CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here is accelerating the phaseout of chlorofluorocarbon gases used in its refrigerated trucking fleet.
The retailer has converted more than half its 1,200 trucks from R-12 coolant, a CFC, to a hydrochlorofluorocarbon gas, which is considered less damaging to the earth's ozone layer. A ban on production of CFCs will go into effect Dec. 31, 1995, as mandated by the Montreal Protocol, an international environmental agreement.
Kroger accelerated the timetable for truck conversion. Initially, the retailer intended to convert 25% of its R-12 trucks last year but managed to convert 54% of its refrigerated trucking fleet, said Robert Birk, manager of equipment procurement.
The retailer is phasing out the use of R-502, another CFC gas, in its trucks, but is proceeding at a slower pace. The CFC is being replaced with the hydrofluorocarbon R-404A, which is chlorine-free and considered least damaging to the earth's atmosphere.
"The units with 404A are performing beautifully," said Birk. "They provide the same effective protection as the R-502 systems and there have been no maintenance problems."