HDT’s 2015 Top Green Fleets leave no stone unturned in their quest for better fuel economy, lower emissions, and less impact on the environment.
Lower diesel and gasoline prices may have damped down some of the excitement about natural gas and other alternative fuels, but for many of those on our third annual list, it’s still an important part of their sustainability strategy.
And alternative fuels are hardly the only “green” tactic out there. Fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are the primary strategy for many of our honorees, with many reporting 8, 9, even 10 mpg rigs or close to it. Interestingly, some of the fuel-saving tactics that may have landed a fleet on our first Top 50 list aren’t quite as innovative today, as things like trailer skirts, 6x2 axle configurations and automated transmissions have become more common.
In addition, facilities improvements, such as adding solar panels, electric charging for refrigeration units, energy-efficient lighting, etc., were also considered.
We paid more attention this year to what fleets have done in the past year. And we looked harder this year at what fleets are doing to inspire and educate others about how to improve their own sustainability efforts.
AmeriPride Services Inc.
This private fleet operates nearly 1,900 vehicles, including 131 heavy-duty and 1,420 Class 3-6 tractors and trucks. It has replaced more than 40% of its fleet since 2010. Trailer skirting was added on all semi-trailers that travel more than 50 miles per day, increasing mileage efficiency by 5.3%. Aerodynamic double-decker trailers carry 60% more product per shuttle run while increasing fuel economy by 1.2 mpg. The company is operating 15 natural gas-fueled trucks, six XL Hybrid (hybrid electric) cargo vans, three hydraulic hybrid trucks and five propane-fueled trucks. It’s buying 20 additional propane vehicles, 20 additional CNG vehicles, 10 electric trucks and a CNG tractor.
B&B Trucking Inc.
More than 75% of this for-hire fleet’s trailers have skirting or under-tray devices, including full-length trailer skirts from Wabash. It is retrofitting Class 6 box trucks with side skirting. It uses low-rolling-resistance tires, including wide-base singles. All Class 8 trucks have cab roof air deflectors and cab extenders, and most side chassis fairings. Idling is reduced with 5-minute shutdown settings and auxiliary climate control on all 85 sleeper tractors. More than half of the approximately 200-truck fleet has been converted to 4x2 or 6x2 axle configurations. All Class 8 trucks use full synthetic fluids in the driveline, and a solar array recently was installed at the main terminal.
Beemac Trucking LLC
This fleet with close to 200 vehicles believes it may be the first operation in the country to operate compressed natural gas tractors with flatbed trailers. It bought 20 CNG Volvo units to replace 20 diesel units, which run in a local Pittsburgh operation. It also built a public CNG fueling facility in Ambridge to support its fueling needs. It will be purchasing an additional 15 CNG units in the first quarter of 2016. In addition to flatbeds, it has van, curtainside, straight truck and intermodal and drayage operations.
This for-hire fleet of nearly 500 trucks in the past year has converted its standard tractor spec to include a renewable source auxiliary air conditioning unit for the cab, wide-base single tires, automated transmissions, cab aerodynamic package, limited idle time based on ambient air temperature, and tire pressure monitoring. On trailers, the standard spec now includes wide-base tires, aerodynamic skirting and smooth wall trailer sides. Vehicles also now use LED lighting as standard. In operations buildings and shops, all lighting has been converted to LED. Driver loaner cars at the terminal have also been converted to electric hybrids.
Celadon Trucking Services
With nearly 4,000 vehicles, Celadon uses software and information management tools to save fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Average tractor age is 1.2 years. Battery-powered auxiliary power units in every truck have cut the moving average of idle percentage of total engine time from 34.1% in 2011 to 13.3% in 2015. All new engines are calibrated to produce less than 30 grams of NOx at idle. Every unit is EPA SmartWay-certified, including the latest aerodynamic packages, low rolling resistance tires, aluminum rims, 125-gallon fuel tanks, 224-inch wheelbase on long-haul tractors, shortened fifth wheel slide assembly from 24 to 12 inches, and shortened trailer to tractor gaps.
