PGT Trucking is now running a dedicated flatbed route with a Nicola battery-electric tractor. - Photo: PGT Trucking

PGT Trucking is now running a dedicated flatbed route with a Nicola battery-electric tractor.

Photo: PGT Trucking

PGT Trucking is using a Nikola Class 8 zero-emissions truck on a dedicated route for Steel Dynamics, a large North American steel producer and metals recycler. The move is part of the trucking company’s quest to minimize its environmental impact.

The initial run took place in early August, as PGT Trucking moved material between Steel Dynamics' Pittsburgh galvanizing locations with the Nikola battery-electric truck. This daily shuttle service, PGT Trucking said, marks a significant step forward in the trucking company’s commitment to sustainable and efficient transportation solutions.

PGT Trucking said environmental sustainability is a key focus for both companies, and this partnership allows it to transport Steel Dynamics' products efficiently while minimizing environmental impact. The company estimated that a short-haul delivery made using this truck will reduce PGT's carbon emissions by more than 105,000 pounds annually.

To support this partnership, Steel Dynamics installed a charging station at its MetalTech location for the battery-electric truck.

"Our entrepreneurial, innovative teams support our decarbonization efforts through identifying and implementing emission reduction projects throughout our organization," said Jeff Hansen, Steel Dynamics vice president, environmental sustainability, in a news release.

PGT Trucking plans to implement sustainable best practices across the organization with the goal of reaching a 35% reduction in emissions of company-owned equipment by the year 2025.

Battery-Electric Truck

In January, PGT Trucking announced the purchase of its first Nikola Tre battery-electric truck.

At the time, PGT said the Nikola Tre would be used on a select customer account, primarily operating on local, dedicated routes.

“PGT’s decision to place a Nikola Tre BEV immediately into operation is telling of their commitment to drive forward their ambitious corporate sustainability initiatives today,” said Nikola President and CEO Michael Lohscheller, in a news report by HDT.

The Nikola Tre entered the American BEV market when it fulfilled an order for 100 trucks for Total Transportation Services Inc., which operates in and around the ports and in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The first pilot trucks were delivered to TTSI in December 2021.

Fuel-Cell Electric Trucks

Nearly two years ago, PGT Trucking told HDT it intended to lease 100 Nikola Tre fuel-cell electric tractors, a truck expected to have a range of up to 500 miles.

Nikola this week announced that production of the FCEVs has “recently” started and the company already has 202 sales orders, from 18 customers, for the new fuel-cell electric Class 8 truck.

The company added that “deliveries are expected to begin later this year, with some following the satisfactory completion of a demonstration program.”

The PGT Trucking lease is one of those dependent on the satisfactory completion of the demo program.

The company’s lease order was said to include scheduling maintenance and hydrogen fueling locations.

Autonomous Relay

Not only has PGT Trucking rolling forward with a battery-electric truck and FCEVs, but it is also delving into the world of autonomous relay convoy (ARC) systems. The company entered stuck an eight-year agreement with Locomation to implement 1,000 ARC systems, HDT reported last year.

Using ARC, a driver pilots a lead truck while a follower truck travels in tandem through Locomation’s autonomous system. This process even allows the driver to log off, and then rest while the truck continues on its route.

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