31 Compressed Natural Gas Tractors Added to Fleet

Saddle Creek chooses Ryder for a natural gas vehicle solution for its Texas and Louisiana delivery fleets

MiamiOct. 30, 2013Ryder System, Inc., a provider of commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, announced that it was selected by Saddle Creek Logistics Services for a natural gas vehicle solution in two markets. With the agreement, Saddle Creek will lease 31 heavy-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles from Ryder.

Thirty of the CNG vehicles will run in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas region and be maintained by Ryder at its Fort Worth service facility, which is being upgraded to meet the unique compliance requirements for natural gas. One vehicle will operate in Saddle Creek’s Shreveport, Louisiana delivery fleet and be maintained at Ryder’s existing natural gas vehicle maintenance facility in that city.

With natural gas vehicles already available for lease and rent in California, Arizona, Michigan, New York and Louisiana, Ryder now adds Texas as its newest market with a natural gas vehicle maintenance capability.

Saddle Creek, a 47-year-old, family-owned, third-party logistics provider offers comprehensive integrated logistics services and has locations across the contiguous 48 states. Saddle Creek will accept delivery of the new CNG vehicles during the first quarter of 2014. The CNG vehicles are part of a strategic initiative by Saddle Creek to reduce its carbon footprint and control fuel costs. The company already has more than 100 CNG tractors in its fleet of 430 vehicles, making it one of the largest CNG over-the-road tractor fleets in operation in the country. Saddle Creek also invested in its own fueling station at its Lakeland, Florida headquarters.

“Saddle Creek’s environmentally friendly CNG program has enabled us to be extremely successful in supporting our customers’ sustainability efforts. We are excited to expand our CNG capabilities to the Dallas/Fort Worth market with the help of leased tractors and maintenance from Ryder,” said Saddle Creek president, Mike DelBovo.

The natural gas vehicles are being made available through Ryder’s participation in the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP), funded by the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) initiatives and administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Ryder is able to leverage its knowledge of emerging fleet technologies, and government rebates and tax incentive programs to help reduce CNG vehicle costs, and offer competitive lease and rental rates. The company deployed more than 320 CNG and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles into the fleets of approximately 40 Ryder customers in the U.S. Furthermore, Ryder recently opened its first liquefied to compressed natural gas fuel stations in Orange and Fontana, California.

With a full-service lease, Ryder acquires vehicles according to a customer’s specifications; provides financing, maintenance and fleet support services; and then manages vehicle disposal to protect the customer from residual risk. Ryder also offers a Flex-to-Green lease that features the same benefits of a full-service lease, but with the added option to replace diesel-powered vehicles with natural gas vehicles after one year.