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ACL picks Cat 280 engines for towboat repowers

Written by Nick Blenkey

acl towboatDECEMBER 13, 2012 — American Commercial Lines (ACL) has selected Cat C280 marine engines for repowering six of its towboats. Bill Foster, ACL vice president Boat Maintenance, commented, “We are making significant investments in our fleet to improve reliability and performance. We selected the Cat C280’s to help us achieve these goals.”

Built upon the 3600 engine platform, the C280 meets EPA Marine Tier 2 emissions regulations, features Electronic Unit Injectors (EUI) and offers high power output, highly efficient brake specific fuel consumption, ease of serviceability, long overhaul intervals, extensive field population with proven capabilities, and Caterpillar’s dealer support network.

The Cat C280 engines are designed to provide a combination of reliability and durability, fuel efficiency, ease of installation, power output, emissions compliance, and low life cycle costs and are especially well-matched for the rigors of towboat operations.

The first of the six ACL vessels being repowered are the MV J. Russel Flowers and the MV Thurston B. Morton. Cat dealer Whayne Power Systems is assisting with the repower project. Chris Coots, vice president and general manager, Whayne Power Systems, commented, “We have established a very good relationship with ACL over the years and are excited about the opportunity to continue our business partnership with these repowers.”

ACL is investing in operational improvement initiatives to revitalize ACL as the flagship of the river transportation industry. Caterpillar Marine Power Systems Inland Waterway Segment Manager Jim Mundth noted, “We are thrilled to have been selected for the repower of these six ACL towboats and are proud to partner with ACL in achieving operational improvements.”  

ACL has been operating three of its higher horsepower towboats since 1998 powered with Cat 3612 engines. The Cat 3612 engine, the predecessor to the C280, has proven to be reliable and durable. After 21 years of operating with the Cat 3612 marine engines, ACL’s MV Carol P. received the first major overhaul recently in Paducah with the support of Whayne Power Systems. Following the overhaul and refurbishment, the MV Carol P was dedicated as the MV Dan Jaworski.    

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