There are many ways to be green in trucking, and collectively, the fleets on this list do it all.
Natural gas, biodiesel, renewable natural gas, renewable natural gas, electric and hybrid drivetrains. Downsizing vehicles and engines to fit the application. Cutting fuel use and CO2 emissions by streamlining aerodynamics, reducing parasitic losses, cutting idling, supplementing with solar power. Greening facilities with solar farms, plug-in power for refrigeration units, LEED-certified energy saving designs. Digging through data to search for fuel-saving opportunities, and training and incentivizing drivers to adopt fuel-saving habits. And much more.
The Top 50 Green Fleets are chosen by Heavy Duty Trucking’s editors. Candidates for the award are gathered through an online nomination process, as well as by using information gathered through press releases, news stories, websites, case studies, and other publicly available sources of information. All types and sizes of fleets are eligible, as long as they run medium- or heavy-duty commercial vehicles. You’ll find government fleets, private fleets, for-hire fleets, truckload and less-than-truckload, vocational and package delivery. There are fleets of fewer than 50 and over 5,000.
What they all have in common is they are leading the industry in their adoption of green, sustainable practices, policies and technology. And we pay special attention to what they’ve been doing in the past year.
We did not include leasing fleets, although companies such as Ryder, PacLease, Ruan and Fleet Advantage have been proactive in helping to educate their customers and provide pathways to operate “greener” vehicles. Instead, we will honor fleets that lease “green” trucks from these companies.
Our picks are presented in alphabetical order.
Feel like your fleet is deserving of being listed as a Top 50 Green Fleet? Email [email protected] with the details and we’ll put you on the list to contact next year for updated information.
A. Duie Pyle West Chester, Pennsylvania
With more than 1,000 vehicles, this less-than-truckload and dedicated fleet operates primarily in the Northeast. Cruise control with collision mitigation, automatic tire inflation systems, aerodynamic skirts for trailers, auxiliary power units, 11L and 13L engines, a maximum governed speed of 68 mph. With its newest service, Express Solutions, Pyle is integrating all-new, smaller vehicles into its fleet to deliver in residential areas using less fuel. Facilities are transitioning to LED lighting; tube lights in shops and break rooms reflect sunlight. A warehouse in Parkesburg, Penn., features a megawatt solar power installation.
Altom Transport Hammond, Indiana
With a little over 200 vehicles, this petroleum/chemical fleet moved to more aerodynamic trucks, switching from the Peterbilt Model 389 to the Model 579 and downsizing from 550 to 450-hp smart torque. Thermo King APUs help cut idle time and Smartway-approved tires cut rolling resistance. Truck speed is governed. Trucks are programmed with progressive and load-based shifting. In the shop, Altom recycles waste, used oil, and antifreeze. Motion detection on faucets, urinals, and toilets saves water, while LED lighting, motion detectors on lighting, and a new energy-efficient A/C system save energy.
AmeriPride Services Minnetonka, Minnesota
AmeriPride Services this year announced it is replacing 20% of its private fleet at its Vernon, California, branch with electric delivery trucks equipped with Motiv Power Systems All-Electric Powertrains. Installed by Morgan Olson on a Ford F59 Chassis, the walk-in step vans are the first Motiv-powered vehicles installed on a previously-used body. It’s also adding Ford F59-chassis service trucks fitted with hybrid electric drivetrains from XL Hybrids to its fleet, and also operates natural gas, hydraulic hybrid and propane vehicles.
B&B Trucking Kalamazoo, Michigan
This for-hire fleet of 235 vehicles uses full synthetic fluids in driveline components, along with cab roof air deflectors, cab extenders, and side chassis fairings. Idle is limited to five minutes and all sleepers have auxiliary climate control units. The fleet added 18 CNG powered trucks in 2016. An additional 18 were ordered with 6x2 configurations and automated transmissions. Working with Wabash, it deployed trailer skirts that extend over the rear trailer tandems, used in combination with wide-based single tires and tire inflation systems.