A 200-plus-truck refrigerated for-hire fleet, Central boasts 9 mpg on its new equipment. Tractors feature auxiliary power units, aerodynamic skirting, top fairings, wide-base single tires, tire pressure monitoring systems, Michelin Energy tires on steer and drive axles, viscous drive fan clutch, speed limited to 65 mph road speed in cruise control/62 mph not in cruise, wheel covers, Flow Below aero skirting package, flow-through aero mud flaps, Eaton Advantage automated manual transmissions, Eaton Smart Coast, and Peterbilt’s Epiq fuel efficiency package. Trailers have side skirts and Stemco TrailerTails.
City of Phoenix Public Works Fleet Services Division
In 2013, the department created a Sustainable Fleet Strategy, which among other things calls for 65% of the city’s fleet to operate on alternative/clean burning fuel by 2020. It also aims to improve the fuel economy of the petroleum fuel fleet by 15% by 2020. Currently the fleet has more than 6,700 vehicles. More than 1,100 run on B20 biodiesel, 665 on CNG, 199 on LNG, 135 on bi-fuel CNG, 129 electric, 10 hybrid electric, and six hydraulic hybrids. It has eight CNG fueling sites. The majority of refuse truck purchases will be CNG for the foreseeable future.
The Coca-Cola Company
When signing the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge this year, Coca-Cola pledged an across-the-board reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. The company will continue to add delivery trucks powered by a mix of alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas, diesel-electric and biodiesel. In California, it announced a doubling of its 2013 commitment in the state, adding charging stations at seven facilities and deploying 28 hybrid-electric service vans. Coca-Cola currently operates more than 900 alternative fuel delivery vehicles on the road and it says its heavy-duty hybrid electric truck fleet is the largest in North America.
The 2,850-truck for-hire fleet was a 2015 SmartWay Excellence Award winner. Average tractor fleet age is currently 2.1 years, and dropping. The trailer fleet will be 100% CARB-compliant by year end, having installed more than 2,000 skirts on new and existing trailers in 2015. All tractors are equipped with ambient idle shutdown technology to reduce idling. Earlier this year, Con-way Truckload ordered 635 new Kenworth and Freightliner tractors equipped with automated manual transmissions, hiking the percentage of trucks with AMTs from 23% to 48% of the fleet. Con-way has also incorporated an onboard scorecard that shows drivers how fuel efficient their driving was that day.
County of Sonoma, Calif.
Santa Rosa, Calif.
The county operates one of the largest hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric government fleets in the United States. It has also been an industry leader by integrating advanced alternative fuel technologies into the fleet such as hybrid electric diesel heavy-duty trucks that reduced fuel consumption by up to 50%. It has earned numerous local, state, regional, national and international awards.
Between 2014 and 2015, parcel carrier DHL invested more than $50 million in new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The company now has more than 500 liquid propane gas (LPG) vehicles along with many new fully electric, hybrid-electric and certified clean diesel vehicles. It offers a “carbon neutral” shipping solution, is upgrading to energy efficient lighting at distribution centers across the U.S, and makes one-third of its deliveries on foot. Waste reduction and recycling programs are in place at all facilities nationwide. Parent company Deutsche Post DHL Group’s GoGreen program aims to improve the carbon efficiency of all its companies and business partners by 30% over 2007 levels by 2020.
Burr Ridge, Ill.
With an order this year for 40 new Kenworth T880 tractors with Quantum CNG fuel systems, Dillon Transport now runs about half of its 500-plus over-the-road trucks on compressed natural gas. The tanker operation has fueling stations in Florida, Ohio and Texas, and two new CNG stations are under construction in Colorado and Chicago. To maximize their return on investment, Dillon’s goal is to log about 300,000 miles per year on the CNG vehicles. They’ve run about 25 million miles this year on natural gas. Fleet officials speak at industry events frequently about their experience with the alternative fuel.
