September 16, 2014

Exceeding Expectations – Westport's CNG Vehicles Help Power USD's Growing Alternative Fuel Fleet

When USD, Inc. made the move away from independent contract drivers and brought its delivery fleet in-house over a year ago, the company’s management team decided to incorporate as many alternative fuel vehicles as possible going forward. In 2013 alone, the company added 20 Westport WiNG™ Power System Ford Transit Connects operating on dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) to its fleet.

USD is the leading distributor of original equipment Ford, General Motors and Chrysler automotive parts in the southwest United States. Operating for 42 years, with corporate headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, USD also has facilities in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado.

“As our business continues to grow, it is increasingly important for us to look for ways to improve efficiencies to serve our customers while at the same time reduce our environmental impact in the communities where we operate,” said Eric Bromenshenkel, president and CEO, USD Inc. “Not only has adding CNG vehicles helped us save about 30 per cent in fuel costs, we’re using a cleaner domestic fuel.”

USD has a fleet of 30 vehicles used for parts delivery with each vehicle driven approximately 250 miles and making four to five runs per day. In an effort to promote driver retention with the company and to encourage drivers to maintain their vehicles, USD has developed a unique compensation program. After four years with the company, when their assigned vehicle reaches the end of its useful life for everyday company use, drivers will have their vehicle signed over to them as a length of service award.

Looking ahead, the company plans to expand its fleet in 2015 with the addition of either more CNG powered Transit Connects or Ford pickup trucks, making their fleet almost entirely made up of CNG vehicles.

“The quality and performance of our Westport CNG Ford Transit Connects has exceeded our expectations,” Eric said. “The vehicles perform like Ford original equipment manufacturer Transit Connects with the added benefits of fuel cost savings, less routine engine maintenance requirements and environmental protection through the production of lower emissions on the road.”

“Our drivers have really enjoyed their experience driving CNG vehicles and we’re glad we took a chance on the alternative fuel program. CNG vehicles are gaining momentum and with fueling infrastructure on the rise, the industry will only further advance.”

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