Food Distribution Company Daylight Foods Transitions to Hybrid Delivery Trucks

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“Green Highway” takes on a whole new meaning in 2013 for food distribution company Daylight Foods after their addition of new diesel electric hybrid trucks. This move follows the company's goals to increase sustainability throughout the business.

hybrid shipping truck

Daylight Foods Hybrid Truck

When our team looked at using conventional vehicles for our sales team and our outbound delivery trucks and then compared them with hybrid vehicles, the decision was clear

Sourcing from local growers when possible and maximizing delivery routes, kept food distribution company Daylight Foods' carbon foot print down. Yet drivers still face traffic and frequent stopping while on route and although Daylight’s base may be in the Bay Area, their distribution spans California from Eureka to Bakersfield. The company knew it could do more in reducing their fossil fuel use and this year have added 8 Kenworth T370 diesel-electric trucks to their fleet.

When asked about the initial move towards hybrid trucks, Tim Kouretas, Operations Manager, explained it was brought on by wanting to, “Be environmentally friendly and follow the most environmentally friendly practices possible.” The decision to switch the entire fleet was easy to make after seeing the initial investment in the trucks would easily pay for itself in reduced fuel costs and tax break incentives. Sustainability is important to Daylight Foods and is a focus throughout the company, not just in their transportation choices.

California’s Hybrid Voucher Incentive Program (HVIP) provided a $ 160,000.00 cash credit towards the 8 trucks. The focus of the HVIP program according to their website is to, “offset about half of the incremental additional cost of eligible hybrid and battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles using a simplified purchase voucher.” HVIP makes it possible for businesses, like Daylight Foods, to afford the switch to “green” transportation.

“The older conventional diesel trucks averaged about 4-5 miles per gallon, with the hybrid trucks we are seeing on average 7-10 miles per gallon,” explained Tim Ault, Daylight Foods’ Transportation Manager. This is a huge savings for the company and the environment. Ault explained they plan on adding to their fleet in the near future and phasing out the older conventional models.

The Kenworth T370 trucks are perfect for Daylight Foods. This Class 6 vehicle has not only impressive fuel savings, but boasts a PACCAR PX-6 engine, “the highest power to weight ratio in the industry.” Advanced power train in the vehicle automatically monitors and switches between power modes depending on driving conditions.

The T370 was made for businesses making frequent stops and consistent braking in high traffic areas, such as cities and busy freeways. Electricity produced when braking assists the diesel engine and is reused in acceleration. This quiet running truck boasts a hybrid dash display for real-time driver feedback, an aid in “encouraging maximum fuel economy.”

In addition to hybrid trucks, Daylight has outfitted their sales team with Toyota Priuses. “When our team looked at using conventional vehicles for our sales team and our outbound delivery trucks and then compared them with hybrid vehicles, the decision was clear; it was in our best interest to use the hybrid vehicles. We would be reducing our carbon footprint and therefore be helping the environment, as well as offsetting our gas expenditures,” explained President Chris Vlahopouliotis.

Daylight Foods is confident they are making the right business and environmental decisions transitioning to hybrid transportation. They see this step as being one of many green choices the company can make.

About Daylight Foods
Daylight Foods purchases direct from the most reputable growers and shippers in the industry. Their direct purchasing and high quality standards enables them to continually pass on value to their customers’ operations; supplying fresher, higher yielding product. Daylight Foods takes a special interest in local growers and family farms, as well as in “green” technology, to support their local communities and sustainability for future generations.

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Stephanie Macedo
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