Trucking isn’t exactly known as a green industry. Every day, huge tractor trailers put thousands of miles on the road and consume huge amounts of fuel and oil. They also dump tons of carbon dioxide and other emissions into the air.
Yet trucking is an important industry, serving a major role in our economy. Its role cannot be diminished, but the industry can be improved so that its impact on the environment is lessened. Some changes are already being made.
Here are a few ways that trucking is becoming a greener industry:
Streamlined Invoicing Practices
Truckers have to spend a great deal of time managing invoices — especially those who work as independent contractors, which is a large majority.
Streamlined invoicing practices like TBS trucking factoring help truckers to save time and resources. Factoring services pay out the invoices and then manage collection. These services free truckers up to do work and provide them the cash flow to make improvements to their operation, such as by upgrading to an eco-friendly rig.
Factoring services also save a lot of paperwork and other resources involved in sending out invoices and tracking down payments.
Improved Fuel Technology
While the technology is not yet widespread, there are tractor trailers that are now using alternative fuels. These eco-fuels help to reduce the demand for natural resources like oil and petroleum. Instead, they use resources that are easily renewable, such as corn.
Other tractor trailers have hybrid technology, which uses regular gas and electric power. The electric power helps to reduce the consumption of gas.
It may be a long time before this technology is widespread in the industry, but it is a promising eco-friendly advancement.
Changes to Improve Fuel Efficiency
Even if we don’t have widespread use of hybrid technology or alternative fuels, the trucking industry is still making eco-friendly advancements by encouraging changes that improve fuel efficiency.
For example, there is a push to change the maximum speed limit for tractor trailers to 65 mph instead of 70 mph. Even this slight decrease in speed can add up to five percent more fuel mileage. The decrease in speed can also lower the amount of emissions produced.
Trucking companies are also trying to conserve on fuel consumption by encouraging drivers to change habits, such as by engaging in progressive shifting (changing gears early while accelerating) and by avoiding quick starts and stops.
If drivers plan out their routes better, they can make their routes more efficient and cut out a lot of miles (and gas consumption).
All of these changes can add up to big reductions in fuel consumption across the board.
Caring for the Engine
Advances in technology can also protect against energy loss.
Truck drivers spend a lot of time idling — either in line at weigh stations, while making a quick stop at a store, or just getting some food from a drive in. Even if you’re idling, the engine is consuming gas. New technology includes computer controls that shut off the engine after three minutes of idling to save on gas.
Other advancements allow drivers to enjoy the radio, air conditioning and other features inside the cabin without running the full engine and draining fuel.
A number of equipment changes are helping to improve fuel efficiency in trucks and reduce waste.
For example, aerodynamic panels can help to reduce drag, which will also reduce fuel consumption. Wide-base tires can help to reduce fuel consumption, as well.
Other changes include low-viscosity lubricants that reduce friction and tire-pressure systems that help to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.
Some engines are being developed that are also more fuel efficient and that produce less waste. Improve exhaust systems can also reduce the emissions and waste that a truck produces.
Alone, some of the advancements may only produce small changes. Yet, taken together, they make a huge impact. Taken together across the whole of the trucking industry, they make a big difference to the planet. As a trucker, you can feel good about the work you are doing and the difference you are making. You can also make personal changes to your driving habits that improve your impact.