Friday was Earth Day. The 46th time we have taken a day to honor Mother Earth. The first time was in 1970 when people were just beginning to be aware of the connection between pollution and public health and how the things we do effect the environment.
Since then the government has “helped” the trucking industry lessen its impact on the environment. And while we have not always liked the timing or cost of the things we have been asked to do, we have complied and in some cases gone beyond what was asked. In fact, I think we are better off because of it.
Getting more miles out of a gallon of diesel fuel is good for the environment. No doubt about that. But it is also good for a fleet’s bottom line…regardless of the price of that diesel fuel. That’s why today even in the face of lower diesel fuel prices truck builders continue to focus on making their trucks more aerodynamic and why they continue to participate in things like the DOE SuperTruck program, so they can learn just how far you can stretch a gallon of diesel. And it is also why component manufacturers continue to tweak their products to take weight out of them or to make them more efficient or any number of things that help the truck overall consume less fuel.
Perhaps even more impressively there are individual truckers who have changed their driving behavior in order to squeeze every last tenth of a mile out a gallon of diesel.
Trucking often gets a bad rap in the general public and there are still folks out there who think that trucks still billow black smoke. The reality, as you all know, is quite different. We are almost to the point where the air coming out of the exhaust is cleaner than the air going in.
I’m always proud to be a part of the trucking industry. But on Friday I was exceptionally proud of the efforts all of us in the trucking industry have made and are continuing to make to ensure that Mother Earth gets the respect she deserves so we, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all can breathe freely for years to come.