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Dot deploys electric yard truck at California distribution center

Orange EV and Dot Transportation, a subsidiary of Dot Foods, the largest food industry redistributor in North America, recently deployed an Orange EV T-Series pure electric terminal truck at Dot’s operation in Modesto CA.

The Modesto facility is one of 11 distribution centers operated by Dot Foods in the US.

“Making the move to pure-electric aligns with Dot’s mission to implement innovative, efficient solutions that contribute to the success of its food industry partners and their sustainability objectives,” said Kevin Buss, Dot Transportation’s director of fleet maintenance.

Orange EV said its technology represents an innovation over existing electric-powered Class 8 vehicle systems, delivering increased safety, as well as a vehicle that increases energy efficiency by more than 400% over traditional diesel systems.

Dot Foods said it’s committed to sustainable initiatives at all its facilities, such as motion-activated LED lighting in warehouses, specialized insulation on freezers and refrigerators to reduce energy consumption, opportunity charging for equipment, solar panels on refrigerated units, idle-reducing measures and use of aerodynamic fairings.

Deployment of Orange EV’s T-Series pure electric terminal truck marks the first zero-emission vehicle deployed into Dot Transportation’s operations. The Modesto site integrated the new electric truck, charging during existing breaks and keeping the battery in a state of high charge while averaging about 12 hours of key-on time daily in around the clock operations, Dot said.

“We’re really excited to pilot this technology for Dot,” said David Bigelow, Dot Foods California general manager. “We will learn a lot from this electric yard truck in terms of lifespan and maintenance, and then we can use that learning moving forward. We are always excited about the challenge to try something new and help figure it out, and anytime that we can do that while also supporting Dot’s cost-savings and green initiatives, all the better.”

Truck data is reported using Orange EV’s web-based telematics system (standard equipment on all Orange EV trucks) that provides instant feedback, real-time performance statistics and hard data that helps fleets understand system status, fuel efficiency, cost savings and more, the company said.

“Orange EV is thrilled to be working with an innovative industry leader like Dot Foods,” said Mike Saxton, Orange EV chief commercial officer. “Orange EV trucks are built to fit site duty cycles and meet cost savings objectives. With trucks commercially deployed since 2015, Orange EV has amassed a wealth of real-world operating data that helps ensure everyone knows what they’re getting into operationally and economically.

“Typical distribution center operations report savings up to $40,000-plus per truck annually in fuel, maintenance and emission control. Facilities also enjoy all the other things that get better when diesel fuel is eliminated including a safer, healthier environment for site personnel and the surrounding community.”

Increased safety was a key component in the decision to purchase all-electric. The Orange EV truck provides a cooler, quieter, vibration-free alternative to its diesel counterpart with regenerative braking that allows for smooth, no-shift deceleration, finer control and reduces stopping distance and stopping time, the company claimed.

“There’s so much new technology in the industry today, and this yard truck is going to help us in a lot of ways,” Buss said. “We looked at a lot of options before we decided to move forward with this one. It will help us better understand electric trucks, how they perform, and how they operate.”

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