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Home National & State Parks Other NPs Hybrid Tractors Arrive For Pulling Yosemite Tour Trailers

Hybrid Tractors Arrive For Pulling Yosemite Tour Trailers

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Four hybrid electric/diesel tractors that will be used for the popular tours of the floor of Yosemite Valley at Yosemite National Park in California were unveiled on July 30, 2009, and the new units will offer better fuel economy and reduced emissions.

Acting Yosemite National Park superintendent Dave Uberuaga and DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. chief operating officer Dan Jensen cut the welcome ribbon during ceremonies as 60 park visitors embarked on their tour of Yosemite Valley.

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The state-of-the-art tractors, purchased by DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc., at a cost of $150,000 each, pull trailers for the two-hour tour narrated by an NPS ranger. The tractors and engines were manufactured by the International Harvester Corporation and the hybrid drives were manufactured by the Eaton Corporation. The new vehicles replaced propane powered vehicles used to pull the trailers.

"We are very proud of these new vehicles and take great pride in leading by example. Going green is incredibly important to the park," said Uberauga.

On the two-hour tour, Rangers introduce some of Yosemite's most famous sightseeing points in Yosemite Valley and describe the history, geology, plant and animal life of the region.

This year-round Yosemite Valley Floor tour provides a fuller knowledge and enjoyment of the park. Open-air trams operate from late Spring through early Fall. Late October through April, visitors ride in an enclosed and heated motor coach with large windows allowing unimpeded views of Yosemite's famous sights.

The new tractors will reduce emissions by 85 percent and get 800 percent better fuel economy than the previous vehicles.

This addition complements Yosemite National Park's fleet of 16 hybrid shuttle buses (also electric/diesel) that are used in Yosemite Valley and Wawona. Approximately 70,000 Yosemite National Park visitors take the tour of the floor of Yosemite Valley each year.

Yosemite National Park in the High Sierra, one of the first wilderness parks in the United States, is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, visitors can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.


 
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