FedEx Express is close to meeting its vehicle fuel efficiency goal of a 30% improvement from a 2005 baseline by 2020. In 2014, FedEx Express improved fuel efficiency by 2.5%, bringing the cumulative improvement from 2005 levels to 29.5%. It has replaced 177 of its less efficient local pickup and delivery vehicles with more efficient Ford Transit Connects and increased the number of Isuzu Reach vans in the U.S. by 1,700. It’s also added 24 hybrid-electric vehicles, 171 electric vehicles and 10 compressed natural gas vans to its U.S. fleet. FedEx also opened two new facilities last year that generate on-site solar energy, bringing the total to 11.
Garner Trucking Inc.
With nearly 100 trucks, 95% of this general freight fleet is 2013 and newer tractors. They are equipped with all aerodynamic options available, including low-resistance tires and tractor wheel covers. It has started to convert to CNG-fueled tractors for regional operations. All new trucks are being equipped with the Opti-Idle system; older trucks have electric and diesel-powered auxiliary power units. Synthetic oil and lubricants are used in all engines and other components. It uses pressure monitoring systems for tires on tractors and air inflation systems on trailers. Trailers are equipped with skirts. It is testing trailers with Hendrickson’s SmartLift system. With any load under 18,000 pounds, the front axle will raise automatically, resulting in tire, brake, and fuel savings.
Golden State Foods
Golden State Foods, a major supplier to the quick-service restaurant industry, has a goal of using renewable energy or alternative fuels in 100% of its fleet by 2020. One way it’s doing that is using solar energy to power pallet jacks and liftgates. GSF started using traditional solar panels to power pallet jacks in Southern California in 2012. By the end of 2015, 10 Quality Custom Distribution centers, a division of GSF, will be equipped with trucks using thin, flexible, weatherproof, high-output solar panels. GSF facilities in Southern California and Oregon have installed them on 20 trailers and one tractor; they passively charge the liftgate batteries during the day.
A for-hire carrier with more than 360 trucks, Halvor is running primarily 2014 Volvo and Kenworth 6x2 trucks with automated manual transmissions and wide-base single tires. Nearly 20% of the fleet is averaging over 8 mpg. Trailers feature aerodynamic devices, such as side skirts and TrailerTails, as well as wide-base single low-rolling-resistance tires. It has started to take delivery of about 100 model year 2016 tractors, which it hopes will be its first 10-mpg trucks — all aero models with automated manual transmissions. It will soon start taking delivery of 65 dry vans and 30 reefer vans, all with side skirts and TrailerTails. All new van and reefer trailers will also have automatic tire pressure monitoring and inflation.
Hazmat Environmental Group
The hazardous waste transporter has purchased 41 new tractors this year, 2015-16 Kenworth T660s, bringing its fleet size to 156. All sleeper tractors are now equipped with Thermo King TriPac APUs, with average fleet mileage rising from 6.4 in 2014 to 6.7 in 2015. Management actively monitors tractors with high idle and low mpg and works to improve them. A fuel bonus program paid out $175,886 to drivers in 2014. So far in 2015, through August drivers have earned $147,782 in bonuses. On the most recent 40 dry van trailers, replacing steel plating with Gatorhyde (a spray-on protective bed liner) saved 2,000 pounds per trailer, and trailer skirts and nose cones improve trailer aerodynamics. Using paperless billing for 90% of customers has reduced paper consumption by 35%.
Hirschbach Motor Lines
This refrigerated fleet specializing in food distribution has 925 trucks – lightweight equipment featuring wide-base single tires with aluminum wheels, centrifuge drums, smaller cabs on regional fleets, and smaller 80-gallon fuel tanks. Tractor cabs are the most aerodynamic available, with full skirting. Recently they started installing Flow Below wheel cover and wheel gap product. All tractors have automated manual transmissions. Drivers are trained and tested to operate in the most efficient manner possible. Incentives inspire drivers to achieve high fuel economy based on low idle, minimized out-of-route miles, and mpg. Dedicated fuel economy coaches are assigned to drivers; coaches receive daily remote downloads from the truck ECM to monitor factors that impact fuel economy.
