The company hopes to be in full production at the new plant by March 2001, says Byron Spain, founder and chief executive.
Rodi currently has 350 orders for engines to be used in on-site testing, as well as by early users of Rodi’s HT1-450 diesel engine.
The new engine is said to be lighter and smaller than conventional heavy-duty engines, and can operate on four or two cylinders, depending on how much power the driver needs. Spain believes the engine will be particularly attractive to operators of cement, dump and garbage trucks, and who drive half their trips empty.
"I don’t expect our product will be in competition with the major manufacturers of truck engines, like Cummins, Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel," he said. "We’ll always be a niche product. We nailed down a niche that doesn’t impact the other three a whole lot."