When Loveland Ready Mix replaced seven diesel-powered concrete mixer trucks with vehicles that run on natural gas, the decision was fueled both by business factors and national interests, company officials say.
With diesel fuel prices rising, natural gas costs dropping dramatically and the EPA requiring cleaner-burning diesel engines, Loveland Ready Mix officials decided that the purchase would pay off financially.
“They’re quiet, they’re clean and they run on domestic fuels,” Ready Mix secretary/treasurer Steve Fancher said.
The company installed its own compressed natural gas fueling station, at a cost of about half a million dollars, because the closest such facility in Northern Colorado is in Boulder, according to Stephanie Fancher said.
Ready Mix bought the trucks last fall for about $220,000 each, which is about $40,000 more than the price of a comparable diesel truck, Steve Fancher said. Figuring in the cost of the fueling station, the lower price of natural gas should cover the higher cost of the trucks in about six years, he said. Such vehicles last about 10 years.