The truth is, truck drivers of all size vehicles can benefit quite a bit from trying to “Go Green.” At home, work and on the road, an increasing amount of truck drivers and fleet owners are working to improve their sustainability while helping the environment.
Heavy Duty Trucking magazine recently honored the 50 Top Green Fleets (November, 2014 issue). What was interesting about the article was how each fleet used a green mentality in a different way as a means to attaining different goals.
Many of the fleets had multi-year plans on how to help the environment through sustainability efforts. The common threads of most of the fleets were: Developing alternative fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions or using lighter-weight/aerodynamic equipment to improve miles per gallon.
What was similar for all fleets, and all truck drivers in general, is that no matter how much the price of gasoline and diesel drops, fuel will always be a major expense. So any efforts toward sustainability and savings were a huge help to the bottom line. Also, going green is fantastic for a fleet owner’s image, with customers, shippers and the public.
But while many of these fleets are investing in long-term plans, there are many things fleet managers, independent owner-operators and shop managers can do to help the environment and your bottom-line immediately.
Many of the best tips aren’t earth-shattering ideas but tie back to solid fuel saving best practices. Adhering to them can go a long way in your overall efforts of becoming more environmentally friendly and improving sustainability.
Want an example of a simple change that paid off big? According to the HDT article, the City of Santa Ana, California’s trucking fleet has had a strict engine idling policy since 2010 and the result has been $400,000 in savings and huge cuts in emissions.
Take a look at these five best practices you should embrace to start going green.
– ENGINE CHECKUPS: According to Ryderfleetproducts.com, fixing an out of tune engine improves its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Also, you can improve your mileage by up to 40 percent by fixing serious engine problems and performing regular tune-ups.
– AIR FILTERS: Air filters keep impurities from damaging your engine and a clean one can improve fuel mileage up to 10 percent. So by replacing your air filter, you save gas and protect your engine.
– TIRE PRESSURE: According to Ryder Fleet Products, under-inflated tires lower gas mileage by “0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure for all four tires.” Properly inflated tires improve gas mileage on average of 3.3 percent. The bottom-line is inflated tires are safer and longer lasting.
– OIL GRADE: Don’t cut corners by using the wrong grade of motor oil. The manufacturers recommend a particular grade for a reason, and you can improve your mileage by up to two percent if you use the right one. Also, try to buy motor oil with “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol. These oils contain additives that reduce friction.
– SMART DRIVING: Whether it’s speeding or rapid accelerating followed by braking, aggressive driving wastes gas. In fact, it can lower mileage by 33 percent. Be safe and save.
Many of these tips not only help you start down the path of more sustainability while helping the environment, but they’re also just great ideas for staying safe.
Be sure to make these practices a habit and the benefits will be huge on an annual, and even longer, basis.
And when you need any maintenance work or parts for your truck, be sure to think of North Dixie Truck and Trailer, Inc. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 419-222-8785 (parts) or 419-221-3750 (maintenance) for everything you need.