November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story
Modern Transportation Services
Modern, a leading provider of bulk logistics solutions, says it was the first in the industry to use 12-liter LNG engines. In May, it deployed four Freightliner tractors equipped with Cummins-Westport 12-liter LNG engines to serve a supply lane between 3M in Moncure, N.C., and Owens Corning in Savannah, Ga. They fuel at a Clean Energy station in Latta, S.C., each making two, 600-mile round-trips every day of production. Since May, Modern has run more than 200,000 miles of NG-powered bulk service between 3M and Owens Corning. The group has 350 Class 7-8 vehicles altogether.
Monarch Beverage Company/E.F. Transit
Nearly half – 54 out of 100 – of Monarch’s Class 7-8 vehicles are CNG. Indiana’s largest wine and beer distributor plans to buy a total of 100 new natural gas-powered Kenworth trucks and has built a $2.5 million fueling station next to its warehouse as it works to convert 85% of its fleet to CNG. What sold Monarch on natural gas was its low price, the clean-burning nature of the fuel, and the arrival in early 2013 of the new 12-liter natural gas engine from Cummins.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
NFI, which has focused on fuel economy and its carbon footprint for years, started running some natural gas trucks a year ago. It recently launched a natural gas fleet in Texas as a dedicated fleet for Lowe’s. Altogether it’s running seven CNG and 17 LNG trucks out of its fleet of 2,000 Class 7-8 trucks and tractors. A team of managers meets monthly to review testing, discuss improvements and submit new ideas.
Like many fleets, NFI finds a good way to get into natural gas is to start with dedicated fleet operations, such as this one for Lowe’s, running liquefied natural gas at Lowe’s regional distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas.
Besides aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance wide-based tires, battery APUs and shore power, NFI has initiatives in solar and lighting in its warehouses.
North Las Vegas, Nev.
This electric and gas utility has a total of 64 hybrid units in its fleet, ranging from Class 2-7, plus 11 Class 8 electric vehicles, and 29 biodiesel trucks in Class 7-8. It has Eaton and Odyne hybrid electric powertrains and it’s currently working with vendors to use hybrid auxiliary power on all units it are currently building. NV says it was the first to use Altec Hybrid Service Buckets with ePTO, which functions as an electronic PTO pump to power aerial devices and exportable power. Today they have a total of 30 units and 24 more ordered. This will let the fleet power units on jobsites without idling the truck. It also opened a LEED-certified shop 2009 in Southern Las Vegas.
Nussbaum Transportation Services
Over the last few years, Nussbaum has put a concentrated effort on improving fuel efficiency in its fleet of more than 200 trucks. This improvement largely came from driver behavior changes, equipment changes and more involvement from every department in the company focusing on fuel efficiency. Nussbaum outfitted the majority of its trailer fleet with Trailer Tails and skirts to improve aerodynamics.
Nussbaum Transportation Services has been a leader in adopting fuel-saving technologies such as 6x2 drive axle configurations, as well as a custom driver scorecard program to motivate fuel-efficient driving.
Significant spec changes were made to the tractor fleet, including 6x2 drive axle configurations, to achieve a tractor capable of close to 9 mpg. Nussbaum implemented a driver scorecard system that gives them unlimited bonuses for fuel efficiency. The higher their mpg is, the higher their bonus.