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Fair Oaks Farms leases 42 CNG-powered trucks from PacLease

Fair Oaks Farms leases 42 CNG-powered trucks from PacLease

Fair Oaks Farms and Paccar Leasing Company (PacLease) have entered into a full-service lease agreement for 42 new Kenworth T440 tractors powered by Cummins Westport ISL-G compressed natural gas (CNG) engines.

The trucks, equipped with six-speed Allison automatic transmissions and extra natural gas fuel tanks, will haul raw milk from Fair Oaks Farms dairy facilities in Fair Oaks IN to processing centers in three Midwestern states.

Fair Oaks Farms is leasing the 42 CNG-powered T440s under a full-service lease contract with Palmer PacLease. Palmer, the local PacLease franchise, will handle all the maintenance on the trucks at an on-site maintenance facility. Ruan Transportation Management Systems, a dedicated contract carrier, will provide logistics expertise and drivers for the 42 milk-hauling trucks.

“PacLease has played a critical role in helping this project get off the ground,” said Mark Stoermann, project manager for Fair Oaks Farms. “By having PacLease handle the maintenance, we can concentrate on delivering 300,000 gallons of milk each day to processing facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee—and we don’t have to commit our capital resources to purchase the trucks.”

Stoermann estimates the 42-unit CNG-powered truck fleet will reduce Fair Oaks Farms’ carbon footprint by displacing more than 1½ million gallons of diesel fuel. The Cummins-Westport CNG-powered engine uses cooled exhaust recirculation with a maintenance-free device that reduces emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. The combination offers increased power density and thermal efficiency for good throttle response.

Fair Oaks Farms manages and operates a biogas production facility that produces biogas using trapped methane from processed cow manure and excreta in a process called anaerobic digestion. The biogas already provides fuel to electric generators that produce power for the farm. Fair Oaks Farms is using a federally guaranteed business and industry loan from the US Department of Agriculture to upgrade one of the facility’s anaerobic digesters so it can produce CNG for use in the new CNG-powered trucks. Fair Oaks Farms has also contracted with Clean Energy to build and operate a fueling station near the dairy cooperative’s facilities in Fair Oaks as well as one 220 miles away in Sellersburg IN. Any CNG not used in the dairy cooperative’s delivery trucks will be sold to local government agencies and other businesses, including other local dairies.

Once the 42 trucks are in full operation, Fair Oaks Farms will have one of the largest long-haul fleets powered by renewable energy in the nation. Depending on the success of the first 42 units the cooperative will put into service, Fair Oaks Farms could lease more CNG-powered trucks.

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