More Trucks, More Types of Trucks, Expanded Fueling Capability
As Florida Logistics Fleet Logs 50 Million Miles on Natural Gas Fuel
Florida’s Saddle Creek Logistics Services is celebrating 50 million miles on compressed natural gas this month, and says it’s continuing to expand its CNG operations.
Since its launch with 40 Freightliner tractors in 2012 (F&F, June 29, 2012), the company says, its CNG fleet has grown to 200 dedicated-CNG tractors, each reducing the fleet’s carbon footprint by approximately 120,000 pounds of carbon per year.
“By using CNG trucks instead of diesel, Saddle Creek has replaced more than 9 million gallons of diesel with natural gas,” the firm says.
Wanted: CNG Infrastructure
“Our investment in CNG has enabled us to stabilize fuel costs while reducing our environmental footprint,” Saddle Creek president Mike DelBovo says in a company CNG announcement. “The 50-million-mile mark is a significant milestone,” he said.
“We look forward to working with our industry partners to expand the nation’s infrastructure to support the adoption of natural gas as a fuel source on an even broader scale.”
To further reduce emissions, Saddle Creek is in the process of converting 50 older diesel tractors into dual CNG-diesel fuel vehicles. By replacing diesel-fueled engines with EPA-certified CNG engines, the company will replace 70% of the diesel used with natural gas.
NGVs Texas for Dual Fuel Upfits
According to Natural Gas Vehicles Texas CEO Fury Zaidi, the dual fuel vehicles for Saddle Creek are Mack tractors with E7 engines. “We’re completely refurbishing each truck,” Zaidi told F&F, including rebuilding the E7 engines for dual fuel operation and installing proprietary CNG fuel cylinder assemblies.
Each truck has five Type I tanks, each with capacity for 10.7 diesel gallon equivalents in a back-of-cab array, and three (some trucks have four) rail-mounted tanks on the right side.
Total CNG capacity is thus 85.6 DGEs (or 96.3 DGEs for the nine-tank trucks) affording a combined diesel-CNG range of more than 650 miles, Zaidi says. NGVs Texas is using CNG cylinders from Vitkovice in the Czech Republic.
A $1.5-Million CNG Fueling Upgrade
Saddle Creek serves the Southeast and Southwest with CNG operations in Lakeland and Jacksonville, Fla.; Atlanta and Valdosta, Ga.; and Fort Worth, Texas. “Fortune 500 companies and major retailers are tapping this eco-friendly fleet to support of their corporate sustainability programs,” the firm says.
Saddle Creek says it “regularly upgrades technology and is now operating the sixth generation of Freightliner CNG trucks.” The company recently completed a $1.5-million upgrade to the fueling facility at its Lakeland headquarters, increasing the availability of more efficient time-fill posts.
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Source: Saddle Creek with Fleets & Fuels follow-up