Southern Towing opts for MTU power

JULY 24, 2014 — Memphis-based Southern Towing Company has opted to power six inland waterways towboats with MTU engines. Four new and two existing vessels will be outfitted with a total of twelve Series 4000 Ironmen engines in 8- and 12-cylinder configurations.

"Southern Towing's investment in the Series 4000 represents our belief that the competitive edge in the inland waterways transportation business belongs to companies that move beyond the legacy engines of the past to the higher-powered, more fuel-efficient engines of the future," said Tommy McCoin, chief engineer, Southern Towing.

Powered by twin MTU 8V 4000 engines designed to run at a constant 1,800 rpm, the first two new vessels to be put into service with MTU's Series 4000 were 100-foot Z-drive sister towboats named the Paula Fortier and Theresa Echols. Soon to follow were two 120-foot Z-drive towboats christened Capt. Tommy Parrish and Capt. H.R. Kirtley, both powered by twin MTU 12V 4000 M53 engines, rated to produce 1,851 bhp at 1,800 rpm. The Series 4000 engines are matched to ZF Marine Z-Drive steering systems. All four vessels were built by Steiner Shipyard, Bayou La Batre, AL

"The Series 4000 engine offers Southern Towing's fleet superior fuel economy, emissions regulation compliance and industry-leading reliability," said Ryan Szubinski, commercial marine sales manager, MTU America. "We constantly strive to adapt to ever-changing customer needs and federal standards while providing the best solutions for the shifting inland waterway transportation industry."

Two repower projects, each utilizing the MTU 12V 4000 M53 engine, are still on the horizon. The new engines will increase overall fuel efficiency and decrease emissions for two existing push boats.

Stewart and Stevenson, MTU's regional distributor, sold the engines to Southern Towing.

"Southern Towing has a reputation for being an innovative, early adopting company and their selection of the Series 4000 reaffirms that position," said Chad Lemoine, senior sales representative at Stewart and Stevenson.