In 2015, this for-hire regional general freight fleet was recognized as EPA Designated SmartWay Elite trailer company by installing trailer skirts and boat tails. Wolding brought on board 43 new tractors in 2015, making the average age of the fleet a 2013 model, which will improve when 50 2016 models arrive in December. Received a certificate for ranking in the best performance range in its respective SmartWay carrier category for freight carbon efficiency (grams per ton-mile for CO2).
J.J. Taylor Distributing
Fort Myers, Fla.
This beverage distributor continued to grow its natural-gas powered fleet this past year, taking delivery of 27 Kenworth T440 tractors last December. It received a Sustainable Business Award from the Sustainable Business Coalition of Tampa Bay Inc., the Sustany Foundation and the University of Tampa Center for Ethics for its natural gas fleet as well as its aluminum and glass recycling programs.
JNJ Express Inc.
This 460-truck for-hire fleet purchased 160 electric APUs, equipped new vehicles with Michelin fuel-efficient wide-base single tires, retrofitted all trucks with Flow Below devices and wheel covers, and trimmed all mud flaps even with tire tread. It ordered tire inflation devices on 200 new trailers. It’s currently testing tire inflation devices on tractors and EkoStinger (an “active” aerodynamic system) on trailers with doors that do not accommodate TrailerTails. The carrier monitors fuel mileage daily and trains and educates drivers on fuel economy. An L-3 simulator is used to teach progressive shifting and proper driving techniques. A minimum of 7.5 mpg is required for drivers to get a fuel mileage reward, and 82% are successful in earning those rewards.
Kuperus Trucking Inc.
This general freight hauler is averaging 8.58 mpg the first eight months of the year for its fleet of 48, compared to 6.23 mpg in 2003. In addition to other aerodynamic add-ons, it helped design a “rain gutter fairing” on the top rear of every trailer. In the past year, Kuperus has changed to full synthetic oils and lubes, upgraded tires to Michelin X-1 Energy T, extended the trailer fairings to just behind the dolly legs, and installed FlowBelow tractor tandem fairings and wheel covers. The company bought two International tractors, one with the Eaton Advantage automated transmission, the other a manual. The one with the AMT finished August at 10.32 mpg and the one with the manual came in at 9.45 mpg.
Las Vegas Valley Water District
Las Vegas, Nev.
This government fleet runs 620 vehicles, 60 of them heavy-duty, and more than 90% operating on alternative fuels. Over the past two years it has added electric vehicle charging infrastructure at five locations, two of them solar-powered. In addition, on site, LVVWD also has CNG, biodiesel, propane and E-85 fueling. As an early adopter of biodiesel, it has been instrumental in guiding several municipalities in the adoption of biofuels for their fleets. Recent changes to maintenance facilities include replacing high pressure sodium lighting in its main facility with LED lighting. One 5,000 sq. ft. ranch maintenance facility in Northern Nevada is heated solely with used drain oil.
This 250-vehicle fleet includes 48 using compressed natural gas fuel and all heavy-duty trucks use biodiesel. It continues to seek solutions that impact fuel consumption, both CNG and diesel. It recently built a new facility that includes 17 acres of truck trailer parking using a “cool” concrete to reduce the “heat island” effect to the community, 10,000-square-foot office building equipped with a geothermal HVAC system, a 17,000-square-foot maintenance facility with high efficiency radiant heat system installed in the concrete floor. Every light fixture on campus is LED. Working on plans to implement solar cells with goal of net zero energy. It works with the mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Kentucky Clean Fuel Coalition and the Louisville Sustainability Council.
