Earth Day salute: Three tips to cut fuel use, costs for fleets

With tomorrow being Earth Day, fleet management systems provider Omnitracs is sharing some tips on how fleets can take proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact — and boost their own bottom lines at the same time, driving efficiency and reducing costs.

The company sets it up with this image: When you think of the trucking industry 10 years ago, you probably think of something like a semi barreling down the highway, guzzling gas and leaving behind a thick trail of exhaust — an environmental disaster. But over the past few decades, between increased environmental regulations and fleet owners looking to cut fuel costs, some revolutionary changes have taken place, and there's always room for improvement, Omnitracs notes.

Here are three tips from the company's Cyndi Brant, senior director of product marketing and Wes Mays, director of OEM solutions.

1. Monitor consistently. Use a tire pressure monitoring system to keep your tires at the proper operating inflation pressure. Not only will this ensure your trucks are properly maintained, it will also optimize fuel economy.

2. Take advantage of an advanced routing system. Advanced routing systems such as Roadnet Anywhere can help minimize your total number of miles traveled, thus reducing the total amount of fuel used. Keep in mind that a few miles can add up quickly!

On average, medium- to heavy-duty trucks get 6.5 mpg. If your fleet has 100 routes a day, and you can reduce 2 miles off each route every day, that’s saving 200 delivery miles, or 30 gal. of fuel every day. Added up over a year, this eliminates more than 219,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

3. Embrace new and upcoming technology. Have you heard of platooning? If you haven't yet, chances are you will soon. This technology synchronizes braking and acceleration between pairs of trucks through the integration of vehicle-to-vehicle communications with state-of-the-art, radar-based collision avoidance systems, enabling the trucks to travel safely at aerodynamic following distances.

Peloton and Omnitracs have partnered together to bring this technology to the roads this year, generating 4.5% fuel savings for the lead truck and 10% for the following truck in a two-truck platoon.

 

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