Chillin' Green & Savin' Green - Hercules Manufacturing Co. Unveils Unparalleled First in the Refrigeration Transport Industry

Prairie Farms Places Five Added Orders in Nod of Approval of Hercules Zero Carbon Footprint Transport Featuring The "Hercules Hybrid Cold Plate Refrigeration System"

Jun 01, 2010, 10:41 ET from Hercules Manufacturing Co.

HENDERSON, Ky., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Hercules Manufacturing Co. has received five additional orders following a key presentation and inspection of the first uniquely green hybrid vehicle to Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. over the weekend.  From the chassis to the refrigerated body, this green Proof of Concept "POC" vehicle is an engineering first and is set to revolutionize the refrigeration transport industry by preserving the environment.  

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"This makes a stronger statement to their environmental interests as well as their approval of Hercules in this first of its kind green hybrid transport for the refrigerated truck industry," said Joe Banna, Hercules President Emeritus referring to dairy industry leader, Prairie Farms with distribution throughout Mid-America and the South.

With an $80,000 investment in R&D and using Eaton Corporation's hybrid diesel/electric technology, Hercules has developed the first green coldplate refrigeration hybrid unit of its kind.  This advancement will save customers of refrigerated products an estimated $7,000 plus annually per vehicle in fuel and maintenance costs while being environmentally safe. The truck's hybrid engine technology could reduce annual CO2 emissions by up to 43,000 pounds per vehicle, compared to conventional refrigeration systems.

"It is a green solution in terms of the environment, but also in terms of the additional money saved to the companies who employ it." said Hercules owner and CEO, Jeffrey Caddick.

"We chose Hercules because they are at the forefront of this groundbreaking technology and they have an extended association with Eaton Corporation," said Jay Naples, Corporate Fleet Manager of Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. "Being the first to try this new green hybrid design, we hope to set a precedent in our industry and establish environmentally friendly transportation."

As an all electric, green and zero-carbon footprint refrigeration system, the green Hercules body combines heating and cooling capabilities with over-the-road power generation in a Direct-Store-Delivery "DSD" vehicle. This unique refrigeration design eliminates the complexity of onboard generators and/or inverters with a seamless power management module that uses the hybrid chassis battery system during the delivery day and shore power at night.  Ideal for designated "Non-Attainment" areas - benefits include reduced emissions, automatic hot gas defrost, fuel usage reduction, better serviceability, greater ROI, noise reduction and increased driver convenience. Critical features for addressing today's environment and green sustainability goals.

Through reengineering and newly developed electronic controls, the green truck can use the electricity generated by the hybrid motor to recharge its cold plate refrigeration system on the road enabling companies to run longer routes since the weight of the refrigeration system has been reduced to improve fuel mileage. It also means the green hybrid truck can go without needing to return and repower the cold plates in its refrigeration system, which lose their cool gradually.

"Delivery costs are one of our highest expenses," Prairie Farms CEO Ed Mullins noted during the weekend key presentation.

Prairie Farms will put the green hybrid vehicle on the road immediately where it will be wirelessly monitored 24/7 by Hercules to track the performance of the POC vehicle.   The additional five vehicles ordered will go into production upon receipt of hybrid chassis.

"I am hopeful this new engineering breakthrough will return our 108-year-old company full circle to 1930, when Hercules was the first to create a mechanically refrigerated truck body," added Caddick.

About Prairie Farms

Headquartered in Carlinville, IL, farmer-owned Prairie Farms Dairy is a leader in the dairy industry for over 70 years. Over 700 farms strong, Prairie Farms' farm families are represented in their full line of retail and foodservice dairy products. Prairie Farms network of local manufacturing plants and branch offices enables highly efficient, dairy fresh distribution throughout Mid-America and the South.  To learn more about the business of Prairie Farms, Inc., visit:

About Hercules Manufacturing Co.

Since 1902, Hercules Manufacturing Co., has been providing custom designs and leading advancements to the transportation industry. Headquartered in Henderson, Kentucky, Hercules develops and produces custom built truck bodies, providing solutions to meet customer specific needs,   Having built the first mechanically refrigerated truck body in 1930, Hercules is presently a leader in cold plate refrigeration systems and the industry leader in the creation of "Hercules Hybrid Cold Plate Refrigeration System".  For more information visit


Jay Naples

Corporate Fleet Manager

Prairie Farms Dairy Inc


Chip Honse

Sales Manager

Hercules Manufacturing Co.


SOURCE Hercules Manufacturing Co.