Melton Truck Lines
This 1,100-truck for-hire carrier has consistently maintained an average tractor age of only 2.0 years for the entire fleet. Trucks are equipped with full aerodynamic packages, low-rolling-resistance tires and auxiliary power units. Melton Truck Lines employs a “fuel conservation specialist” on staff, with the primary goal of educating drivers on fuel-efficient driving habits such as progressive shifting, cruise control, and idle reduction. Melton has implemented driver incentives such as the driver scorecard system, which in turn rewards drivers who focus on fuel efficiency efforts.
Mesilla Valley Transportation
Las Cruces, N.M.
MVT has long been known as a leader in fuel economy, testing and even inventing aerodynamic and other fuel-saving technologies. “We use everything that works,” they say, including wide-base single tires, trailer skirts, tails on trailers, 6x2 tractors, wheel covers, fairings, a close trailer gap, mpg incentives for drivers and more. Most recently, it announced it was moving to Allison TC10 10-speed automatic transmissions. Around a third of its fleet will be equipped with the TC10 by the end of 2016. And its 1,400 heavy-duty tractors all run on B20 biodiesel that the company produces itself from waste oil.
Navajo Express Inc.
With 750 heavy-duty tractors, this for-hire food distribution fleet has installed the Smart Truck UT6+ system on all trailers for the past 18 months and reports up to a 10% fuel savings. Navajo has invested heavily in new tractors, primarily Kenworth T680s with full aero packages and Paccar MX-13 engines. ECMs have been reprogrammed for maximum fuel economy and governed speed is 62 mph. Recently Navajo Express has also invested in Flow Below fairings and wheel cover kits for all new tractors. Eaton 10-speed automated transmissions have improved efficiency by over 1.75 mpg. APUs keep idle time to a minimum. All of these have combined to bring Navajo’s OTR fleet average up to around 8 mpg, with many trucks exceeding that.
Cherry Hill, N.J.
The fleet of 2,200 heavy-duty trucks is equipped with wide-base single, low-rolling-resistance tires, 13-liter engines, and direct drive, automated manual transmissions. NFI uses the shortest hood platform available to lower weight and reduce frontal wind-stopping impact. Full aerodynamic packages, including side skirts and extended fairings, combine with custom kingpin settings for gap reduction. Air Tabs are used on all trailing edges of the tractor and the trailer. NFI configures tractors and trailers to best accommodate the types of products being shipped, for more efficient load planning and asset utilization. NFI continues to implement the use of more natural gas tractors, with 13 put in service February of this year and 12 more slated for a November start up.
This 300-truck dry van fleet each year replaces older model trucks with new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution trucks — 80 of them in 2015. Currently, 65% of the fleet is 2014 model year and newer with 2011 being the oldest models. The 2016 models have averaged 8.88 mpg year to date. As an entire fleet, they averaged 8.03 mpg through August year to date, up from 7.68 the previous year. In 2015, Nussbaum committed to outfitting the entire fleet of tractors with Flow Below AeroKits. All drivers are trained to take full advantage of the fuel-saving features. A top-performing former driver is now a performance coach. Drivers earn a bonus from a scorecard system that includes fuel performance.
North Las Vegas, Nev.
With more than 1,400 vehicles from light-duty through heavy-duty, this utility fleet is running a large quantity of Class 5 Utility Altec Jems with zero rpm cab comfort and hybrid powered buckets, using technology to reduce jobsite idling and exportable power concerns as well as reduced maintenance cost and cycles. Onsite solar charging at NV Energy facilities is offered for plug-in hybrid vehicles, both company and public. It’s currently working with Altec to create an F550 Foreman Service body truck non-PTO unit with Jems hybrid unit for idle reduction, cab comfort, and exportable jobsite power.
NYC Parks and Recreation
Randalls Island, N.Y.
