J.J. Taylor Companies Inc. announced an open house, celebrating the launch of its private compressed natural gas fueling station and its transition to the more environmentally friendly, domestically produced fuel. With its corporate offices in Jupiter, Fla., J.J. Taylor has beer distribution operations in Tampa, Fort Myers and Fort Pierce, Florida as well as in Minneapolis, Minn.

J.J. Taylor Companies has ordered 43 Freightliner Business Class M2 112 CNG tractors and plans to completely replace its Tampa-based fleet consisting of 95 diesel tractors to the cleaner burning CNG units within the next 36 months. The tractors are arriving in Tampa and will be in-service by February 2013. Plans for a second station and conversion of the company's 75-tractor fleet in Fort Myers, Fla. are underway.

As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company has been actively involved in reducing its carbon footprint over the past 5 years by adopting changes in its daily operations, including recycling of carton and paper products, and replacing its warehouse lights to more efficient fluorescent lighting.

As part of making its fleet more fuel efficient, the change to CNG is a natural progression. CNG is cleaner with near-zero emissions and therefore less harmful to the environment. It is also a domestic fuel with a lower cost on a diesel gallon equivalent basis. The CNG vehicles are also quieter than their diesel counterparts. When idling, four tractors produce the same decibel level as just one diesel tractor.

The Freightliner tractors were acquired through Tampa Truck Center LLC and are powered by a Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL-G engine and an Allison 3000Hs transmission. The CNG fueling station is being built by Vocational Energy LLC out of Fontana, CA.  The vehicles will be used in daily delivery operations in the company's territory covering Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.