Gary transportation company switches to clean diesel trucks

South Shore Clean Cities’ Communications Director Lauri Keagle, Indiana Department of Environmental Management Senior Environmental Manager Shawn Seals, Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Jack Gray Transport, Inc. owner Danette Garza and Jack Gray Transport, Inc. Chief Operating Officer James Dillman stand in front of one of six new clean diesel trucks.

Jack Gray Transport, a Gary-based dump truck transportation company that hauls bulk materials like sand and salt, has turned to clean diesel trucks that will cut the equivalent of 38 cars' worth of greenhouse gas emissions from Northwest Indiana every year.

The company spent $300,000 on six trucks with the help a DieselWise Indiana 2017 grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in cooperation with South Shore Clean Cities.

“Implementing sustainable transportation practices is helping to transform our nearly 70-year-old company into a more modern, state-of-the-art operation,” Jack Gray Transport owner Danette Garza said. “We are thankful for our partners in this project and look forward to continuing to change the face of the trucking industry in Northwest Indiana.”

Garza took over the 67-year-old company that hauls raw materials in 2015 and has been working since to modernize its operations. The new ultra low-sulfur diesel drayage trucks it acquired will replace diesel-fueled trucks, cutting the ozone precursors nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide by 98 percent.

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They also will prevent about 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel, or about 2.5 tanker trucks' worth, from being used every year in Lake County, which the federal government has deemed a nonattainment area for ozone emissions.

“We are proud of the work of our member Jack Gray Transport, Inc., in moving toward cleaner fuels and vehicles,” South Shore Clean Cities Communications Director Lauri Keagle said. “The switch to sustainable transportation options helps reduce our nation’s dependence on imported oil, reduces harmful emissions, supports local jobs, improves air quality and enhances quality of life for those who live, work and play in Gary. We applaud their efforts.”

Jack Gray, which has terminals in Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio, bills itself as "the nation's premier carrier and material handler of bulk materials." Its union-represented drivers delivery fertilizer, coke, potash, scrap, gypsum, grain, magnesite and aggregates, carrying loads of up to thousands of tons all across the Midwest.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.