NYC Parks has more than 2,000 vehicles and more than 40 different types of operations (refuse, forestry, horticulture, construction, towing etc.). It uses B20 biodiesel to fuel its 1,000 diesel vehicles. It has 383 hybrid-electric and 239 electric vehicles and has installed 84 charging stations throughout the New York City area. In 2001, Parks had 24 sedans and 336 utility vehicles. As of September 2015, Parks had 385 sedans and 164 SUVs. In addition, 420 of the 549 light-duty vehicles are electric, electric gas plug-in or electric gas hybrid. The plan is to replace the last gasoline (non-hybrid) sedan in the fleet by the end of 2015.
Ozinga Ready Mix Concrete
Ozinga operates the largest fleet of CNG concrete mixer trucks in the world, with close to 200 CNG-powered vehicles. Its goal is to eventually have its entire fleet of more than 700 powered by natural gas. It has taken a leadership role in educating the ready-mix industry and other fleet operations about the potential benefits of the fuel. It created a separate division to open CNG fueling facilities to the public.
Pacific Gas & Electric
San Francisco, Calif.
PG&E, which recently signed on to the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, plans to invest one-third of its annual fleet purchases in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) over the next five years. PG&E operates approximately 1,400 plug-in electric and electric hybrid vehicles. The company currently dedicates about 15% of its fleet budget to plug-in electric technology. The $100 million commitment will add more than 750 plug-in electric units to PG&E’s fleet of over 14,000 vehicles, roughly double the current pace. Electric power takeoff systems (ePTO) on bucket trucks allow crews to operate on-board equipment without idling at jobsites. Last year PG&E acquired the utility industry’s first plug-in electric Class 5 utility work trucks from Efficient Drivetrains Inc. PG&E is now working on the deployment of the utility industry’s first class of bucket trucks with plug-in electric drivetrains.
Paper Transport Inc.
Green Bay, Wis.
One fifth of Paper Transport’s 500-truck fleet has been converted to compressed natural gas over the last five years, and the CNG fleet continues to expand as the company grows. PTI became a member of the North American Council for Fuel Efficiency (NACFE), a non-profit organization of 14 fleet members that researches what fuel-saving technology fleets are using. As a member of NACFE, PTI has introduced several measures to improve efficiency in its fleet, such as low-rolling-resistance tires; 63-mph governors; trailer skirts and other aerodynamic devices; eco-friendly driver training to promote efficiency and safety; investment in newer trucks that are inherently cleaner from an emissions and pollutant standpoint; and fuel mileage incentives for drivers.
A signee of the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge this year, PepsiCo will stand by its ongoing goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its global fleet through the use of electric, hybrid, compressed natural gas, alternative fuel vehicles and other fuel efficiency programs. In 2014, it held absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for legacy operations flat against a 2008 baseline despite significant production volume growth in its business.
Performance Foodservice Minnesota
A fleet of 49 heavy-duty trucks, Performance Foodservice increased its fuel economy by 4.75% over the past three years through the implementation of SmartWay tire program, trailer skirts, wheel covers, vortex generators, idle shut down at 5 minutes, progressive shifting settings in the ECM, and synthetic engine oil. It recently purchased 11 Freightliner M2 tractors with automated transmissions to increase mileage. It also just installed a 14 stall shore power station to plug in its reefer trailers to run fully electric while parked in the yard. There are currently 22 trailers that are capable of running electric while parked in the yard. By next year that number will be 42. The company is also switching its storage trailers over to fully electric trailers.
Progressive Waste Solutions
Fort Worth, Texas
With about 2,500 vehicles in the U.S. (4,000 across North America), upgrading the fleet to sustainable fuels and reducing the company’s carbon footprint is a large part of the company strategy and mission. Progressive is actively working to upgrade its fleet to CNG, in both the U.S. and Canada. Through its normal replacement of its fleet, it is on track to have up to 55% of the total number of vehicles it replaces annually fueled by CNG. It is working with companies such as Clean Energy, and recently purchased a company called Terra Cycle that is working to create recycling markets for sustainability. Progressive Waste Solutions converts landfill gas into electricity at several of its landfills. It also has LEED-certified gold standard buildings.