Carbon Express Wharton, New Jersey
A tanker fleet with close to 50 trucks, Carbon Express takes a different approach to the issue of helping the environment. It has no sleeper cabs and puts drivers up in hotels each night, eliminating overnight idling. And it’s a leader in lightweight specs, using wide-base single tires, air disc brakes, lift axles and more. Customers can ship more gallons per truckload, leading to greater “freight efficiency,” or fewer truckloads required to move the same amount of cargo. In 2014, Carbon Express was awarded the New Jersey Business and Industry Environmental Award.
Cargo Transporters Claremont, North Carolina
All of the 500-plus Class 8 tractors have wide-base single drive tires, plus fender and tank fairings, battery-powered bunk HVAC, 5-minute idle shutdown, and aerodynamic mud flaps. Of trailers, 95% have wide-base tires and 75% have aerodynamic skirts. It uses automated transmissions and tire pressure monitoring. In operations facilities and shops, the carrier converted all lighting to LED. Its Claremont terminal has 21 shore power parking spots for trucks. It has a facility-wide recycling program, including solar-powered compacting recycle collection bins across the parking areas.
City of Columbus Columbus, Ohio
Since 2010, city fleet vehicles have cut petroleum use by almost 13%, and the amount continues to drop with the yearly addition of CNG vehicles and increased use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric vehicles, and biodiesel and propane fuels. The city has committed $24 million to CNG infrastructure, pumping almost 750,000 GGE last year for city use and for fleets around the region. It also works with city agencies to right-size and downsize their fleets and promotes anti-idle policies and technology where possible.
City of Long Beach Long Beach, California
The City of Long Beach has made a significant shift to renewable fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. Late last year, it moved to renewable LNG and renewable diesel. The City Hall motor pool is 75% alternative fuel vehicles, including one of the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicles available commercially, the Toyota Mirai. By year’s end, it will have a new $3.9 million time-fill CNG station capable of fueling 100 heavy-duty vehicles, including refuse trucks and street sweepers. The heavy duty fleet is currently 57% alternatively fueled. For FY16, 54% of vehicles being purchased are alternative fuel, primarily CNG.
Cooper Freight Memphis, Tennessee
This 100-truck, family-owned fleet believes that the best time to up your fuel-economy game is when fuel prices are low. To that end, they have been busy evaluating a number of fuel-saving technologies to determine their worth for their operations, including low-viscosity oils, the FlowBelow tractor-tandem fairing system, and automated manual transmissions. It’s a big believer in requiring drivers to maintain fuel efficient driving habits, and uses telematics and data to track and enforce things like not deploying TrailerTail fairings or excessive idling.
Dillon Transport Burr Ridge, Illinois
Dillon Transport is a pioneer in natural gas fuel for Class 8 trucks, with about half of its 500-plus-truck fleet running on CNG, hauling chemicals, dry bulk, asphalt, and serving oil fields. Recently it has been moving to renewable natural gas. This year it signed agreements with ampRenew to fuel a portion of their fleets at ampCNG’s public fueling stations. And it switched to Clean Energy’s Redeem brand of biomethane renewable natural gas for its natural gas-fueled trucks in Texas. It also ordered two dozen more CNG trucks, and opened its seventh natural gas fueling facility, in Houston.
FCA Transport Detroit, Michigan
FCA Transport, the fleet for FCA US (part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), announced in late 2015 that was investing $40 million to transition all 179 of the Class 8 tractors at its Detroit Terminal to CNG. The company spent $1.8 million to update the maintenance facility to handle CNG. The $5 million onsite CNG fueling station is the largest private CNG station in North America, according to the company. It expects to save about 35% on fuel per year with the CNG-powered fleet and estimates it will cut CO2 emissions by more than 16,000 tons per year.
FedEx Memphis, Tennessee
FedEx hopes to increase fuel efficiency in its fleet by 30% by 2020 by increasing the number of alternative-fuel vehicles, shifting freight to rail, and optimizing routing, says the company’s 2016 sustainability report. It nearly doubled the number of alternative fuel vehicles in its global fleet during the 2015 fiscal year. It also replaced less fuel-efficient models with Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and Isuzu Reach step vans. FedEx Ground completed on-road testing of aerodynamics for drop-frame trailers. FedEx Freight bought more than 100 CNG tractors and installed a CNG fueling station at its Oklahoma City Service Center.
