Manure management

Updated Sep 27, 2012

Meet October’s CCJ Innovator, Fair Oaks Farms. The dairy producer based in Fair Oaks, Ind., has taken sustainability to the next level. This week, the company is putting the finishing touches on a project that will allow the dairy producer to use animal waste – in this case cow manure – to create renewable natural gas using a series of processes including anaerobic digestion and scrubbers to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfides. As part of the project, Fair Oaks Farms purchased 42 Kenworth tractors equipped with Cummins ISL G 9-liter CNG engines.

 But the real story here isn’t the purchase of the trucks, rather that the company will be able to produce enough natural gas to fuel their fleet at two CNG fueling stations in Indiana.

 Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Stoermann, project manager for Fair Oaks Farms, who headed up the project for the company. “Fair Oaks Farms has solved the chicken-and-egg problem of the CNG industry of which comes first, the trucks or the stations, by leasing a fleet of 42 trucks and contracting for its operation to coincide with the construction of their stations,” says Stoermann. Ruan Transportation Management Systems will operate the CNG trucks for Fair Oaks Farms.

To make the metrics work, the company will run the CNG tractors in a near continuous operation with slip seating and drop-and-hook operations, delivering milk to Kroger processing facilities in a north-south lane from northwestern Indiana through Kentucky and Tennessee.

“It’s our goal to run these trucks 250,000 miles per year,” says Stoermann.

Check the October 2012 issue of Commercial Carrier Journal to learn more.