TRACY, Calif., Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A truck assembly company in Tracy, Calif., has expanded its payroll by 50 employees thanks to business from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), including a project to assemble the utility's next generation of gas maintenance and construction trucks.
This morning, not far from the assembly plant, PG&E presented the first of the new trucks to an excited and eager crew of gas workers in Stockton, Calif. Designed with input from hundreds of PG&E employees, the trucks include features that improve safety and efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
PG&E ordered 57 of the trucks this year from American Truck & Trailer Body Company Inc., a minority-owned and family-operated business that just marked its 20th year. PG&E plans to order 55 to 60 more gas trucks in each of the next three years to gradually replace an aging part of its fleet.
"As PG&E builds a safer, more reliable natural gas system, we need the finest tools at our disposal," said Nick Stavropoulos, the utility's executive vice president of Gas Operations. "Our new gas trucks equip our maintenance and construction crews with precisely what they've asked for. What makes this even better is that producing these vehicles has sparked economic vitality in the communities we serve."American Truck & Trailer Body has provided a broad range of vehicles for PG&E over the past 13 years, including off-road equipment and flatbeds, including over 1,200 units in 2012 alone. In that time, the company has grown from $1.9 million in sales to an expected $21 million this year. Its workforce has nearly tripled to more than 90 employees, including 23 brought on just this year. And new plants have opened in Woodland, Calif.; Santa Ana, Calif.; and a second in Tracy. "To fulfill our contracts with PG&E, we've added much-needed high-quality jobs to the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento areas," said Clint Garner, president of American Truck & Trailer Body. "We take great pride in providing PG&E with carefully crafted vehicles—in fact, we're assembling and painting each new gas truck by hand." The chassis comes from Canada, manufactured by Peterbilt Motors Company; Dakota Bodies Inc. makes the truck bodies in Watertown, S.D. Features of the new trucks include:
- A device that loads heavy equipment such as jackhammers, saving employees from lifting on their own.
- A roll-up compartment door for safer access on busy streets.
- A more advanced braking system than the older truck model.
- A longer and taller cab for better storage and comfort.
- Two mirrors on the hood to eliminate blind spots, plus heated door mirrors.
- The new trucks feature lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency.
- Paint applied in a state-of-the-art booth that dramatically reduces air pollutants.