Central Freight Lines, a less-than-truckload for-hire common carrier, will test 15 new compressed natural gas tractors under a grant from the Houston-Galveston Area Council.

The 15 new tractors that will be added to the CFL fleet are 2013 Peterbilt Model 384 4X2 tractors. They will be equipped with Agility 75 DGE Back of Cab CNG Fueling System (75 diesel gallon equivalent). Specs for the tractors include an ISL-G 320/2200 engine and Allison 3000 Highway Series Transmission.

The tractors will perform local pickup and delivery in the Houston-Galveston service area where a natural gas fueling infrastructure is available. The testing could lead to an addition of 200 natural gas tractors in CFL's south Texas market.

"The opportunity to test natural gas tractors is part our effort to help improve air quality in the areas where we operate," says Don Orr, president and CEO of Central Freight Lines. "In the past few years, we have been consistently replacing power units with newer emissions-compliant engines, and adding other environmentally friendly equipment such as propane-powered forklifts. With the Houston-Galveston Area Council's backing we can fully evaluate how natural gas tractors will help further our goals and help fight air pollution in some of the major metropolitan areas we serve, including Houston, which has higher air pollution levels than most large cities in the country."