Ruan Participates in Soy Transportation Coalition Initiative

Jul 2, 2024

As part of our continuing efforts to minimize carbon emissions and expand upon sustainability efforts, Ruan recently participated in a partnership with the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) to test soy-based fifth wheel lubrication pads. Through this initiative, the STC capitalized on its relationships within the trucking and agricultural sector to widely distribute fifth wheel lube pads for testing on both large and small truck fleets. The pads are produced by Gear Head Lube (, a Cedar Falls, Iowa, based manufacturer of environmentally sustainable lubricants. Comprised of over 80% U.S. soy, these innovative pads are also listed on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Certified Biobased Product program. 

“These products have been in existence for a number of years but given the STC’s extensive relationships within the transportation sector, we concluded we could play a meaningful role in increasing the awareness and the utilization of these soy-based fifth wheel lube pads,” explains Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.  “Unfortunately, there can often be a significant delay between the development of an innovative and effective product and the widespread utilization of it.  The STC’s goal of this project has been to increase awareness and the motivation to use these soy-based fifth wheel lube pads so the benefits can be accelerated.”

On average, a class 8 semi tractor uses 20 pounds of fifth wheel grease per year, amounting to approximately 60 million pounds per year across the United States. Fifth wheel grease is predominantly petroleum-based and applied by hand, grease gun, or via small plastic pouches that often become litter after application. The STC hopes its initiative will prove that soy-based pads are an environmentally sustainable alternative that are easier to apply while providing better lubrication over the entire fifth wheel.

These benefits were quickly noticed as Ruan began testing the soy-based pads. “At Ruan, we examine each aspect of our business to identify opportunities to implement more sustainable practices,” says Mike Elliott, Technical Maintenance Operations Manager for Ruan. “The use of soy-based fifth wheel pads is one such example. These pads are very effective, easy to use, and affordable. And as a product listed on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Certified Biobased Product program, they are better for the environment.”

Increasing sustainability and decreasing our carbon footprint is paramount to Ruan. We were honored to participate in the STC’s initiative, and we look forward to expanding usage of this product across our fleet in the future.