by Pride Transport | Jul 02, 2020
Environmentally aware, eco-friendly, green, no matter how you say it, we’re becoming more and more aware that we need to be taking better care of mother earth. We are recycling, repurposing, and reusing more. We’re planting trees, cleaning up waterways, and making a serious effort to preserve and protect the environment. For ourselves now and for the future of our kids and the planet.
Like many industries, the trucking industry is facing challenges and changes in an attempt to stay in step with the new environmentally conscious way of the world. It’s not easy. The EPA states that medium to heavy trucking accounts for about 23% of all greenhouse gases. We all know that without trucks and the men and women who drive them, this nation would simply grind to a halt so banning trucks from our roads is, thankfully, not an option.
Still, the industry takes a clean environment seriously and they certainly aren’t just shrugging their shoulders and saying what do you want us to do? Drivers, owner-operators, and carriers are always looking for ways to conserve and protect.
Some carriers use only top of the line trucks that are fuel-efficient and make taking the environment into account a no brainer. They also make sure their fleet is well maintained for maximum environmental cleanliness.
With the environment in mind, here are a few things that truck drivers can do to keep the environment healthy.
This is simple, turn the truck off when parked. Like shutting off the lights when you leave a room or powering down your computer at home or in the office. Use truck stops and take advantage of the electrification systems provided. These stations will help you with heating and a/c as well as help you power your appliances all while avoiding idling time. When you avoid needless idling, you’re no longer wasting diesel and you're keeping serious greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
Watch your acceleration and deceleration
This is a little tricky because it requires drivers to maintain a constant speed. Now, that would be simple if trucks were the only vehicles on the road, doesn’t that sound like heaven, but they aren’t. Other drivers that share the road with trucks are a factor here and it’s no secret that most car drivers don’t understand, among other things, that trucks cannot stop on a dime, like a bicycle. So truck drivers have to be hyper-aware. They need to be aware of traffic flow, look ahead in traffic and spot those brake lights, and do whatever they can to accelerate and decelerate smoothly and efficiently.
Speeding can really eat up fuel when you’re on the highway. Eating up fuel means more greenhouse gas emissions. The goal speed should be 65 MPH. Staying between 60 and 65, rather than popping up to 75 MPH can improve a truck’s MPG by about 27%. Better gas mileage means lower fuel costs and less pressure on the environment.
Keep your truck well maintained
It’s always the little things that actually make a big difference. Carriers and owner-operators should regularly maintain their vehicles. Make sure they’re operating with proper tire pressure and fuel levels. Stay on top of the oil and air filters and change them often to keep the engine running smoothly. And that goes for the oil itself too. Are they running with the proper level of clean oil? Make sure they are. All these little things are going to factor into better fuel efficiency. Better fuel efficiency will ultimately translate into a healthier environment.
Simply planning ahead when you start a route. It doesn’t seem like much but it improves efficiency and ensures that the truck is being used to capacity. It can also help you avoid bad weather if you have a clear and immediate backup route planned out. This is going to save you time and questioning and may help you get your load there ahead of schedule. A well-planned route can also avoid added drive time and help avoid messy traffic jams.
Fill up in the morning
Start the day with a fresh cup of joe and a fill-up of your tanks. Fuel expands in the heat and mornings usually have lower temperatures. So, if you fill up first thing in the morning, you’re going to be able to squeeze more fuel in. This is going to cut down on how much you’ll have to stop and fill up during the day. Save fuel, save greenhouse gas emissions.
Use an ELD
It’s a small thing but using an ELD, electronic logging device, just saves on paper. No more paper logs is going to mean a lot less wasted paper, which means more trees standing, which allows the air to be naturally filtered of carbon dioxide. Less paper, cleaner air. Also, the ELD law was passed in 2016 so, if you’re still using paper logs, sorry but, you’re out of compliance.
Lower your AC
When you rely heavily on your truck’s a/c, you increase fuel consumption by 0.2-0.4 miles per gallon. Now, you cannot stop using the a/c altogether, that’s insane. But, you can be a little more judicious when you do and don’t use it. Mornings are a good time to roll down the windows and let the fresh air clear out the cab.
Recycle your tires
Trucks can go through a lot, I mean a lot of tires. Owner-operators and carriers can do their part by recycling tires as often as possible. Not sure how or where to do this, no problem. Check out https://earth911.com/. They have information on where and how to recycle old tires and more information about how to drive more eco-friendly.
It seems unfair, truck drivers already do so much for us as a country. They keep us supplied and up and running, working day and night, holidays, and during times when they are forced to miss family events. Now, we seem to be asking them to lead the charge when it comes to environmentally conscious driving.
But, when you think about it, truck drivers have always been leaders. They have always worked hard to set an example through sacrifice and effort. Maybe we lean on them so much because they never let us down. Now, we’re asking them to lead again, and once again, we know they’ll do their very best.