Helping Customers Meet Sustainability Goals
Running Cleaner for Customers
Prioritizing client service and adopting the latest technologies have helped make Dillon Transport, Inc. an undisputed leader in the tanker-truck hauling industry. And for the last several years, Dillon has also been making a name for itself with regards to sustainability and the environment. By converting its fleet to natural gas fuel, Dillon has dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions and saved themselves – and their customers – a good deal of money, too.
Currently, about 45% of Dillon’s 530-truck fleet is fueled with natural gas, and those trucks operate about 60% of the hauls. – meaning over half of all of the Dillon fleet’s annual fuel consumption is clean natural gas. They started with liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2011, but have since been converting to the more convenient-filling compressed natural gas (CNG). The strategy is to ultimately convert all their trucks to CNG. The strategy is to ultimately convert all their trucks to CNG. This of course takes time, but setting that goal has proven a great advantage for Dillon. The fact is, forward thinking, environmentally conscious business decisions attract more customers.
With operations across the United States, Dillon has always tried to be environmentally conscious in its operations, not only using biodiesel but also dedicating special insulated tankers for the delivery of biodiesel fuel for their customers. Like most companies that make the switch, however, Dillon first recognized the cost savings of LNG and CNG. With diesel fuel’s unpredictable pricing, it’s virtually impossible for any business to accurately budget for fuel.
“…natural gas is a cleaner, less expensive, domestic and abundant solution to the energy crisis we face every day…”
– Jeff Dillon, President of Dillon Transport
“Our research started shortly after the roll out of the Pickens Plan in 2009,” says Dillon Marketing Manager Phil Crofts. Knowing their customers would appreciate a lower, fixed cost, company President Jeff Dillon made a trip to see what Clean Energy Fuels could do for Dillon Transport. After meetings, tours and demonstrations, it became quite clear that natural gas would not only reduce the carbon footprint of their sizable fleet, but would also save Dillon and its customers money. “We’re saving about a dollar to a dollar-and-a-half per gallon over diesel,” Crofts says.
Having the trucks is one thing, but if you can’t fill them conveniently, the benefits can be lost. To that end Dillon and Clean Energy launched a partnership to build a publicly accessible fueling station. Because they own the land and lease it to Clean Energy, the station provides Dillon with additional revenue every year. Clean Energy manages the station’s operations and maintenance, ensuring that Dillon’s team has consistently reliable fuel access while reducing the overall maintenance costs for both partners. As Dillon operates out of multiple terminals in twenty-five states, plans for more fueling stations are in development.
In addition, Clean Energy assisted the team in developing a truck storage and maintenance facility in Dallas. Since then Dillon has modified several of their other facilities to accommodate their growing natural gas fleet. This work was not just about convenience. Safety and code regulations on warehousing and servicing natural gas vehicles are different than those pertaining to other fuels, and Dillon proactively got its business set up to properly and seamlessly handle the ongoing transition.
Dillon’s success with CNG and LNG means increased business and an even more solid industry reputation. They continue to expand services in the industrial products, energy, mineral and raw materials industries. Jeff Dillon summed up the situation best, saying: “We firmly believe natural gas qualifies as a mainstream alternative to diesel for Class 8 trucks, because natural gas is a cleaner, less expensive, domestic and abundant solution to the energy crisis we face every day.” With regards to his company’s strategic growth he goes on to add: “Matching up our customers’ delivery routes with stations on Clean Energy’s natural gas highway will be very important to us.”