Frito-Lay Plano, Texas
Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, hit a major milestone this year, as its compressed natural gas truck fleet logged more than 100 million miles driven on routes across the U.S. over the last six years. The Frito-Lay CNG fleet today has more than 500 vehicles, more than 35% of the company’s long-haul inventory. It also runs a number of electric vehicle route trucks.
Garner Trucking Findlay, Ohio
The for-hire fleet has 100 trucks using the most aerodynamic models and packages available. Diesel and electric APUs keep idle time to a minimum. It is testing two glider kits running dual fuel (CNG/diesel). Other specs include automated transmissions, adaptive cruise, air disc brakes (which greatly reduces the amount of brake cores), trailer side skirts, Hendrickson Smart Lift axle, TireMaax pro inflation system. No fluids leave the facility: antifreeze is recycled on site for reuse as add fluid for the tractors, the shop is heated with used motor oil, and cleaning products can be used for heat or are biodegradable.
Groupe Robert Quebec, Canada
With more than 900 powered vehicles, this company’s “green technology” solutions include alternative fuel sources, conversion to electricity-powered vehicles, and measures to minimize energy consumption. Since 2012, it has been operating trucks powered by liquefied natural gas. In 2007, it was one of the first companies to install aerodynamic skirts on trailers. It uses low-rolling resistance tires, automatic idle shutdown, electric auxiliary power units with solar panels, reduced tractor-trailer gap, speed limiters, automated transmissions, and an ongoing driver training program using “ecodriving” techniques and performance monitoring.
Hawaii Electric Light Hilo, Hawaii
This private utility fleet runs approximately 200 vehicles and is buying electric and plug-in electric vehicles where applicable for Class 3-8 trucks. All diesel-fueled vehicles on B20 biodiesel blend, with several on B100. It runs two Kenworth Class 7-Eaton Hybrid/Altec buckets, three Odyne-Kenworth Class 7&8 Altec/Terex buckets, and eight Dodge-Altec JEMS 48 AT-37s. The governor set a 100% renewable (electricity) energy goal for 2045. “We can be 100% renewable ground transportation if we pursue both EVs and biodiesel,” says Fleet Administrator Kelvin Kohatsu.
Halvor Lines Superior, Wisconsin
During the past year, the 400-plus-truck for-hire fleet took delivery of nearly 100 fuel efficient 2016 trucks with automated manual transmissions and full aerodynamics, and just added more than 20 tractors with Maxwell Ultracapacitor start units that allow battery power to be used for hotel loads. Truck side window screens are being tested this fall. It is evaluating trailer boat tail devices and specs automatic tire inflation for all new trucks and trailers. A few trucks have been averaging nearly 9.5 mpg. Also being tested is a program rewarding drivers with low idle stats.
Hazmat Environmental Group Lackawanna, New York
This 185-truck fleet specializes in hazmat transportation. In the past year it bought 30 2017 Kenworth T680 tractors. Fifteen are sleepers equipped to company standard with wind fairings, APUs and Espar bunk heaters. Another 15 are day cabs, which have been put into service in local work. Without a sleeper, they’re lighter weight and more fuel efficient. Nine new Great Dane box vans have side skirts and a spray-on lining to reduce weight and save fuel. New terminals have been set up on a paperless billing system, and 75% of invoicing is now done electronically.
H.O. Wolding Amherst, Wisconsin
The 300-truck for-hire fleet this year added 13 new TriPac battery-powered auxiliary power units and five Freightliner Park Smart systems to reduce idle time and emissions. The fleet decreased its CO2 total tons by 9% and CO2 grams per mile by 4.9% from the previous year. All new trailers have side skirts and SmartWay low rolling resistance tires. Resources on the website teach drivers about using Opti Idle for fuel economy.
Interstate Distributor Co. Tacoma, Washington
The 1,500-truck for-hire fleet has invested in 20 LNG tractors for West Coast local and dedicated applications. Tractor spec improvements include tires, engine, transmission upgrades, APUs and battery powered AC systems. Trailer spec improvements include automatic tire inflation systems and trailer tracking devices. In 2015 it retrofit all its line-haul trailers with skirts. A heavy focus on maintenance includes low viscosity oil, grease-less components and overall reduction in shop waste.
