A CENTURY ON THE MOVE.

ACBL
ACBL

ACBL Navigates New Waters with Cat® Marine Engines & Dealer Support

Leading Barge Line Forges Ahead With Engine CVAs Backed By Boyd Cat®

From the direction of currents to the demand for commodities, change is the only constant in the marine transportation industry. The secret to running a successful fleet for the long haul? Keep moving forward. That’s according to American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), an Indiana-based company with a century-long legacy of innovation.

Since 1915, ACBL has delivered crucial cargoes up and down U.S. inland waterways. The company now operates approximately 3,550 barges along 7,200 miles of waterways. Running one of the nation’s largest inland fleets comes with its challenges.

“If they're not making miles and getting barge shoves, we're not making money,” says Ron Schneider, Senior Manager of Mainline Vessel Engineering for ACBL. “Parts availability, durability, serviceability. All those are key in the whole operation.”

 

A POWERFUL PARTNERSHIP.

The company’s relationship with Caterpillar spans four decades for good reason. To keep its fleet running strong, ACBL counts on a range of Cat® engines and the Cat dealer network, including Boyd Cat and its Marine Product Support Representative, Neilly Allen.

“Neilly gives us very good support on all engines, all classifications that we've got,” Schneider says. “We have C32s, C280s running high horsepower RPM. We’ve got a wide array.”

From fast filter deliveries to complex cylinder rebuilds, ACBL trusts Boyd Cat to do the job right. The business worked with Allen on valve adjustments during its last overhaul cycle – and Schneider reports the team did not drop a single valve thanks to diligent preventive maintenance.

In Boyd Cat, ACBL has a reliable partner and 24/7/365 support to keep forging ahead.

 

NAVIGATING NEW WATERS.

Building on a century of knowledge, ACBL constantly innovates its operations – both to maximize productivity and increase efficiency for its customers, and also to advance the company’s long-term sustainability goals.

According to Scott Hankins, Vice President of Vessel Reliability, ACBL is undertaking new initiatives to stay at the industry’s leading edge of progress towards a more sustainable future.

“Every decision we make, from monitoring these engines to buying new ones, is geared towards being a more eco-friendly company and industry,” says Hankins. “It’s our mission to be an innovative marine transportation solution… Neilly and I talk about emissions control and green initiatives pretty regularly.”

 

DATA-DRIVEN INNOVATION.

By entering Customer Value Agreements (CVAs) this year, ACBL doubled down on reducing emissions while cutting fuel and maintenance expenses. Backed by Boyd Cat, the CVAs cover connected technologies that provide reliable performance data on the line’s C32 engines.

“Cat Remote Fleet Vision monitoring will allow ACBL to go in and look at the engines any time they want to,” says Allen. And when the data reveals an engine problem, “Boyd Cat is the first call for ACBL. We make recommendations on how to repair things and keep them going, and can send a technician or advise engineers on their larger boats.”

This level of connectivity enables engineers like Schneider to pinpoint problems and monitor trends in engine performance over time. Armed with these insights and Boyd Cat support, ACBL is empowered to take data-driven action to improve efficiency and conserve fuel.

 

ON THE HORIZON.

ACBL’s new CVAs mark the latest chapter in its history of continuous transformation. The barge line isn’t slowing down any time soon (at least not within the next 107 years). Propelled by Cat engines and backed by Boyd Cat, ACBL has its sights set on the horizon of an ever-changing industry – and keeps moving forward.

“WE RUN THE ENGINES HARD, SO WE'RE DEPENDENT UPON NEILLY AND BOYD CAT TO SUPPORT THAT.”

-Scott Hankins, Vice President of Vessel Reliability

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TAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP A STEP FURTHER.

CONNECT YOUR FLEET THROUGH A CVA.

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Same durable, efficient engine. Fewer emissions. Lower fuel costs. Simple maintenance. See why Cat Tier 4 Final marine engines are the smart choice for inland waterways.

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