Ryder offers free 3-day test drive of CNG trucks

July 16, 2012

In a continued effort to promote the benefits of natural gas vehicles for commercial truck fleets, Ryder System is offering businesses in the Sacramento, CA, area an opportunity to test drive alternative fuel trucks free for three days.

Three different configurations of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles are available to test drive — a Freightliner tandem axle tractor, a Freightliner single axle tractor, and a GreenKraft light duty straight truck. The free three-day rental is valid until July 27, 2012.

At a recent “Ride & Drive” event hosted at the company’s West Sacramento, CA, location on June 21, local businesses were able to test drive Ryder natural gas vehicles on site and sign up for the free three-day trial.

“There is great interest in natural gas vehicles among commercial fleets, but some businesses are hesitant to adopt the technology because they are unsure how the vehicles will perform in their operations,” said John Gleason, senior vice president, sales & marketing for Ryder Fleet Management Solutions. “The Ride & Drive event and free rental offer is another way we are helping businesses experience these vehicles first-hand in a real world environment.”

“We do feel the industry is steadily moving toward a natural gas solution, not only due to the environmental aspect, but also because of the added benefit that it is cheaper than diesel,” David Hodge, operations manager for Airwolf Express Courier Service, Rocklin, CA, said at the Ride and Drive event. “The natural gas vehicles we test drove were fantastic rides and seemed to have plenty of power. A cleaner and cheaper fuel, provided from a domestic source, is what we like to call a win/win. We look forward to exploring this option further in our business soon.”

As a leader in outsourced fleet management solutions, Ryder said it is in a unique position to help businesses realize the cost-saving and environmental benefits of natural gas without the risk of ownership.

In addition to making natural gas vehicles available for rent or lease, Ryder’s “Flex-to-Green Lease” solution is designed to ease the transition to a greener fleet. Businesses that opt for Ryder’s Flex-to-Green Lease start out with a diesel-powered vehicle today and then have the option to convert to a natural gas vehicle after one year. Flex-to-Green customers enjoy all the maintenance and service benefits of a standard Ryder Full Service Lease with the flexible option to convert the lease to a green vehicle, the company says.

Ryder became the first outsourced fleet provider to offer heavy-duty natural gas vehicles for the leasing and rental industry through a groundbreaking natural gas vehicle project with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California.

Ryder’s partnership with SANBAG and the Southern California Assn. of Governments (SCAG) Clean Cities Coalition includes the deployment of 202 heavy duty natural gas-powered vehicles, made available to customers for rent or lease or through Ryder’s dedicated logistics services.

As part of the project, Ryder is building two natural gas refueling stations and has equipped three maintenance facilities for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles in Fontana, Orange, and Rancho Dominguez, CA. The $38.7 million project is being funded as part of a joint public/private industry partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, and Ryder.

Ryder’s natural gas fleet includes both compressed and liquid natural gas vehicles that are currently deployed in customer operations in California, Arizona and Michigan. For more information visit www.ryder.com/alternativefuels.

Fleets interested in the free test drive can contact Ryder’s West Sacramento truck rental team at (916) 372-7500.

About the Author

Deborah Whistler

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