JNJ Express Memphis, Tennessee
This truckload carrier won a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation 2016 Sustainable Transportation Awards. It recently purchased more than 300 new clean-burning diesel trucks and 150 trailers equipped with the latest aerodynamic technology including side skirts. All of the new trucks and trailers have wide-base single tires, and trucks have battery auxiliary power units. Mud flaps trimmed to the width of the tire tread and aerodynamic wheel covers, and 800 trailers equipped with Stemco TrailerTails improve fuel economy. Extensive driver training makes drivers up to 30% more fuel efficient.
Knight Transportation Phoenix, Arizona
The 4,700-truck for-hire fleet includes a high percentage of the latest generation fuel-efficient vehicles with state-of-the-art tractor aerodynamics. It uses reduced road speeds, reduced tractor-trailer gaps, reduced equipment weight, optimized engine technology, low rolling resistance tires, idle reduction technology, trailer side skirts, and maximum cube trailers for efficient ton-mile transportation. Facilities feature recycled carpets, motion detection light switches, low energy lighting, highly efficient cold water loop air conditioning systems, and recycling programs. A 200,000-watt solar farm at its headquarters produces over 350,000 kW-hours annually.
Kuperus Trucking Jenison, Michigan
A 48-truck for-hire grocery fleet that hauls 48,000-pound loads, for 2016 Kuperus is tracking an average mpg of 8.91 mpg, a 3.85% improvement over last year. This year’s improvements can be traced to the installation of FlowBelow aerodynamic kits for tractors, lengthening the Freight Wing trailer belly fairing to cover the dolly legs, and trimming mud flaps on trailers to match the width of the wide-base single tires. The fleet uses SAE fuel testing protocols, which has led to the use of magnets on the fuel lines on all tractors, and is currently testing fuel additives.
Kwik Trip La Crosse, Wisconsin
This private fleet runs more than 500 light, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, with 120 of the heavy-duty trucks running on CNG and 11 on LNG. In medium-duty, nearly 200 are flex fuel, with 60 bi-fuel CNG and 13 dedicated CNG. In September it completed a new truck facility that can service and maintain natural gas vehicles. An oil recycling system provides heat to the building. All Kwik Trip trucks are run slip seat, 24 hours a day, meaning the fleet uses twice the amount of alternative fuels compared to a typical fleet of that size.
M&M Cartage Louisville, Kentucky
Lower diesel prices may have slowed down the regional carrier’s investment in natural gas, but the company’s goal is still to run 100 trucks a total of 10 million miles a year on natural gas, or 100,000 miles each. Over the past few years, M&M added about 60 Class 8 trucks powered by CNG into the fleet of 250 trucks, and built a public CNG fueling station and a new maintenance facility. It plans to continue to to add natural gas trucks to its Louisville terminal, where the day cab model makes sense.
Matheson Trucking Sacramento, California
This postal carrier has 25 CNG and 12 LNG tractors out of its approximately 250-vehicle fleet. It deployed 12 LNG day cabs in Oakland, Calif., in January, and has completed the deployment of 17 CNG trucks in Boise, Idaho, a mix of sleeper and day cab tractors. It’s also buying eight CNG sleeper cabs for its Los Angeles to Seattle runs. It plans to increase its inventory of CNG tractors “wherever it is practical and cost-effective to do so,” says Joshua Matheson, VP of operations. The company also has been buying new cleaner-burning diesel tractors.
Meijer Logistics Lansing, Mich.
The 226-truck fleet for Meijer stores was the first carrier in North America to operate EPA 2010-emissions trucks and is now 100% EPA Smartway compliant. It’s currently transitioning to hybrid diesel electric refrigeration units, and just put into service 43 new trucks. It works with Freightliner to test pre-production trucks, and is currently researching zero-emission Class 8 trucks.
Melton Truck Lines Tulsa, Oklahoma
The 1,200-truck for-hire carrier recently invested in 450 new tractors with automated manual transmissions, fully featured aerodynamic packages and wide-base single low rolling-resistance tires. All are equipped with auxiliary power units to keep idling time to a minimum. Melton trains and educates drivers on fuel economy daily, including progressive shifting, cruise control, and idle reduction. Melton has implemented driver incentives such as a fuel bonus recognition program and a driver scorecard system.
