Ryder System Inc. announced that Eagle Distributing of Shreveport Inc., has signed a full-service lease agreement for 23 compressed natural gas tractors. 

Eagle is an Anheuser-Busch distributor in northwestern Louisiana and Ryder’s first natural gas lease customer in Louisiana. The CNG tractors will replace nearly all of Eagle’s existing diesel-powered delivery fleet. 

With natural gas vehicles available for lease and rental in markets in California, Arizona, and Michigan, Ryder now adds Shreveport, La., as its newest market with a natural gas vehicle offering. Ryder will also provide maintenance for the 23 CNG vehicles from Ryder’s Shreveport service facility, which is being upgraded for compliance with natural gas standards.

The CNG vehicles are part of a strategic initiative by Eagle to reduce its carbon footprint and control fuel costs.  “By changing out these 23 vehicles, Eagle will cut its greenhouse gas emissions from its current 878 tons down to 670 tons, which will be a reduction of 24%,” said Doug Jones, operations manager for Eagle. “We are also changing out smaller fleet vehicles to CNG,” he added.

Ryder’s leased vehicles will be used to make deliveries throughout Eagle’s service territory of nine parishes in Northwest Louisiana. Eagle is also currently exploring plans to build a natural gas fueling station near its headquarters in Shreveport.