the weight of each one of those components around that based on the distance. Its center of gravity is from the center of the front axel.

You would divide that total added component by the total weight the truck's carrying to find the center of gravity of the total vehicle. So, DT would be going from this front center axel to there. We also did that in a vertical and we also have to look at it side to side. The whole idea is to balance all of the pieces and components so that the center of gravity is in the right place and you don't have too much weight on any one tire or too much weight on either of the two axels or all of the axels that are under the truck.

As we talked about on the axel configuration page, you can imagine this gets pretty complex as you add all those things but that's what makes it a very drivable and usable truck over the long run.

Performing the weight distribution is also an important consideration relative to GVW and ultimately getting down to that payload analysis and making sure we're in compliance.

For 10,000 pounds vehicles, vertical center of gravity becomes very important. They can't let that get too high or the brake system won't meet the requirements in stopping distance and, of course, the other considerations that we've talked about, weight, equipment added and those kinds of things. This is an illustration, as I said earlier in the presentation, trucks come in lots and lots of configurations. The upper left hand is what we think of as a normal cab chassis truck. Just across from that, the van, truck looking thing is a cut away where the back of the van is missing.

That provides for a walk through. There's also towels in the lower left hand side. Probably the best known application for that is school buses but they're used a lot of places and then, strict chassis that come, basically, as a truck without any cab or body mounting. They're made in quite a number of different ways.

This illustrates that for 10,000 pound and over, more than 10,000 pound GVW trucks, the tire placard is not required and that there's a variety of labels that are used depending on the configuration of the truck. If you've got a cutaway or a cab chassis, they take a little different label. There's also alteration labels and intermediate manufacturing labels. A fair amount of complexity to that labeling system and requirements.


Now, we'll shift gears a little bit and maybe talk about what's a bit near and dear to your hearts, the NTEA, the GTA. We certainly see, is I think we've learned in the industry, is seeing that application of technologies, they have a hierarchy the way that you apply those things. Starting out—and involving the driver, focusing on the weight reduction and idle reductions—some of the simple things are where we refer to the low hanging fruit and then, as you move up that hierarchy, the complexities of making sure that the technologies and things that are being applied, alternate fuels, really do have a lifecycle payback on them is important.

In fact, we've also found that these things are compound by applying some of the other technologies, certainly driver involvement in telematics are key components to getting the benefits out of those other more complex technologies. In the survey that we did that we already talked about a little bit, we also learned that fleets are shifting their focus to reduced operating costs, acquisition costs and shorter payback periods away from looking for grants and tax incentives to offset initially. It's interesting—in two ways that they answer that way—one is all those three components feed into lifecycle cost analysis. They tend to think about them individually as they answered our survey.

Also, in conversations with them, they're saying that they want to build their fleet on technologies and applications that have longevity regardless of those offsets. What's good for the fleet long term and can be sustained even if they don't have some of those incentives. That's led us to some work. We've been focusing on drive and duty cycle analysis. National Renewable Energy Lab certainly has a great program going with fleet and some of the things they're focusing on there, FastSim.

If you think about this, it's a cycle. The best scenario in our minds for identifying what are the right technologies to apply and what fits in an application is to actually get good drive and duty cycle data analysis to feed that into a lifecycle cost program and then we'll have a look at some spreadsheets on that in a minute, to predetermine what that benefit is going to be as well as the mechanical engineering of the truck, engineer the application and benefits of the truck simultaneously.

Once you have those to validate them and add the insights you gained in operating them to the analysis, refine that, revalidate with the duty cycle and the drive cycle information, they go continuously through that loop of improvement. Some of the fleets that are doing that today are seeing significant benefits without expensive technologies. Many of them are enjoying a 15 to 20% improvement in fuel economy by just simplifying their operations and eliminating the hard accelerations and stops and better preparing the trucks and those kinds of things but also leveraging some of the technologies becomes much easier when you have the data to work with.

Here's a couple of illustrations. The rather complex left handed picture is a data logger that's installed on Odyne DOE trucks that are out there. In the next few slides, we'll see how they plugged that into the lifecycle cost model and validated the benefits of the technology they've added. The other slide is a large truck Dyno that's at OSU Par and they've done some modeling and some validation work to prove and validate the CNG utilization and savings. The city of Columbus is doing it and also a fair amount of work on the hydraulic hybrids where they're then able to take that data in both cases and apply it to other trucks that technology is good for and model what the savings would be over a long time.

It's some pretty sophisticated modeling stuff that translates into getting a good handle on what your cost savings are going to be before you actually buy the truck or technology. These next few slides—Well, this a green fleet tool from Argonne. Not the same word. Another modeling tool that uses a little different approach to things but gives you comparative numbers for a number of different cycle technology elements, very interesting way to look at a variety of applications. Here are the two slides on the work that Odyne did and validated the hybrid truck paybacks. I included those in there for you so you could see real world applications of this technology and utilizing the data gathered off of the data logger.

Then to close things up here, Polk data shows that we've got about 11 million plus vehicles in use in the United States. Class three through class eight and just a huge potential for us. You see that there's been moderate growth in that from 2011 to 2013 but, literally, thousands and thousands of trucks out there that we can look at to apply these technologies and make vast improvements on.

