INDIANAPOLIS - More than 350 truck and fleet operators learned about new available equipment and the future of natural gas fuel in the trucking industry at a show held by Kenworth of Indianapolis / Palmer Trucks at the Indiana State Fair Grounds.

The annual show, held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Marsh Blue Ribbon Pavilion, drew a record number of industry suppliers - 88, and featured free training sessions on grant writing, maintenance and the new federal braking requirements.

"Truck operators and their technicians got a lot of great information about spec'ing choices, maintenance and grant assistance to help make the new technology more affordable," said Jacob Nichols, general manager of Kenworth of Indianapolis. "Plus, they got a unique opportunity not only to look at, but also ride and drive several Kenworth diesel-electric hybrid and CNG-powered trucks.









"A seven-person panel discussion provided information and opinions on the growth and future of natural gas in heavy duty trucks and the transportation industry," Nichols said. "Participants learned how the rising cost of diesel and the increasing availability of domestic gas reserves is helping to build momentum for the adoption of natural gas-powered vehicles."

Kelli Walsh, executive director of Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition, discussed efforts by her organization and others to secure more state and federal funds to help truck operators adopt alternative fueled vehicles. Walsh has helped companies and government agencies attain more than $14 million in federal and state aid to implement alternative fuels projects.

Andy Douglas, Kenworth Truck Company's national sales manager for specialty markets, offered information on the different considerations and spec'ing choices fleets and truck operators must make before adopting natural gas as an alternative fuel.

Brian Houston, a business development manager for Clean Energy, the nation's largest builder and operator of natural gas fueling stations, discussed recent efforts by his company and the industry to open more fueling stations on the East and West coasts as well as along major travel corridors.