Green Machine: Technology for Truckers

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.

Aerodynamic Fairings

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.

Do You Need Workers Compensation?

Truck drivers face special risks in the work they perform, and workers compensation insurance for commercial transportation is designed to protect employees in the case of accidents or injuries they may suffer on the job. Workers compensation is mandated for employers and is designed to provide coverage for the loss of wages, medical expenses, disability, and in the case of death benefits for the employee’s beneficiary. If you employ drivers in your business, you are required to carry this coverage.

Commercial transportation drivers carry specific requirements related to workers compensation. For example, many truckers are regarded as independent contractors which differ from the needs of those classified as employees. Truck drivers often enjoy their freedom as an independent contractor and employers are required to provide appropriate workers compensation coverage for them, even though independent contractors can generally be excluded from normal compensation insurance programs.

There are commercial transportation workers compensation programs that are available in these situations that vary in the benefits they provide. Examples of these benefits include accidental death, total disability, and accidental dismemberment. They may also include specialized benefits for the trucking industry such as chiropractic, hernia and hemorrhoid benefits. It is important that you carry the appropriate coverage for your small business to keep you and your drivers protected. At Network Truck Insurance Services, we provide many options and programs to keep you safe. Call today for a free quote or contact your current agent to find out which workers compensation policy is right for you.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) vs. Stated Amount

Insurance policies can be a difficult to read and understand; especially if the client isn’t familiar with industry terms and aren’t fully educated on your policy prior to purchase. At Network Truck Insurance Services, our agents work tirelessly to ensure our clients understand their trucker insurance policy and their coverage. However, one area we commonly clarify is the basis in which the physical damage policy is written: Actual Cash Value or Stated Amount.

Actual Cash Value and Stated Amount are terms that refer to the method used to value a particular piece of equipment. Each system is very different, and important to understand in the event of a claim.

Actual Cash Value: This is a method of valuing equipment that many insurance companies offer to their fleet clients (clients operating 10 or more power units). At policy inception clients are required to provide a current equipment schedule that includes the general estimated value of their equipment. However, this is not the value relied upon in the event of a claim. Instead, in the event of physical damage to a truck or trailer, the adjuster will go into the marketplace and determine the value of the equipment on the date of loss. Should there be a total loss; the amount the equipment is worth on the day of the accident minus the applicable deductible will be paid. The benefit of this type of valuation on a physical damage policy is that there is no limit to the value of the equipment. It is simply worth what it is worth, no more and no less.

Stated Amount: This method of equipment valuation puts the responsibility of the reported value on the owner. The general premium of this policy is adjusted according to value of the truck or trailer. In the case of an accident, the adjuster will go into the marketplace and determine the value of the equipment on the date of loss. This is where stated amount comes into play. If the vehicle was stated to be valued at $10,000 by the owner, and upon an accident the adjuster finds the vehicle to be worth $20,000, only the stated $10,000 may be paid out. Likewise, if the equipment is overvalued, only the current value on the date of loss may be paid. It is important to maintain current values on all equipment with this type of policy, both to avoid over paying premium or incurring a financial loss should the vehicle or trailer be under insured.

Wondering if your physical damage policy is Actual Cash Value or Stated Value? Give us a call at 800-266-8789 and our expert agents or dedicated customer service team will answer your questions.