While keeping in mind that the trucks are very, very different. There's a huge peliphery of configurations and their built in very small numbers relative to what we think of as production. This is a slide used by Navistar when they testified to the National Academy of Science regarding the first round of greenhouse gas rule making and this is a great illustration of the world of work trucks and the huge variety and sophistication in the equipment that we're building today. As you think about those things, we've got to be pretty flexible in how we look at this technology of flexibility to a variety of applications.

Also, I think it would be amiss if we didn't at least talk about the fact that there are some other considerations too. Public health, climate change, energy security, sustainability, all those things are extremely important elements for the fleet. The fleet manager, end user, has a pretty complex job. This slide comes from Clean Fuels Ohio that is doing the work with a number of city fleets and their decision making process and making this transition but the center of all that, at the end of the day, the fleet manager knows that they're responsible to run a very efficient and productive fleet at the best possible cost of operation that they can.

It's a tough job and certainly great service that's being provided by Clean Cities and others to help them through that decision making process. With that, we'll open the things up for any questions or comments you might have.


SANDRA LOI: Thank you Doyle. Go ahead Marla.

COORDINATOR: Thank you. At this time, if you would like to ask a question, please press Star 1. You'll be prompted to record your first and last name. If you want to withdraw your question, you may press Star 2. Once again, if you have a question, please press Star 1, un-mute your phone, and record your name clearly. One moment for our first question please. Once again, if you have a question, please press Star 1 at this time.

SANDRA LOI: Great. Thanks. While we're waiting for our first question, I just want to thank Doyle so much for pulling this presentation together and know that if you think of anything after the call, Doyle has posted his phone number and his email and you can also reach out to myself, Sandra Loi, here at NREL and I would be happy to direct your question back to Doyle or direct you to any additional information.

We will also post the webinar on the Clean Cities website on our archives pages so look for that as well. If you're looking for more information, don't hesitate to reach out.

COORDINATOR: We do have a question ma'am from Bill Eaker. Your line is open sir.

BILL EAKER: Yes. Thank you. Doyle you had a slide towards the end there that showed the number of units on the road by the different weight categories and I guess the—Yes. Go back a couple more. One more I believe. Right there. Okay. Do you have information on how much petroleum use there is by the different classes? I guess I would make an assumption that class eight uses the most fuel as a category but I'm not sure that's true.

DOYLE SUMRALL: That's a great question and I don't have it. What you have to keep in mind is with work trucks—and of course this is all trucks on the road—work trucks tend to be more local, not drive as many miles as the over the road stuff in most of the things we focus on our work trucks. I have not seen any data that separates anything out except for over the road and I know there's some really good estimates on what the annual utilization is for the road.

I can tell you that the average work truck in that category gets maybe five miles a gallon and typically do about 20 to 25,000 miles a year more or less. Some plow trucks are as low as maybe 15,000 miles or 12,000 miles. However, they idle quite a bit and that's why we say for work trucks you really need to do the drive-duty cycle analysis. Even if you don't put a data logger on it, just doing it anecdotally gives you some great insight.

BILL EAKER: Okay. Thank you.

COORDINATOR: Once again, if you have a question, please press Star 1. One moment for our next question. I don't have a name to announce. Maybe your line was muted. Please check your mute button and go ahead. Your line is open.

MITCHELL: Hi. Thanks. This is Mitchell Simpson at the Arkansas energy office. Doyle I had a question. You mentioned in one of the first slides that fleets are more transitioning to really looking at lifecycle costs as their prime acquisition criteria. Here, in Arkansas, we're really making a big push—the state in general is making a big transition—to CNG or we're seeing the momentum pick up. I'm just curious, in terms of the data that you've seen, how does the lifecycle costs of CNG trucks generally compare to those that traditionally run diesel?

DOYLE SUMRALL: Interesting question and again, work trucks, it varies so widely across the board but I know the City of Columbus, Bill Burns and I've had a number of conversations about this. They've put over $3 million in their infrastructure and the last time I talked to Bill, they were calculating their costs of fuel at the pump at around $1.85 a gallon equivalent and that differential—to what had traditionally been mostly a diesel fleet—put Bill in a positive lifecycle cost position.

I can't tell you the exact number of years of payback but after the first year of operation, they had enough justification that they have started their second fueling site and are building another natural gas quick fill station and converting the bus fleet over as well as some of the other city cars and have a third one on the horizon. I hear similar—That's probably the best documented case I know of and I know Bill would share those numbers with you if you talked to him but in general, I hear people talking about if they've got a fair number of miles—something above 20,000—and their enjoying a fuel differentiation of about $2 a gallon, they believe that they'll see it paid back in three to five years.

MITCHELL: Okay. Good. Thank you.


COORDINATOR: At this time, we have no further questions.

SANDRA LOI: Okay. Great. Thank you. Well, I guess I'll go ahead and wrap up and like I said, if anyone has questions afterwards, feel free to reach out directly to myself or directly to Doyle. Doyle, thank you again so much for your time today and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Thank you so much.

DOYLE SUMRALL: Very welcome. Appreciate everybody's involvement. Thanks.

SANDRA LOI: Thank you.

COORDINATOR: Thank you all for participating in today's conference. You may disconnect your lines at this time.