The station, capable of producing 420 diesel gallon equivalents per hour, was designed and constructed by Vocational Energy, headquartered in Fontana, Calif. The station will be open to the public and will help Smith Dairy reach its long-term goal of becoming diesel independent, said Smith Dairy spokesperson Rebekah Shipper.
"The owners really looked 'big picture' with regard to the station - and wanted to build a station that was not only good for Smith Dairy, but one that was also beneficial to the industry and the environment," she said.
Shipper said Smith Dairy conducted economic impact studies to look at route efficiencies, vehicle fuel usage, and other metrics - and decided that migrating to domestic natural gas made sense.
"Vocational Energy has always stood by our philosophy that the nation can't wait on the government to find funding for infrastructure - it's something that has to be initiated by the business sector," said Scott Edelbach, president of Vocational Energy.
Smith Dairy has seven Freightliner CNG-powered tractors on the road currently with plans to purchase only CNG-powered vehicles in the future. According to Shipper, drivers are enthusiastic about the Allison automatic transmissions and the fact that the natural gas engines are much quieter.