With the addition of three new hybrid delivery trucks to its fleet, Portland, Maine-based Oakhurst Dairy has taken another step toward its sustainability goals.
On Oct. 10, with an Alternative Fuel Vehicles grant from the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the dairy added the three new hybrid delivery trucks. The vehicles will begin operation this fall, mainly in New Hampshire’s “Ozone Non-Attainment Areas” or communities that do not currently meet air quality standards, said the company. The trucks run on diesel fuel and electric power; 50% of the diesel is bio diesel.
Oakhurst purchased the dairy industry’s first hybrid delivery truck in 2009 for its Portland facility. According to the company the truck has been successful because of these key features:
• The truck travels a delivery route of 260 miles per day
• It uses 30 gallons of fuel, a 35% savings
• Hybrid vehicles account for 45% of Oakhurst’s auto fleet, including their sales force
Sustainability has been a focus for Oakhurst long before “being green” became popular, according to the company. With a goal of reducing their environmental impact, the company completed numerous initiatives in its processing facility and distribution facilities. Also, Oakhurst was the first dairy in the industry to convert its entire delivery fleet to biodiesel fuel, according to a company press release.
In March, Oakhurst received an honorable mention in the. U.S. Dairy Export Council's award program that honors sustainable dairy processing and manufacturing. From 2008-2010, Oakhurst reduced its plant energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and transportation fuel use by roughly 10% each — achieving half of its overall goal. Other sustainable practices include the installation of a solar energy system and the use of hybrid delivery trucks. Read more about the award program here: http://www.dairyfoods.com/articles/88231-darigold--oakhurst-dairy-honored-for-green-efforts
|The trucks are equipped with custom built electric/hydraulic elevator lift systems.|
Another unique feature of the hybrid delivery trucks are the Kidron truck bodies supplied and retrofitted by L&K Truck Body of Chichester, N.H. The trucks are equipped with custom built electric/hydraulic elevator lift systems that allows the driver to ride up and down on the platform when delivering product to stores and markets. It is said to be much safer and more efficient to deliver product with this system. Oakhurst Dairy utilizes the lift at both the rear and side door openings. To view a video or learn more about the lift systems visit, landktruckbody.net.