Slower Trucks Could Save 31.5M Tons Of CO2 Emissions

by | May 9, 2008

truck.jpgThe American Trucking Associations has launched the first-ever industry-wide environmental sustainability program under the banner Trucks Deliver a Cleaner Tomorrow.

ATA has produced a report (exec summary) and is making six recommendations to reduce fuel consumption.

The plan calls for governors on new trucks to limit speeds to no more than 68 mph, a call to reduce the national speed limit to 65 mph for all vehicles, and industry participation in the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership Program. Also on the list is reducing engine idling, improving highways, using more productive truck combinations, and setting fuel economy standards for trucks.

“ATA has committed itself to a series of measures that can reduce fuel consumption by 86 billion gallons and CO2 emissions by 900 million tons for all vehicles over the next 10 years,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves.

In addition to the environmental benefits, Graves said that today’s skyrocketing diesel prices gave the association an added incentive to roll the program out.

Last summer, PHH FirstFleet announced the results of a fuel study of U.S. truck fleets in the grocery, manufacturing, fuel and retail markets

In other trucking news, Con-way Truckload has invested in new technologies and practices in an ongoing effort to reduce its impact on the environment, CNNMoney reports.

The company is:

  • Switching to fuel-efficient single wide-base tires on all tractors for a savings of 0.2 miles per gallon, with all trailers to follow by the end of 2012;
  • Using special engine and drive train lubricants to increase operating efficiency;
  • Lowering each truck’s weight by more than 670 pounds resulting in savings of 11,400 gallons of diesel fuel per year;
  • Equipping the fleet with aerodynamic panels to reduce drag; and
  • Reducing idling time through measures such as diesel-fired bunk heaters, commercial transponders for bypassing weigh stations, increasing the use of team drivers and designating convenient “no idling” parking areas at selected terminals.

The company announced in March that it was reducing the maximum speed of its 2,700-tractor trailer fleet from 70 to 65 mph in support of a sustainability initiative at parent company Con-way Inc.

Through the speed adjustment, the company expects to save 2.8 million gallons of diesel fuel per year, while reducing annual carbon emissions by approximately 62 million pounds. The savings represent the equivalent of removing 6,300 passenger cars from America’s highways.

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