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A guiding force on the Delaware

9/8/2014 | Words: Bob Sheldon | Pictures: Wilmington Tug

2-Cycle engines

Tugboats help virtually every seagoing freighter make it safely to its destination. Imagine pushing a vessel that's nearly four football fields long, and weighs 300 thousand tons. The demand for diesel power is enormous, so the choice of engines is everything. Because tug companies only get paid for calls they complete. And regardless of weather, they’re on duty 24/7, including Christmas Day.

Just ask the Rowlands. Their family has been working the Delaware River since the American Revolution. Today, they own and operate Wilmington Tug, Inc. In 2009, it was the busiest tug company on that waterway. If you enjoy bananas, the Rowlands likely played a role in getting some to you. They also tug other imports and exports like oil, cars, steel, lumber and paper products.

Until 2001, Wilmington Tug ran Detroit Diesel 2-Cycle engines exclusively. But then they decided to continue with MTU when building a new boat. How did that experiment work for them? Strap on your life jacket and watch our video.

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