Hollandia Produce LLC, with its Live Gourmet greenhouse vegetables, not only walks the green talk, it drives it, too. With the addition of its new state-of-the-art tractor-trailer truck that runs on natural gas, the Carpinteria-based family farm has taken its commitment to sustainability on the road. Coupled with a trailer cooled by a hybrid electric refrigeration unit, the delivery rig is nearly as green as its sustainably grown contents.
The bright green color of the truck hints at how brilliant this truck is under the hood. The emerald green Peterbilt tractor features an efficient compressed natural gas (CNG) engine that lowers total carbon emissions. The truck was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Way program, and features an aerodynamic design that boosts fuel efficiency up to 12 percent and reduces drag 24 percent.
A green tractor needs a green trailer, and the Utility VS2RA fills the bill. It’s equipped with a hybrid electric Thermo King Smart Reefer refrigeration unit that features a number of technologies that deliver greater fuel efficiency and reduce emissions and noise.
“There are many items on the grocery shelves; it is too easy to be overlooked,” says Pete Overgaag, president. “But they can’t miss our trailer. Since everyone is a potential customer, our trucks out on the public streets are the perfect advertising vehicle.”
The trailer’s graphics received a Special Mention award from Fleet Owner Magazine as part of their Vehicle Graphics Awards. The trailer graphic incorporates the same design seen on the company’s butter lettuce that won a 2011 Impact Award for excellence in packaging. Proudly incorporating the product packaging on the side of the trailer (“Live Gourmet. Living Butter Lettuce. Absolutely Fresh Because It’s Still Alive!”), the trailer makes good use of the space. With a fresh head of lettuce at one end and a picture of the product as it appears on store shelves on the other, trailer space is not wasted yet does not overwhelm the messaging. Even the trailer’s side skirt is put to use, touting the fact that the product is “hydroponically grown in Carpinteria, California.”
The family farm grows all of its produce hydroponically — including butter lettuce, 3 in 1 lettuce, upland cress and red butter lettuce — and delivers it fresh and alive.