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Saddle Creek Teams with Freightliner Trucks to Develop CNG Tractor with Advanced Aerodynamics

July 31, 2013

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Freightliner Trucks and Saddle Creek Logistics Services have together developed a new Freightliner Cascadia 113-inch BBC day cab with natural gas technology featuring advanced aerodynamics.

Saddle Creek has ordered the first 10 of the vehicles, outfitted with a 120 gallon fuel system. When complete, this will mark the first time a natural gas system will be fully enclosed behind the side and back of cab aerodynamic fairings.

The Lakeland, Fla.-based third-party logistics company already has more than 100 Freightliner CNG tractors in its fleet of 430 vehicles, making it the largest CNG over the road tractor fleet in operation in the country. The additional 10 tractors will be used for truckload operations in the southeastern United States. The company expects to order 90 additional natural gas trucks once testing is completed later this year.

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Powered by the Cummins Westport ISX 12 G heavy-duty natural gas engine with ratings up to 400hp and 1,450 pounds-feet torque, Saddle Creek’s Cascadia CNG tractors will include a fully enclosed back cabinet behind the vehicle’s aerodynamics package.The placement of the tanks will further enhance the sleek exterior, which helps reduce drag and maximize payload.

"Our new tractors are the first of their kind with this aerodynamic fuel efficient design. We worked closely with Freightliner engineers and Agility Fuel Systems to design this system," said Mike DelBovo, president of Saddle Creek Transportation.

According to DelBovo, his Freightliner M2 112 CNG tractors have achieved more than 600 miles per fill. He expects his new Cascadia CNG tractors to achieve at least 700 miles per fill.

Saddle Creek is committed to environmentally-friendly solutions such as CNG to minimize its carbon footprint, and support the sustainability efforts of its customers. Because the natural gas infrastructure is limited, Saddle Creek has built its own fueling station at its Lakeland headquarters.

The Freightliner Cascadia 113 natural gas day cab offers the same performance and versatile benefits of the popular Cascadia tractor, with the incorporation of cheaper, cleaner burning natural gas fuel. Full start of production on all Cascadia 113 natural gas-powered day cabs will begin in August 2013.

Freightliner Trucks’ commitment to green technologies is part of parent company Daimler AG’s global Shaping Future Transportation initiative. Launched in 2007, the initiative focuses on reducing criteria pollutants, carbon dioxide and fuel consumption.

In February 2012, the EPA certified Daimler Truck North America’s complete portfolio of model year 2013 on-highway, vocational and medium-duty vehicles as fully compliant with the new GHG14 regulations. DTNA was the first North American commercial vehicle manufacturer to be certified as GHG14-compliant.

For more information, go to www.FreightlinerTrucks.com.

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