City of Orlando Gains Nine Hybrid Refuse Trucks


The City of Orlando has added nine hydraulic hybrid refuse trucks to its fleet, bringing the city’s total to 18 hybrids. The vehicle procurement is part of an effort to green its entire solid waste fleet by 2017.

“We already started the initial meeting for the next round of trucks,” said Daryl Greenlee, fleet manager for City of Orlando. “We should receive the next round of trucks at the start of 2016.”

The decision to procure hydraulic hybrids started in 2013. At first the Greenlee admits the city was looking into compressed natural gas garbage vehicles, but had to pursue an alternative because of the lack of infrastructure. “There were no CNG stations in the area, nor did we have the funding to move forward with that we decided to go with the hybrid hydraulic technology and there were no infrastructure costs,” said Greenlee.

Orlando introduced nine hydraulic hybrid refuse trucks into its vehicle fleets in December 2013.

The Autocar/Runwise equipped refuse truck consumes an average of 48% less fuel than the normal diesel trucks on routes that collect refuse from 900 to 1,100 homes per day. The collection routes productivity increased by 7% to 10%, while completing scheduled routes 30 minutes to one hour earlier. In first seven months, the city saved $25,000 in diesel fuel. “The Autocar refuse trucks, with Parker hydraulic hybrid technology, will play an important role in achieving our Green Works Orlando goal by reducing emissions, reducing maintenance cost and the reduction of fuel consumption,” said Greenlee.

The reduction in fuel consumption City of Orlando’s nine Hybrids have saved 226,492 lbs. of C02 emissions to date. Over a 10 year life, the C02 emissions avoided will total 2,839 tons on the nine Hybrids. Based on recent EPA figures, this reduction in CO2 emissions is equivalent to removing 542 mid-sized vehicles from the road, or planting 66,038 tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for 10 years.

Parker’s RunWise replaces a refuse truck’s conventional drive train with a series hybrid drive thus combining the flexibility and responsiveness of hydrostatic operation for low and medium speeds with the efficiency of mechanical operation for highway speeds.

A case study on the Annual Cost Avoidance for the City of Orlando’s nine Autocar/Runwise Hybrid Units was performed using telematics and data collected. The City of Orlando launched their first four units in December 2013, launched the next five units in February 2014.
• Estimated annual brake savings: $12,000/truck
• Estimated annual fuel savings: $10,000/truck
• Estimated annual productivity savings: $9,000
• Estimated cost avoidance over 10 year period: $2.8 million for the initial nine hybrid trucks compared to the equivalent truck.

Absorption and storage of energy by the system’s hydrostatic pumps during deceleration results in less wear on brakes and the rear tires run cooler for longer life. “From the latest data collected, it is estimated that one brake job will be needed throughout the life of the truck,” said Greenlee. Fewer brake jobs saves money in maintenance costs and reduces vehicle downtime. In addition, another environmental advantage, by using hydraulic braking on collection routes, it reduces the brake dust normally generated by the brake drums and shoes by hundreds of pounds per year. The Parker RunWise is contributing to a greener planet and to Green Works Orlando goal.

“For brake replacements we are doing an average of three to four brake replacements a year on our diesel refuse trucks, with Telma retarders, which is roughly $12,000 annually and the ten year lifecycle is $120,000 in cost avoidance and that right there offsets the cost of the trucks,” Greenlee explains.

The city is also making headway with its CNG vehicles. The city rolled out five CNG refuse trucks last month and is in the process of installing 46 time-fuel stations. During the CNG unveiling Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called Orlando the “greenest” city and fleet in the South, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida offers a Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate of $25,000 per truck up to $250,000 per year that the City of Orlando is applying for to help offset the purchase price of the new CNG trucks.