In 2014, transportation contributed more than 25% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions, second only to electricity’s 30%. Since most fuel is based on petroleum, it’s easy to see where the greenhouse gases came from. You may already be taking steps to try and reduce your own carbon footprint by taking public transportation or carpooling to work instead of taking your own car, but what if work involves managing even a small fleet of trucks?
Fortunately, there are ways to make small but effective changes that can help reduce that fleet’s contribution to greenhouse gases, like checking whether or not those tractor trucks for sale are the newer, more fuel-efficient models. That said, here are a few tips for making your trucks more eco-friendly.
Train your fleet drivers
Lessening engine idling time, accelerating slower and not speeding, and going easier on the brakes can help maximize fuel efficiency for trucks when they’re on the road, helping you lower operating costs at the same time. If all your fleet drivers can learn how to conserve fuel while driving, that’s a big step in the right direction, especially if the fleet is a sizable one.
You can go a step further by setting a number of “green points” for your fleet to try and meet every month. You’ll have to pinpoint instances of speeding, pointless idling, and hard brakes, all of which will cause the fleet to lose points. Telematics will also help you identify instances of fuel-efficient driving, which will then earn points. When your drivers each feel individually responsible for the fleet’s ability to meet the environmental goals, they’re more likely to put in the effort necessary.
Upgrade and maintain your trucks
Speaking of telematics, you can add the technology to the trucks to help track equipment issues and any need for maintenance or repair. Regular maintenance can help ensure that your fleet trucks are as efficient as possible, which will help lessen your carbon footprint.
Also, even if you can’t afford to go fully electric, you can install tractor and trailer add-ons to make the trucks more aerodynamic. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a roof fairing minimizes wind drag and noise while also reducing fuel consumption by up to 10%. Meanwhile, a gap reducer eliminates the drag between tractor and trailer and can cut consumption by up to 3%. Those numbers may seem small, but they add up over time.
Plan your fleet’s routes better
GPS mapping software can help you and your drivers choose the shortest route possible and reroute around traffic where necessary. Optimizing trucking routes will fulfill deliveries more efficiently, reduce the miles your fleet will have to travel, and significantly lower fuel consumption as a result.
Telematics can also help you choose which drivers to fulfill a job, by seeing where they’re located and choosing the ones closest to delivery or pickup spots.
If this seems like too much work, remember that trucks use more fuel than your average car, and therefore produce the most greenhouse gases as a result of burning that fuel. Therefore, making changes for even a single truck to become more fuel-efficient will make a bigger difference. An entire fleet of fuel-efficient trucks, therefore, can make a big difference to a business’s carbon footprint.
You don’t even have to make the changes all at once; there’s nothing wrong with upgrading your fleet gradually. Plus, with most people willing to buy more from or work with companies that are committed to having a positive impact on the environment, making your fleet’s trucks more environmentally friendly will be well worth the investment.