These days, consumers are increasingly concerned about our environment, and demand is rising for products made with sustainable practices and inputs. As the transportation partner of choice for some makers of sustainable products, Ruan is committed to helping our partners find the most environmentally-friendly approaches for transporting their goods. As standard practice, we are always determined to reduce our own impact by making our trucks run more efficiently.
In addition to using a range of sustainable alternative fuels and investing in lower-emitting trucks that meet the strictest Environmental Protection Agency standards, Ruan is dedicated to utilizing the latest technology that helps our customers, consumers, team members, and the environment. The latest step in our sustainable journey began in September 2020 when Ruan started operating our first fully electric terminal yard tractor at our Otsego, MN, operation—and more will soon be added to our fleet.
Made by Orange EV, our terminal tractor is used 24/7 to move inbound and outbound trailers around the yard for our customer. Orange EV trucks have eliminated the diesel engine, transmission, and radiator along with the diesel fueling, exhaust, and emission control systems. What remains are far fewer, largely sealed and maintenance-free elements. Simply put, there’s less to maintain, which means maximum uptime for the unit.
“Our standard diesel yard truck would typically run five, six, maybe seven years. From what we’ve seen so far with this electric unit, we think we can get at least 10 years of life out of it,” said Ruan’s Vice President of Fleet Services Brad Gehring. “We are looking across all 300 of our operations to see which will be a good fit for electrification. It’ll start at locations like Otsego where we use yard tractors, then move to locations that are local, regional, then eventually to the longer haul applications.”
Because the unit generates less noise, heat, and vibration than diesel tractors, drivers enjoy a better working environment that contributes to less fatigue and safety incidents. Ruan has also found that the regenerative braking technology makes the ride smoother and significantly reduces the wear and tear to tires and brakes—especially compared to a diesel unit in operation for the same amount of time. As the industry tries to attract and retain younger driving team members amid a significant truck driver shortage, equipment enhancements that both improve the driving experience and reduce environmental impact will be critical.
“From the experience I’ve had with the electric vehicle, it’s an amazing change,” said professional driver Conrad Hanson. “When I was first introduced to the idea of driving an electric vehicle, I was very hesitant about the technology—but it’s been a game changer for me, and I see it as something that is going to contribute greatly in the future.”
Now, a year after in-servicing the truck, Ruan is excited to participate in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s (NACFE) Run on Less – Electric event. Run on Less – Electric is a tour and demonstration showcase of 13 electric vehicles and the fleets that utilize them in their operations. The Run will start September 3 and wrap up at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta, GA, later that month.
In preparation for the Run on Less - Electric, we partnered with NACFE and Orange EV in Otsego to film the following video highlighting the unit and those who operate it. Check it out!
During the three weeks of the Run on Less – Electric event, NACFE will feature metrics and real-world stories on their Run on Less website—be sure to visit the site regularly to learn more about a range of electric vehicles and how they perform in a variety of applications.
“Electrification is the future of the industry, and we are proud to be on the leading edge of the technology,” Gehring said.
Read more about the Run on Less – Electric here.