By Gary Lloyd
The Trussville City Council on Tuesday approved four compressed natural gas pickup trucks for city use.
The city’s Streets and Sanitation Department will receive two extended cab trucks and one crew cab truck. The Parks and Recreation Department will get one extended cab truck.
The extended cabs cost $33,554.02 each and the crew cab trucks cost $35,672 each for a total of $138,452.04.
The Parks and Recreation Department is expected to get a CNG dump truck, too, but that won’t be until at least next month.
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton said at the meeting that the CNG pump at the Chevron at Deerfoot Parkway will open to the public Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
The city has purchased or converted 32 Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicles, two fire vehicles, a dump truck and Honda Civic. Most of the police Tahoes are converted to CNG and on the streets.
Trussville Mayor Gene Melton has said that a domestic fuel source is less financially insecure than a foreign one. CNG vehicles can accumulate up to 15,000 miles between oil changes and require less maintenance than traditional fuel-burning vehicles, Melton said.
The gas is pressurized to 3,600 psi and in the event of a fuel tank breach, it simply dissipates rather than igniting. The CNG pump connects much like a larger version of a tire pump and is air-tight. The pump constantly monitors the amount of fuel entering the vehicle and adjusts pressure accordingly.
The compression tanks that hold the CNG can fill 10 large city vehicles before running out
. The pumps then shut off for about eight minutes until they automatically and completely refill.
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