Ryder taking delivery of 70 NG tractors

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Updated May 10, 2011

Freightliner Trucks announced that it has begun to deliver the first 70 of 182 Freightliner Business Class M2 112 natural gas tractors to commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions provider Ryder System. The order is part of Ryder’s agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments to launch a natural gas truck rental and leasing project for commercial fleets in Southern California. The delivery of this initial order will be completed by the end of May.

Ryder will integrate the M2 112 NG trucks into its Southern California operations network, where the company’s 1,200 customers in the region will be able to access them through short-term rentals, long-term leases or through Ryder’s dedicated logistics services. As part of Ryder’s agreement with SANBAG, the company will construct two natural gas fueling stations and maintain the vehicles at three strategically located maintenance shops in Rancho Dominguez, Orange and Fontana, Calif.

The SANBAG project is being conducted in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition in order to increase the use of domestically produced alternative fuels and reduce emissions by bolstering the existing regional infrastructure in Southern California. When fully implemented, the project will displace more than 1.5 million gallons of diesel annually with 100 percent domestically produced low-carbon natural gas.

The initial Freightliner tractor delivery was celebrated Wednesday, May 4, at Ryder’s Rancho Dominguez maintenance facility as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating its completion as the first facility in the company’s network to be upgraded for the indoor servicing of natural gas-powered heavy-duty vehicles. Attendees were briefed on Ryder’s overall natural gas vehicle and infrastructure project efforts, which also includes building two publicly accessible LNG/LCNG fueling stations that will provide additional critical fueling points within Ryder’s network and the Southern California region.

“The project with SANBAG demonstrates Ryder’s commitment to deliver innovative alternative fuel solutions that bring long-term sustainable fleet advantages to our customers,” says Robert Sanchez, president of global fleet management solutions for Ryder. “We are excited to be leveraging the latest vehicle technology from Freightliner to help our customers realize the predictable, cost-efficient and environmental benefits of natural gas.”

Ryder’s liquefied and compressed natural gas trucks are equipped with the Cummins ISL-G natural gas engine and include Allison 3000HS transmissions engineered with patented torque converter technology designed for improved startability at the launch of the vehicle, as well as full power shifts.

“Through its partnership with SANBAG, Ryder is helping to pave the way for the next wave of alternative fuel vehicles in Southern California,” says Robert Carrick, Western Region vocational manager of natural gas for Freightliner Trucks. “The Ryder combination of rental and lease vehicles and fuel availability onsite will be a wonderful resource for those customers who want to try natural gas vehicles in their operation to be confident the technology will work for them. Freightliner’s proven natural gas technology, in combination with our tough Business Class M2 112 tractor, is a cost-efficient and environmentally-friendly solution for Ryder and its customers.”

Designed to suit a variety of applications, the Business Class M2 112 features a 2,500-square-inch windshield for enhanced visibility, outstanding maneuverability and a roomy interior for added driver comfort.