E.A. Sween Co. adopts new truck design with help from Thermo King

June 27, 2012
The family-owned food service company uses lighter-weight diesel truck with design that emits 700 lbs less carbon per month.

An innovative new truck design developed by the family-owned foodservice company, E.A. Sween Co., is improving fuel economy by nearly 50 percent while significantly increasing fleet sustainability, productivity and cost effectiveness.

The new, lighter-weight diesel truck design emits 700 lbs. less carbon per month than a conventional truck, according to a sustainability study conducted by Automotive Resources International (ARI), a leading global fleet services provider specializing in complex car and truck fleets. Based on these results, E.A. Sween Co. leaders anticipate that the trucks will emit 4.2 tons less carbon dioxide annually.

Thermo King, a manufacturer of temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, will honor E.A. Sween Co.'s commitment to energy and operational efficiency and sustainability by presenting the company with the "Energy Efficiency Leader Award."

Details of the award presentation:

  • Ray Pittard, president of Thermo King North America, will present the award to Tom Sween, president of E.A. Sween Co., and Eino Nelson, senior vice-president of direct store sales for E.A. Sween Co.
  • The awards presentation will be at 10:30 a.m. on June 27 at E.A. Sween Co. headquarters at 16101 West 78th St. in Eden Prairie, Minn.
  • One of the new trucks will be onsite at the awards presentation

"We're pleased that we could so significantly improve our fleet's carbon footprint through an innovative solution that uses a traditional fuel source and also saves money without sacrificing customer satisfaction," said Gregg Hodgdon, fleet operation manager for E.A. Sween Co.

E.A. Sween Co. leaders pursued the more sustainable fleet option when they decided to expand from a traditionally all-frozen transportation fleet with cold-plate technology to one with multi-temperature capabilities. The updated solution reflects the company's commitment to environmental stewardship through fleet sustainability. 

The project team that developed the improvements with E.A. Sween Co. included Thermo King, which supplied the refrigeration unit; Isuzu, which provided the diesel chassis; Johnson Truck Bodies, which produced the lightweight shell; and ARI, which provided truck expertise and analytical tools needed to calculate the design's impact on cost and efficiency.

The newly designed truck features an innovative heating system which enables productivity gains by allowing specialized thawing applications to occur on the truck rather than in a warehouse. Prior to this, frozen sandwiches needed to be moved to a thawing area each night, and then loaded onto trucks in the morning prior to distribution. The multi-temperature solution eliminates the middle step, providing a leaner operation before deliveries even begin.

The refrigeration unit selected for the redesigned truck features a slim-profile, roof- mounted condenser which provides required refrigeration capacity while presenting an aerodynamic profile to maximize the overall truck efficiency. The refrigeration unit can maintain precise temperature control through the hot and cold climates included in E.A. Sween Co.'s geographic reach.

The selected refrigeration system also features electric standby to reduce fuel consumption and corresponding emissions. The use of electric standby also enables rolling warehouse applications where the product is stored on the truck for later sale. The unit uses a low amount of refrigerant, which reduces its impact on the environment.

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