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Soy Transportation Coalition promotes soy-based lubricant pads

This initiative aims to diversify soybean markets and enhance environmental sustainability by replacing traditional petroleum-based lubricants.

Soy Beans On Plant

Expanding soybean markets and enhancing environmental sustainability can come in small packages, as demonstrated by a recent initiative from the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC). In partnership with trucking companies, the STC is promoting the use of soy-based fifth wheel lubrication pads, aiming to diversify soybean markets and advance sustainable practices.

The STC distributed free samples of the soy-based lubrication pads, produced by Gear Head Lube in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to trucking companies and farmers nationwide. These pads are environmentally sustainable and listed on the United States Department of Agriculture’s Certified Biobased Product program.

“These products have been around for years, but the STC’s extensive relationships within the transportation sector allow us to increase awareness and utilization,” said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition. “Our goal is to accelerate the benefits of these soy-based fifth wheel lube pads.”

The pads, measuring three by three inches and half an inch thick, are made from over 80% U.S. soy. They are applied by placing a pad at the nine and three o’clock positions on the fifth wheel. After hooking up the trailer, the grease from the pads is evenly distributed, creating no mess.

The STC leveraged its connections within the trucking and agricultural sectors to distribute the pads for testing on both large and small truck fleets. Ruan, a major family-owned transportation management company, partnered with the STC to evaluate the pads.

“At Ruan, we look for sustainable practices in every aspect of our business,” said Mike Elliott, Technical Maintenance Operations Manager for Ruan. “The soy-based fifth wheel pads are effective, easy to use, and environmentally friendly. We plan to expand their use across our fleet.”

A semi-truck uses an average of 20 lbs. of fifth wheel grease annually. With around three million semis in the U.S., this represents a market of 60 million pounds of fifth wheel grease each year, predominantly petroleum-based. The soy-based pads offer a sustainable, easy-to-apply alternative, providing better lubrication.

“Farmers always seek opportunities to use products derived from the soybeans we grow,” said Chris Brossart, a soybean farmer from Wolford, North Dakota, and chairman of the North Dakota Soybean Council and the Soy Transportation Coalition. “The soy-based fifth wheel lube pads are incredibly easy to use, effective, and a prime example of how soy products offer sustainable environmental solutions.”

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