Navajo Express Denver, Colorado
This for-hire food distribution fleet of more than 800 trucks got permission from Colorado and surrounding states for 57-foot trailers to allow more freight to be hauled with the same number of trucks. It’s investigating the new Hyliion regenerative braking trailer tandem and moving to diesel/electric refrigeration units. Navajo has traded out all tractors older than 2014. Trailers have SmartTruck UT6+ under tray aero system and tractors have Flow-Below tandem aero systems. Navajo runs low rolling resistance tires and uses auto-inflation devices on trailers. It’s testing full synthetic oils. Several divisions of ultra-light tractors are running smaller displacement engines.
Nussbaum Transportation Hudson, Illinois
This 300-truck for-hire dry van fleet continues to buy new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution tractors each year, with an average fleet age of 2.5 years. Fleet averages top 8.8 mpg during optimal months, top performers regularly average over 10 mpg, and some have reached 11 mpg. FlowBelow wheel covers and fairings have been installed on all new trucks. Some dedicated trailers have been spec’d with a lift axle to capitalize on light load and empty trailer situations. Auxiliary climate control systems minimize idle time, and new trucks employ Opti-Idle. But the company says perhaps the biggest factor is its dedicated performance coach.
NFI Cherry Hill, New Jersey
A for-hire fleet with more than 2,000 trucks, NFI consistently tests and implements new technologies. It’s seen mpg improvement year over year for the past seven years. Trucks have full aerodynamic packages including side skirts and extended fairings, with custom king pin settings for gap reduction. Specs include wide-base single/low rolling resistance tires, 13L engines, and direct drive automated manual transmissions. It put 12 CNG tractors in service in January for a total of 50 natural gas trucks. NFI has also implemented green solutions in its warehouses, including recycling, solar power, and building to LEED standards.
City of New York Manhattan, New York
In late 2015, the city launched NYC Clean Fleet, calling for an increase in alternatives to diesel fuels. For instance, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, with nearly 3,400 vehicles, will move 400 of its non-emergency sedans and SUVs to all-electric by 2025, and already is powering medium- and heavy-duty vehicles with biodiesel, hydraulic and electric hybrid powertrains, and CNG. The New York City Department of Sanitation, which runs some 7,000 vehicles, including trash collection trucks, salt spreaders, dump trucks, day cab tractors, pickups and passenger vehicles, is working with Mack to test DME, a liquid fuel that can be produced from waste materials. It’s running some hydraulic and electric hybrid refuse trucks, and recently started using a fuel-saving stop/start technology.
Ozinga Chicago, Illinois
Ozinga’s fleet of compressed natural gas powered concrete mixers is one of the largest in the world. With a large number of concrete trucks and support vehicles already running on compressed natural gas, this fourth-generation family-owned company is on track to convert its entire fleet to CNG in the coming years while continuing to build CNG fueling stations and expanding the Midwest’s alternative fuel infrastructure. This year, it opened a new CNG station in Gary, Indiana, a public location replacing its previous CNG station.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. San Ramon, California
PG&E says it operates the greenest utility fleet in the industry, with nearly 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles, including approximately 1,400 electric and electric hybrid units. New plug-in hybrid electric worktrucks, with 30+ miles of electric-only range, offer parallel and series hybrid modes to optimize for both highway and in-city driving conditions. PG&E estimates that each PHEV truck will save over 850 gallons of fuel per year. PG&E has nearly 900 Altec trucks equipped with jobsite energy management system (JEMS), which allow crews to operate all onboard vehicle equipment without idling the truck at jobsites.
Ploger Transportation Norwalk, Ohio
This 28-truck fleet is kissing 10 mpg with an unusual powertrain specification designed to optimize regional general freight and P&D type duty cycles. Its green strategy concentrates on engine displacement sizing, drivetrain parasitic loss reduction, balancing tire roll resistance with traction requirements while managing horsepower, torque, speed, and acceleration rates. The spec features an 11L Volvo D11 engine at 385 hp with the Eco-Torque option and a direct-drive Volvo I-Shift transmission and Volvo’s Adaptive Loading liftable 6x2 axle technology. Fixed fifth wheels set the tractor-trailer gap at 42 inches.
