GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — Northeast Wisconsin truckers are dealing with increasing diesel costs, as prices sit almost $2 more per gallon over a year ago.
“A lot of times, you have deals with your customers that you don’t get paid for 45, 60, maybe 90 days,” Contract Transport Services President Curt Reitz said. “But your fuel bill’s due this week.”
But Reitz transitioned to another method of fuel in 2020.
“It’s very similar to what you get out of your stove on your gas stoves at home,” he said.
CTS freight trucks based in Green Bay don’t rely on diesel fuel. When they need to fill up, drivers come to the company pump to put natural gas in their tanks.
“There’s no transport cost; there’s none of that involved,” Reitz said. “So literally, we’re tied into the natural gas pipeline here that runs throughout many cities.”
The fleet of over 100 trucks modified to use the alternative fuel aren’t as efficient. But for the cost of around seven miles of diesel, Reitz says his vehicles can get 30 while having zero carbon impact on the environment.
“Compressed natural gas is probably the cleanest you can run a vehicle today,” he said.
The fuel is sourced from a Detroit-based landfill or waste water treatment plant.
And Reitz says his employees get a shorter work day out of it.
“They can come right back here and plug in,” he said. “They literally plug in here and go home and it fuels their truck while they’re home sleeping.”
According to AAA, Wisconsin diesel prices are averaging $4.83 as of Thursday.
“I’m gonna use the Defense Production Act to secure American supply chains for the critical materials that go into batteries for electric vehicles and the storage of renewable energy,” President Joe Biden said at a Thursday morning press conference.
Impressed by natural gas, Reitz is heading to Washington D.C. next week to speak with congress about its benefits.
“Especially in this environment, when diesel prices are going up like this, it bodes extremely well for someone who’s in my seat right now,” he said.
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