Fuel Smarts

Busy Truck Stop Finds Success with Biofuels

January 18, 2018

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Fontana Truck Stop Center has an ideal location. It’s just off one interstate and near another, both of them taking traffic to and from Los Angeles. It’s also in an industrial area populated with distribution centers, manufacturers and equipment dealerships. “Fontana is a major hub for trucking,” says truck stop co-owner Lonnie Tabbaa. “You have all the big industries here. And, we service all the major fleets and the smaller ones, both local and out-of-state drivers.”

But, with fierce competition in the area for drivers, success is not guaranteed. Fontana Truck Stop Center has found that offering renewable fuels is one way to stand out, so they sell biodiesel blends and a blend of biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) at its diesel islands.

Sustainability comes into play a couple of different ways. First, companies and municipalities are increasingly adopting sustainability plans that aim to reduce their carbon footprints. Transportation fuels are a significant part of those efforts.

Second, the state of California is a global leader in setting policies to cut emissions. That includes the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires a reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.

Fontana Truck Stop Center began selling biodiesel blends in 2015, starting at a B5 blend before quickly moving up to B20.

“Biodiesel is better for the environment than regular diesel,” says Abdul Mardini, the truck stop’s general manager. “It also gives us an advantage on the price we pay for fuel. At the same time, we can offer it to the drivers at a lower price. And it gives us an advantage on the truck stops that don’t use it.”

In 2017, Fontana Truck Stop Center began offering renewable hydrocarbon diesel for similar reasons: sustainability and economics. Then REG, which they buy fuel from, made them aware that blending biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel was an option.

Renewable fuels have done more for Fontana Truck Stop Center than drive business to the pumps. By attracting drivers to the truck stop, they’ve also given a boost to other services, such as in-store food sales, a detail center, and a truck wash.

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