Quest Global Kennesaw, Georgia
Quest operates 285 tractors in food distribution on coast-to-coast runs, governed at 65 mph and featuring low-profile low-rolling-resistance tires, side skirts, cab extenders, aluminum wheels, 6x2 axle configurations, automated transmissions, and synthetic fluids. Trailers have skirting, low-profile low-rolling-resistance tires, aluminum wheels, and automatic tire inflation/deflation systems. Over the past couple of years the fleet has increased the size of its trailer skirts and is testing various combinations of boat tails. In 2017 they will launch an online learning platform to train drivers on fuel-efficient driving and other behaviors.
RRR Transportation Calhoun, Georgia
When one RRR driver hit a trip average of more than 10 mpg, she couldn’t resist posting it to Facebook. That kind of friendly competition at the coast-to-coast refrigerated carrier, supported by the latest fuel-efficiency specs, helps keep mpg high. Volvo XE downsped drivetrains, smaller fuel tanks on shorter frames, automatic tire inflation systems, Stemco TrailerTails and side skirts,
ultra-efficient Thermo King reefer units, low-rolling resistance tires, aero mud flaps are among the equipment specs, verified by SAE testing protocols and extensive use of telematics data.
Republic Services Phoenix, Arizona
The refuse giant continues to built its fleet of natural gas powered trash trucks and fueling infrastructure. Recently it has added CNG-powered collection trucks and new fueling station serving customers in Long Beach, California, and earlier this year in St. Louis, Mo. Nationwide, Republic operates a fleet of nearly 2,500 CNG-powered vehicles that are supported by 38 natural gas fueling stations. Last year, the company says, Republic’s CNG fleet helped save roughly 21 million gallons of diesel fuel.
REV Hoopes Trucking Ulysses, Pennsylvania
This 69-vehicle fleet handling export freight out of the Port of New York and New Jersey has 11 LNG trucks. It runs wide-base single tires on all trucks and trailers and is working with Hyliion to put an electric drive axle on trailers. REV is working with its partner company, REV LNG, to build a liquefaction plant to fuel its trucks and provide fuel to other trucking companies. REV says it was the first company in the state to run LNG trucks and is the only LNG-powered operation running at the port.
Saddle Creek Logistics Services Lakeland, Florida
An early adopter of natural gas, the carrier is running CNG fleets in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. This year, it bought 20 new diesel tractors with Freightliner’s RunSmart Predictive Cruise Control, 13 of them with downsped drivetrain technology. Saddle Creek trucks also boast automatic tire inflation systems, trailer skirts, aerodynamic mud flaps, and wheel covers. In 2015, it recycled 1,631 tons of plastics, cardboard, aluminum, and paper in its Lakeland facility alone. It’s converting 50 older diesel tractors into dual CNG-diesel fuel vehicles. And it’s exploring the potential of the “near zero” ultra-low NOx heavy-duty engine.
Schneider Green Bay, Wisconsin
Schneider says it was doing business in an environmentally responsible manner long before it was en vogue to be green. With more than 11,000 vehicles, mostly Class 8, it works closely with manufacturers to test and implement technologies. The company has conducted an annual SAE testing program since 1989. Today, all new tractors added to the Schneider fleet come standard with automated transmissions; currently 56% of the fleet has them. In the Van Truckload division (its largest), 95% of trailers are equipped with trailer skirts. All new trailers added to the fleet come equipped with an automatic tire inflation system.
Sharp Transport Ethridge, Tennessee
This year, Sharp won a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation 2016 Sustainable Transportation Award and the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award. The for-hire freight carrier has increased its overall trailer fleet efficiency by 11% over the last four years. It uses low rolling resistance tires on the entire tractor fleet and over 300 trailers; bought new, lighter weight trailers equipped with side skirts; and installed automatic tire inflation on all trailers. Sharp also equipped a number of trailers with Stemco TrailerTails.
