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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Trucking & Logistics for Efficiency, Fuel Savings, and Air Quality

A Trucker's Green Transportation Solution List

Bettering the quality of life for the population as a whole and the driving population of over the road truckers

Find green business solutions
long haul reefer truck Perry Litchfield is an experienced refrigerated long-haul driver who also has been a mechanic and automotive enthusiast for most of his life. He makes the following observations about how to improve trucking and the environment with cost-saving strategies.

A Trucker's Viewpoint

The things I would consider paramount to bettering the quality of life for the population as a whole and the driving population of over the road truckers in specific, are contained herein.

The transportation industry is besieged with issues which are not conducive to the environment. Some of these issues are controlled by the drivers of vehicles, some are controlled by owners of the vehicles. Of the issues controllable by the driver, I feel education of what will increase productivity and lower fuel burn is a starting point.

Some of those solutions which can be learned by the DRIVER include:

Progressive shifting

  • Shift using just enough speed to progress to the higher gear.
  • Use the highest possible gear that will maintain road speed.

The torque range of his/her particular vehicle

  • Proper operation of equipment is essential.

Practical routing

  • The shortest routing does not always yield the best economy.
  • Routes with many increases/decreases in speed limits, as well as many traffic lights can actually cause poorer mileage as well as longer drive time.

Vehicle idling

  • In a traffic snarl, turn the engine off. Set brakes.
  • While eating in a restaurant, or while in a truck stop, turn the engine off.

Some of the issues controlled by the TRUCK OWNER include:

  • Proper maintenance
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Good HVAC systems aboard
  • Auxiliary power for driver comfort while resting
  • Qualified dispatching service
  • Effective Training and HR procedures
Taking all the above into account, and applying what I have discovered, observed and heard in the 24+ years I have under my belt [on the road], these areas are most concerning to a driver.

Top Long-Haul Trucking Solutions

Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) can and will continue to ease air pollution, as well as lower maintenance costs and aid driver comfort.

Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) is a non-foreign energy source of fuel which also eases toxic output from engines.

LED lights last longer, use less electricity [thereby decreasing the workload of the electrical system of the vehicle] and are much more visible.

Aerodynamic buffers to make blunt surfaces smoother.

SUMMARY

Trucking is the artery system of goods delivery in the United States. Only by tackling the SYSTEM of how the components of that system work and how many goods we expect to have flow to our communities or our doorsteps can we reduce the number of trucks on the road...or the speed at which we expect them to drive. Or the cost. Or the environmental impact of shipping as a whole. Trucking is only one component of the goods movement system -- rail, shipping, air, storage and distribution are also significant contributors to the system.

By addressing both the purpose of trucking and the methods of trucking, we can address this transportation system effectively.



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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