The for-hire general freight carrier has always tried to spec and order lightweight equipment, but recently started a move to alternative fuels. Out of nearly 500 tractors, 184 run on liquified natural gas, as the for-hire carrier this year added 115 new LNG sleeper trucks running irregular routes to its previous 69 dedicated day cabs running on LNG. In the past 12 months the company has installed trailer skirts on 1,450 trailers in the fleet, and is about 95% on wide-base single tires. It has had much success with auxiliary power units on sleeper trucks to reduce idling, and has worked with OEMs to set speed and idle times to help with fuel savings.
Fort Worth, Texas
This 200-truck for-hire carrier governs its entire fleet at 60 mph and encourages drivers to drive at or below 55 mph. The newest aerodynamic upgrades include TrailerTails with tracking software to ensure they are being used, full trailer skirts, and Flow Below AeroKits. The majority of the fleet and all future orders have automated transmissions programmed with high fuel economy performance parameters. The majority of the fleet and all future orders are now in a 6x2 configuration with the rear drive axle being the drag axle. It also is testing trucks with smaller 11-liter engines, trucks with a 6x2 lift axle configuration, and trucks with dual fuel CNG conversions. An aggressive preventive maintenance program specifically targets the areas in the truck that effect fuel efficiency the most.
Republic Services is deploying over 300 CNG trucks a year, building two to three stations a year, and purchasing 500 clean diesel trucks toward its goal of reducing GHG by 3% by 2020. Out of its fleet of 16,000, over 10% are sustainable vehicles that run on alternative fuel, according to the company.
Ruan Transportation Management Systems
Des Moines, Iowa
This asset-based third party logistics provider has 3,620 trucks, mostly heavy-duty. Nearly 100 run on compressed natural gas. It expects to add an additional 27 CNG vehicles in 2016. By February 2016 Ruan will have electric auxiliary power units on all sleeper trucks. Ruan works closely with vehicle and aftermarket device manufacturers to ensure trucks and trailers are lighter weight and use proven aerodynamic solutions. It also uses automated transmissions, automatic tire inflation systems, synthetic low-viscosity lubricants, onboard monitoring of mpg and fuel- and safety-negative behaviors, and paperless technology.
Saddle Creek Logistics Services
As Saddle Creek’s CNG-fleet reached the 50-million-mile mark last month, it continues to expand its CNG operations that supports the company’s commitment to sustainability. Its CNG fleet has grown from 40 to 200 dedicated tractors to meet customer demand. By using CNG trucks instead of diesel, Saddle Creek has replaced more than 9 million gallons of diesel with natural gas. Saddle Creek recently completed a $1.5 million upgrade to the fueling facility at its headquarters, increasing the availability of more efficient time-fill stations. The company is also in the process of converting 50 older diesel tractors into dual CNG-diesel fuel vehicles that will replace 70% of the diesel used with natural gas.
System Freight Inc.
This 320-vehicle fleet is on target to average 7 mpg this year — which may not sound impressive unless you know it is a Northeast-based metro-area delivery short haul operation. It recently replaced all tractors in the fleet, making for an average age of 1.5 years, and updated the trailer fleet with more than 800 new SmartWay approved trailers. The fleet runs entirely on low-rolling-resistance tires. There are 300 trailers with side skirts and wide-base single tires, plus a fleet of tractors with wide-base tires. It also operates a dedicated fleet for a mill customer that is very lightweight, enabling a payload of 26 tons, effectively cutting out one of every seven loads that would ship on a standard weight truck.
The 125-truck for-hire general freight carrier has implemented APUs over the last three years, driving down idle time by over 65%; went to low-rolling-resistance tires on tractors and trailers, and retrofitted automatic tire inflation systems across the trailer fleet. It operates 65% automated transmissions and is adopting Stemco TrailerTails on all new trailers. Side skirts have been spec’ed on all new trailers since 2012. Flow Below kits are installed on all new tractor orders. Sharp is currently running a three-year pilot on 6x2 tractors with wide-base single tires. Recycled engine oil is used to heat the maintenance department, and with the help of an incentive program from the Tennessee Valley Authority, it updated its terminal lighting.
