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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogNot only does caring for the environment help the planet, learning how to reduce your emissions and utilize energy more efficiently will help defray costs and wear on your trucks. A big rig has more demands on it than a standard truck. Some of the same techniques that work on smaller trucks still apply when you’re trying to make your rigs more energy efficient, though. The nature of trucking means that massive amounts of fuel and paper are used, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to cut back. Here are some of the methods that you can employ in order to improve your fleet’s energy efficiency while they’re on the road. Save the Trees Even though the ELD mandate deadline hasn’t arrived yet, it’s still time to start having your drivers track their hours on the road on their phones instead of on paper. You can massively reduce the paper waste created by truckers by simply switching to electronic documentation. Also, you can encourage your drivers to carry a bag in their trucks to throw away paper and plastic products. These can be dropped off at gas stations and truck stops with recycling areas. Drivers should also be encouraged to bring reusable containers for your food. You’d be surprised at the amount of trash from snacks and waste products your fleet can go through in a year. You will also be eligible for tax breaks and discounts for recycling products, so it will be putting money back into your pocket as well. Pay Attention to Mileage Fuel prices and maintenance costs continue to climb in the industry, so finding ways to increase your fuel mileage is paramount. Selecting the right octane of fuel in order to maximize your engine’s efficiency is the first place to start. It can also help to look into the best and worst truck engines. This is what your big rigs are going to need to keep it going for all of those miles. Plan your routes in advance to maximize fuel efficiency, and have your drivers practice consistent acceleration. Braking and accelerating suddenly wastes more gas than maintaining a steady speed. And of course, keep careful tracks of fuel usage and expenses. What you find can help you determine where you can pinch to cut excess fuel usage. Conserve electricity All of the accessories and electricity used on engine startup can work to drain a truck’s battery. The problem with causing this level of stress to a truck battery is that it can wear down faster over time. This is definitely not good for the environment over the long run, or for your efficiency. Choose a battery that can last for as long as possible. Select a commercial battery supplier that sells top-rated brands so that you can find the right battery to keep your truck running. Try to reduce idling time and turn your trucks off when they don’t need to be running. If your routes are not too far, you can even consider integrating electric vehicles into your fleet, or another form of fuel-efficient rig. Perform Maintenance Keeping up with maintenance will also help to improve your fleet’s efficiency. Replacing air filters and changing the oil on a regular schedule ensures that your engines can operate at an optimal level. Regular tune-ups will need to be performed so that wear and tear doesn’t start to break down your engine’s ability to function properly over time. Make sure your drivers check the engines after each trip so that you can stay on top of any issues before they can develop into a problem. Using some common-sense approaches will work to improve your fleet’s energy efficiency. Use these tips to help you navigate the green trucking world.
BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogCars, trucks and other vehicles have traditionally used unleaded fuel or diesel for at least the last few decades, but this is changing. The push to reduce carbon footprints and to minimize negative effects on the environment is reaching into the auto industry. There are now more electric, hybrid and natural gas vehicles on the road than ever before. These are private-use vehicles as well as commercial delivery vehicles, city buses and more. At first glance, the green vehicle initiative seemingly has minimal impact on professional drivers. However, with a closer look, you can see that this is a major change that can have far-reaching effects on professionals who rely on vehicles for their livelihood. Upgrade Your Vehicle If you are one of many professional drivers who own your own business-use vehicle, you may need to make a vehicle upgrade soon. Green vehicles may have a more expensive sticker price in some cases, but they also typically are much more affordable to operate. As a contractor using a vehicle for professional purposes, you may need to keep overhead as low as possible so that you can charge competitive rates to your customers. Professional drivers who own their own vehicle may range for ridesharing drivers to professional big rig truck drivers. Keep in mind that you may need to update your truck driving certifications when you change the type of commercial vehicle that you drive. Adjust to Alternative Fuel Sources At most gas stations, the primary options at the pump continue to be unleaded and diesel fuel. Some gas stations are transitioning to offering alternative fuel sources and even electric charging stations, but these fuel stations are few and far between in most areas. With this in mind, professional drivers who have already upgraded to alternative fuel vehicles may need to plan ahead by researching locations for refueling along their route. It may not be feasible to simply plan to stop at any gas station that you come across when you drive a green vehicle. Revise Your Budget Driving a green vehicle for business can affect your operational budget in numerous ways. For example, you may have a higher auto loan payment because of the generally higher price of a green vehicle. Your fuel expense likely will decrease dramatically. Any change in your vehicle may also affect your auto insurance premium in different ways. Because upgrading to a green vehicle can have a significant impact on your business budget, it is wise to review finances before making an upgrade. Also relevant to your budget is the continued availability of certain vehicles. If you set out to make the switch to green vehicles, you may find that the selection differs from what you and your employees are certified to drive. This can mean paying for something like an auto heavy rigid vehicle course on top of replacing vehicles. While this doesn’t have to prevent you from making the change, it should be considered so you are adequately prepared. For many drivers, investing in a green vehicle now makes sense. However, you should explore options, crunch numbers and think through the impact that this may have on your daily work experience before you finalize your vehicle upgrading plans.
BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogModern cars are greener than ever before, and drivers have a wide array of great cars that sip fuel compared to their older counterparts. For some tasks, however, nothing can beat a truck. There’s no need to give up on reducing your impact on the environment just because you depend on a truck, though. Here are a few ways you can be eco-conscious when you need a truck. Watch Your Speed Large engines can give trucks surprising speed, especially when driven unloaded. However, excessive acceleration can lead to wasted gas, reducing your fuel efficiency and increasing emissions. Accelerate fast enough to drive safely, but take it easy when the light turns green. Try to coast to avoid stopping if possible. Any time you come to a complete stop, you lose fuel efficiency. Coasting to stoplights might let you maintain some speed when the light turns green, which uses less gas than accelerating up to the speed limit. Trucks, and cars, typically hit their efficiency sweet spot between 45 and 60 miles per hour, so stay in that range whenever possible. Focus on Maintenance Maintaining your truck is essential for extending its lifespan, but it also leads to better fuel efficiency and less wasted energy. Regularly check your tire pressure, as even small deviations from recommended values can waste energy. When you purchase a truck, make sure to read up on its maintenance schedule carefully, as failing to replace parts at the recommended intervals may decrease your fuel economy. Oil changes can have a small impact on fuel efficiency, but air filters can have a major impact, so make sure to keep your filters fresh. Aside from fuel efficiency, regular maintenance ensures that your truck doesn’t leak oil or other chemicals that are bad for the environment. Plan Ahead A bit of planning can go a long way. Make sure you know where your destination is; missing an exit, for example, will waste fuel along with time. If you’re going to be busy moving items, plan out your schedule in advance so you can fit as much as possible in the bed. Trucks are designed to haul heavy loads, and even though they decrease your fuel economy, one heavy load is far more efficient than two lighter loads. If you’re transporting people, make sure you know where everyone is going before departing to avoid any confusion that might require you to stop or reroute. Although they aren’t as efficient as cars, trucks play a critical role in reducing automotive emissions by reducing the number of trips needed to transport items, and many green jobs are reliant on trucks. Fortunately, there are steps drivers can take to make their trucks even more efficient, and building green habits will have a significant effect over the years.