TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. (July 29, 2009) -- The implementation of two electric vehicles will help reduce fossil fuel emissions at Tobyhanna and save on fuel costs, one piece of equipment at a time.

In May, Tobyhanna received an electric forklift and a fifth wheel tug, which will be used by motor-vehicle operators to transport systems and shelters throughout the depot.

The fifth wheel tug, which is the first of its kind at Tobyhanna, is a hybrid of several different systems. The custom-made vehicle will be used strictly on-post to move large pieces of trailer-able equipment in and out of depot shops.

The fifth wheel tug is intended for indoor/outdoor use, weather permitting.

"It hasn't been proven in the winter yet but the company is working with depot personnel to make modifications for winter use," explained John Kelly, chief of the Production Management Directorate's Materiel Movement Branch.

The forklift, which can lift up to 23,000 pounds, is being used to move large shelters and systems in and out of the paint booths in Building 9. Kelly noted that future plans are to use the forklift in the High Bay, Building 4 Bay 6, and in locations that would normally require a diesel vehicle's assistance.

"We're gradually moving toward an electric-vehicle environment across the depot," said Anthony Ferreira, president of the AFGE Local 1647. He was instrumental with introducing the electric vehicles to Tobyhanna.

"We're committed to minimizing our employee's exposure to fossil fuel emissions and have additional pieces of electric lifting equipment on order, such as another lift and another tug," Kelly said. "We also continue to research new equipment and technologies which we hope will one day get us to a diesel free environment."

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.

About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command. Headquartered at Fort Monmouth, N.J., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the armed forces.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16