High fuel consumption is one of the commercial transportation industry’s largest concerns, both for the high cost and emissions impact on our environment. We all rely on our truckers to provide our nation with the goods it needs to function, and because of this the environmental impact has been overshadowed. Recently, there has been an increased focus on this growing issue, including The Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program launched in 2004. This program was designed to offer some solutions our truckers can utilize to decrease their own carbon footprint. Though the implication of many green technologies has been slow, our truckers and trucking companies are continually moving in the right direction as they see the long term benefits for our environment and their wallet. Here are a few technologies our truckers can take advantage of now to help reduce their fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, as well as reduce cost spent on fuel.
Predictive Cruise Control
Larger trucking companies often employ some variation of a speed governor that limits high speeds on the road. This tactic improves fuel economy by regulating a truck’s speed to about 65mph. Cruise control helps in a similar manner, allowing our truckers to maintain a chosen speed. However, Predictive Cruise Control (PCC) takes this technology a little further by utilizing a GPS system that regulates a truck’s speed for maximum fuel capacity based on upcoming terrain changes. Although many of our more experienced truckers already use this tactic manually, Predictive Cruise Control makes this effortless. This technology is fairly new, but experts are hopeful for its promised fuel consumption reduction.
Low Rolling Resistance Tires
You’ve probably already witnessed this technology whether you realize it or not. Many of the electric of hybrid cars of today utilize low rolling resistance tires. They use less energy as they roll, and thus, consume less fuel. According to the US Department of Energy, “5-15 percent of light-duty fuel consumption is used to overcome rolling resistance for passenger cars. For commercial trucks, this quantity can be as high as 15-30 percent.” Additionally, they are not significantly more expensive than traditional tires, especially when you consider the potential cost and emission benefit.
These relatively low-cost modifications to the body of the trailer improve aerodynamics so that there is less drag, which in turn means less fuel is consumed. Our California truckers are probably already aware of the necessity of this technology. Testing proves these to have a good enough reduction of fuel consumption that costs to outfit a commercial vehicle with them will be recuperated quickly.
All of our truckers have gotten lost once or twice. Not only is this frustrating, it may also create an unnecessary consumption of fuel. Having a good commercial driving GPS on board can save a lot of headaches and potential miles. Commercial GPS systems are a little more advanced than your consumer GPS systems- providing routes specifically for commercial drivers and accounting for obstacles such as road clearances and limits. Spending extra time finding your way can cost both the environment and your pocketbook.