FCCC Environmental/Facilities Engineering
Supervisor Bill Harris (pictured) and Ryan
Pennington took their roles to heart.
Production teams 401 and 402 on the school bus chassis line were chosen as the pilot line
to test the zero-waste-to-landfill program.
focus on green is also very much cus-tomer- driven,” said Freightliner Custom
Chassis Corp. President Bob Harbin.
“Customers in the package delivery
business are ver y conscious that they’re
big consumers of fossil fuels and they
very much want to reduce that. This initiative ties in extremely well with that
whole part of the environmental story.
UPS and FedEx have realized over a
40 percent fuel economy improvement
with FCCC’s hybrid electric and CNG
“We also sell to a lot of laundry companies,” Harbin said. “One customer
has 250 laundries around the U.S., and
they also are looking at what we’re doing from a waste standpoint and how
they can apply that to their facilities—
reducing waste in general. It creates a
nice conversation with all of our corporate and retail customers.
“We’ve been in alt-fuel vehicles for a
long time. Our customers look upstream
to their suppliers and say, ‘What are you
doing?’ Yes, we have alt-fuel vehicles
but beyond that, we are manufacturing
them in an environmentally responsible
manner. It fits right in with our mutual
The next, natural progression for
the vehicles was the development of
FCCC’s all-electric walk-in van chassis.
Introduced in March of this year, the
vehicle goes into production during the
first half of 2011.
Daimler took a small equity position
in Tesla, the upstart automaker of the
electric, racy Roadster, and now Tesla
is providing the batteries for Daimler’s
electric Smart® car. “We’re using those
same batteries in our all-electric delivery
van. So the whole Daimler circle comes
together,” Nielsen said.
“What makes it so significant is that we just didn’t start
a new process. We changed a living culture of people.”
—Ryan Pennington, Environmental/Facilities Support Tech
Landfill Costs, Closings. Under fire
for accepting millions of tons of out-of-state waste in its landfills, South
Carolina imposed a moratorium on new
landfills in 2009.
“So we were faced with the looming issue of having to truck our trash
to Georgia, which would mean a significant cost,” Harbin said.
“We saw restrictions on landfills.
Landfills are going to fill up,” Nielsen
said. “You’re always going to have in-
creasing landfill and waste disposal
costs. Recognizing that companies are
no longer going to be allowed to dis-
pose of tons and tons of waste at will,
we viewed this as an opportunity to get
ahead of the curve.”
Nielsen added, “Our company’s
main headquarters are in Portland,
Ore., where we also have a truck manu-
facturing plant, and the trash there is
hauled almost 300 miles one way to a
landfill in eastern Oregon that can be
seen from space. Aside from the envi-
ronmental implications, that 600-mile
round trip adds expense. What we’ve