Fleets operating in four Western states that are considering running liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks without the restrictions of a lease or purchase can now rent   trucks to try them out.

PacLease, its local franchise Kenworth Sales Co. and Blu LNG are bringing the program to market for fleets operating along the I-84 and I-15 corridors from Las Vegas, NV, through Utah, Idaho and eastern Oregon.

Blu LNG will supply the fuel for the Kenworth vehicles, which will be made available through PacLease and Kenworth Sales Co.

The rental program will offer trucks in four different configurations to meet the needs of most fleets while matching the LNG fueling infrastructure that Blu is currently installing. The trucks are scheduled to roll off the assembly line shortly and will be available in local delivery, regional haul, long-haul and heavy-haul configurations.

The trucks will be available at select Kenworth Sales Co.-PacLease locations throughout the four western states near to where Blu has recently completed construction of LNG fueling stations. The three Idaho locations are in Boise, Idaho Falls and Jerome. In Utah, there are three in Salt Lake City, and one in Salina and one in Washington. There are also locations in Las Vegas, Nev., and Pendleton, Ore.

“We’re excited to be offering private fleets and truck operators a chance to try an LNG-powered truck in areas where such opportunities have never really existed before,” said Olen Hunter, director of sales for PacLease. “For companies involved in regional food and beverage distribution, oil and gas exploration, hauling raw products for the agricultural industry, or finished products for food processors, this will be an opportunity to test natural gas-powered trucks in their specific operations and duty cycles.

“This also offers fleets the opportunity to make sure the fueling infrastructure has been established to meet their needs and routes,” Hunter added. “Additionally, they can determine if the price difference between LNG and diesel fuels offers them enough savings to consider more wide-spread adoption of natural gas-powered trucks into their fleet operations.”

More locations will be available as new Blu LNG stations come online and rental truck equipment capacity is added nationally.

“We’re excited about the synergies created through this joint marketing agreement among Blu, Paclease and Kenworth Sales Co.,” said Drew Laing, director of marketing for Blu. “The agreement will provide customers a great opportunity to evaluate the performance and fuel savings of natural gas by using demo trucks within their own unique operations. We are confident this program will provide the transportation industry the assistance needed to effectively adopt this cleaner, domestically produced, and lower-cost fuel.”

All four truck configurations will feature the Kenworth T800 equipped with one 120-gal. LNG fuel tank, a 15L Westport high-pressure direct injection (HPDI) engine and manual transmission in various specifications.

The local delivery configuration will feature a day cab, single drive axle and a weight rating of 65,000 GVW. The regional haul configuration will feature a day cab, tandem drive axle and a weight rating of 80,000 GVW. The line haul configuration will feature a 38-in. sleeper, tandem or tridem drive axles and a weight rating of 80,000 GVW. The heavy haul configuration will feature day cab or 38-in. sleeper, heavy-duty tridem drive axles and maximum weight ratings that meet local state weight laws.

PacLease can also provide long-haul units with dual LNG tanks for fleets with longer operating ranges.

“The heavy-haul configuration will be particularly well spec’d to handle the punishing environments typical with oil and gas exploration work,” Hunter added. “This rental program has the potential to really open up the market for buying and leasing natural gas-powered trucks. It gives companies an opportunity to use a lower cost and cleaner locally produced natural gas while reducing our dependency on foreign oil.”