Customer Stories

New MTU Engines on Shaver Tug Lead to Massive Fuel Savings

For years, our technicians in Ridgefield kept the Lassen, a Columbia River tug owned by Shaver Transportation Co., operational by servicing and rebuilding its two-cycle Detroit Diesel engines.

But Shaver recently decided it was time to repower the Lassen to bring it more in line with the propulsion systems used in the company’s fleet. By going with the recommendation of our marine team to install two MTU 8V4000M54 engines, the Lassen has suddenly become the most productive tug in Shaver’s fleet.

Long History          

Shaver’s presence on the Columbia and Snake River systems dates back to the 1880s. Today, Shaver is a regional tug and barge company with a fleet of 15 tugs and 20 grain barges that primarily handle ship assist, inland grain and bulk commodity transportation, and harbor and marine services in the Snake and Columbia river systems.

The Shaver family, now in its fifth generation, retains its ownership in the company and oversees the day-to-day operations of the business.

Power System

The engines installed in the Lassen come from MTU’s legendary line that was introduced in 1996. At the time, the engine featured a common-rail injection system that helped make it powerful, universally deployable and efficient.

The new engines retain that dependability and meet stringent emission standards. Most impressive is the fuel savings. The Lassen is meeting all the performance standards it had prior to the repower but requires 250 fewer gallons of fuel each day. It’s a dramatic reduction in fuel that has company officials stunned.

Return to Work

The Lassen is back to work and will spend the summer transporting barges filled with juvenile fish between Lewiston, Idaho, to just below the Bonneville Dam system that spans between Cascade Locks, Oregon, and North Bonneville, Washington. Scientists have found that this gives the young fish a better chance of survival rather than getting pushed to the surface of the water after passing through the dam and becoming vulnerable to predatory birds.