Heavy Duty Trucking

SEP 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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30 HDT • SEPTEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com hotline Trucking's Most Respected Business Report Circle 124 on Reader Action Card Chinese gliders to be platforms for new American Class 7-8 trucks An American start-up manufacturer has begun using Chinese-made glider kits for a line of medium- and heavy-duty alternative-fueled trucks for North America. Alkane Truck Co.'s cabover trucks will be based on Daimler Foton engine-less gliders that are being shipped to the Port of Charleston, S.C., and then to a nearby "integration" plant. There workers will install propane and natural gas engines and fuel systems, and automatic or automated manual transmissions, says Steve Rayborn, the firm's national sales director. He is one of a small team of people who founded the company in Myrtle Beach, S.C., about four years ago, and has been planning the products and how to market them. The low cost of alternative fuels prompted the decision to offer only propane and natural gas-powered trucks. "We will be a niche marketer, and we don't need to sell even 10,000 trucks a year to be a success," Rayborn says. American and Canadian dealers representing 120 locations have signed memoranda of understanding contingent on their inspection of and satisfaction with production trucks. Alkane will field P-33 Class 7 trucks using Power Solutions International 8.8-liter V-8 engines with propane fuel systems from Bi-Phase Technologies, an arm of Schwan's Food Service, a user of propane since the 1970s. A Class 6 P-26 model would be offered to those who wish to avoid CDL requirements for operators. A yet-unnamed Class 8 model will use the Cummins ISX12 G natural gas engine and an Eaton UltraShift automated gearbox. –Tom Berg, Senior Editor Alkane says its Class 7 truck will run on propane. PHOTO: ALKANE TRUCK CO.

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