Sheehy Mail Contractors Waterloo, Wisconsin
Sheehy, a U.S. mail contractor, made a commitment to compressed natural gas in 2013. Since then 76 trucks have been added to the fleet (currently at 96 trucks total) that burn only CNG. Today 92% of the fuel used by Sheehy is CNG. The fleet runs both long and short haul, mostly dedicated lanes, all on CNG. The plan is to be 100% CNG in 2017. The company has also been able to maintain a higher than normal mpg average than normally expected for CNG, which typically is believed to get 10-20% lower fuel mileage than a comparable diesel engine.
Swift Transportation Phoenix, Arizona
With more than 19,000 Class 8 trucks, including more than 200 powered by natural gas, improvements in fuel economy add up. Recently, Swift has fitted equipment with low-rolling resistance tires and retrofitted its trailer fleet with side skirts. It continues testing compressed natural gas tractors and currently operates 203 CNG tractors in the Southwest U.S.
System Freight Inc. Jamesburg, New Jersey
With 327 vehicles, mostly Class 8, System Freight Inc. handles a lot of dedicated freight in the congested Northeast and still manages to average 7.3 mpg. Lightweight specs allow 26-ton payloads for better freight efficiency. A lightweight “wedge” trailer offers increasing box height from 113 inches at the nose to 115 inches at the tail for less dense scrap baled waste, enabling additional product to be loaded. It has an average current power unit age of 1.3 years, running lightweight and fuel-efficient models. The tractor fleet is scheduled to be 100% automated transmissions by the end of the year.
UPS Atlanta, Georgia
The package delivery giant this year achieved its goal of driving 1 billion miles in its alternative fuel and advanced technology “Rolling Laboratory” global fleet one year earlier than planned. By the end of 2016, UPS will have invested more than $750 million in this fleet and fueling stations globally since 2009. Recent U.S. initiatives include: Investing $100 million to add 12 more CNG fueling stations and 380 new CNG tractors; converting 50 gasoline delivery trucks in the Chicago area with hydraulic hybrid systems from Lightning Hybrids; and expanding its use of renewable natural gas. Starting in January it will deploy 200 new hybrid electric delivery trucks made by Workhorse Group.
Ursa Logistics Pewaukee, Wisconsin
The truckload carrier’s best trucks are getting close to 10 mpg. It runs a mix of tractor makes with the latest fuel-efficiency options and speed limiters. The newest is Volvo’s XE powertrain with Volvo D13 engine and I-Shift automated manual. The fleet runs low-rolling-resistance tires, and tire inflation systems on trailers. The newest trailers have Hendrickson’s SmartLift liftable slider suspension. It has tested Aperia Technologies’ Halo Tire Inflator for drive tires and is evaluating Volvo’s Adaptive Loading 6x2. One staffer sifts through vehicle and driver data to identify issues affecting safety or fuel economy. A driver-trainer helps drivers boost fuel efficient driving habits.
U.S. Xpress Enterprises Chattanooga, Tennessee
With 6,750 trucks, this for-hire truckload fleet has long been at the forefront of testing new technologies. It works with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the SimCenter for Computational Engineering using computer simulation models to test prototypes before they are manufactured. It deploys technology ranging from fuel-efficient tires to paper-saving document scanning, and it is ordering all new trailers with not only trailer skirts but Stemco TrailerTails as well. It has deployed solar panels on tractors, to charge the battery that runs the APU in order to support the hotel loads.
Waste Management Houston, Texas
Recognized by numerous organizations for its environmental stewardship, Waste Management cites its natural gas powered collection fleet — more than 5,000 and counting — as one of its key strategies. It continues to make those investments; in the past year it has added CNG trucks and fueling facilities in Wilmington, North Carolina; Collier County and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Western Flyer Express Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
In the past year Western Flyer Express has added about 300 of the the latest fuel-efficient models from Freightliner, Peterbilt, and Kenworth, with aerodynamic packages, automated transmissions, predictive cruise technologies and auxiliary power units. ReAX Electronically Assisted hydraulic steering and ActiveMode power steering pumps help reduce tire and steering component wear and improve fuel economy. It is piloting the XStream System, which decreases trailer gap to improve fuel economy. The new Omnitracs IVG Platform gives drivers more in-depth training and feedback on fuel efficient driving. New refrigerated trailers feature Thermo King SR4 reefers with shore power.