Toyota Logistics Services
Long Beach, Calif.
Several years ago, this private car-transport fleet investigated CNG as an alternative fuel, but the large fuel tanks on the back of the cab wouldn’t work with the car haulers. In 2012, with the fuel efficiency increases being made in diesel trucks, it decided clean diesel would become its new “alternative fuel.” Partnering with a fleet analytics company, they replaced the entire fleet of 90 car haulers with 2013 clean diesel equipment. The fleet’s lifecycle was changed from 7 years to 3 years and the lease changed so they could replace less efficient vehicles with more fuel efficient vehicles without penalty. And now that trucks are available with CNG tanks on the side, Toyota recently took delivery of its first CNG pilot model.
This 90-truck for-hire dry van fleet has gone from averaging in the 6’s in fuel economy to 9.2-9.5 mpg over a two-year period, using innovative equipment specs, idle management and SmartWay certified technology. All new power units are SmartWay certified, with complete tractor aero packages, low-rolling-resistance tires, automated manual transmissions, 6x2 axles, no-idle heat / air, adaptive cruise, Intelligent Powertrain Management and additional aero systems such as Flow Below systems. Incoming trailers have PSI tire inflation systems, low-rolling-resistance tires, side skirts and Stemco TrailerTails with auto deploy. Although some fleets shy away from 6x2s because of traction concerns, despite its Northeast location, Transway manages 6x2s through proper tire combinations, electronic suspension controls, locking differentials and driver training.
This year, UPS announced agreements for up to 46 million gallons of renewable fuels over the next three years, making it one of the largest users of renewable diesel in the world. It plans to shift more than 12% of its purchased ground fuel from conventional diesel and gasoline to alternative fuels by the end of 2017. It expects its alternative fuel and technology truck fleet to total more than 7,700 trucks by the end of this year. Since 2013, the parcel delivery service has increased the total number of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by 61%, including more than 1,100 natural gas vehicles (both CNG and LNG) added in 2014 to nearly double its natural gas fleet.
With close to 300 vehicles, this for-hire fleet attains a fleet average for over the road trucks of more than 8 mpg, with some units achieving 10 mpg. Some of the tactics used include speed limiters, low-rolling-resistance tires, a full-time driver trainer focusing on fuel waste, weight-triggered auto lift axles on new trailers, auto lift axles on tractors automatically controlled by weight, 96-inch-wide/13-foot-tall trailers for less resistance, TrailerBlade side skirts, flow-through aerodynamics mudflaps, and automatic tire pressure inflation systems on trailers. It is testing the Halo system on drive tires for automatic air pressure, and pays special attention to a 24-inch tractor to trailer gap.
A pioneer in the use of natural gas to fuel refuse trucks, Waste Management continues to steadily increase the CNG-fueled trucks in its fleet and open more fueling stations around the country. A national Clean Cities partner, Waste Management has more than 4,000 heavy-duty natural gas trucks in North American cities today and plans to ultimately convert its entire fleet of 18,000 collection vehicles to natural gas operation. The company is on target to purchase 800 natural gas trucks per year, about 90% of its new truck purchases. And it operates more than 73 CNG fueling stations in North America.
Western Flyer Express
Oklahoma City, Okla.
A nearly 400-truck for-hire fleet, the company has side skirts on all of its 900 trailers. It retrofit 400 trailers with side skirts from Transtex. All 2012 trailers and newer were manufactured and purchased with skirts already on them. It also has retrofit 500 trailers with Stemco TrailerTails. All trucks ordered since 2012 are spec’ed with aerodynamic packages. The fleet runs 94% post 2010 emissions trucks. Aerodynamic Flow Below tractor systems have been put on all trucks. The company uses Michelin X Line Energy D tires for all its equipment and uses a SmartWay-approved Michelin retread.