Going green

March 16, 2015
Environmental stewardship can help any size carrier

Going “green” requires finding business practices and activities within your company that can be adjusted to leave a more environmentally savvy footprint.  As a small motor carrier, you face the constant challenge of finding and landing quality freight-hauling opportunities. One way to have a leg up on your competition is to be greener than other carriers bidding on the same freight.

Many shippers and manufacturers are focused on reducing their carbon footprint. They’ve determined that being proactive can prepare them for potential regulations and customers who want to do business with companies that are environmentally friendly. One area they’re scrutinizing is how to get their products to market while reducing fuel and time. They’re looking for truckers who also have a reduced energy footprint to haul their products.

Now, not everything on the list of going green is financially viable for small or micro-carriers. But one point about being green is that whatever you can do has its benefits. While converting all your trucks to electric or natural gas probably isn’t possible, here’s a list of smaller, less drastic things to look at—each with the potential of reducing your costs.

1 Maintenance and repair of your rolling stock is crucial. Keep tires properly inflated and vehicle axles and tires aligned. Properly tune all vehicles; clean and change air and fuel filters at regular intervals; and institute a preventive maintenance program and complete it on time. In other words, keep your vehicles and trailers in top running condition as this contributes to lower fuel costs and reduced OTR downtime.

2Your office and shop are all part of that footprint (even if they’re located in your home). Tune up your heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system with an annual maintenance contract. Regularly change (or clean) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating seasons. Try to control direct sunlight filtering in through windows. When using air conditioning, block the sun from shining directly through the glass on the East and especially West sides of your facility. Use fans to maintain a comfortable temperature, humidity levels, and air movement. Plug leaks with weather stripping and caulking.

3 Reducing your electricity also saves money. Unplug appliances and machines when not in use. Switch to either LED or fluorescent lighting. Use timer or motion-sensor switches in storerooms, restrooms or any other areas you’re in and out of in a short period of time.

Being green is about being aware of your surroundings and identifying ways to reduce energy usage. And beyond reducing your energy footprint, you save money, too.

Contact Tim Brady at 731-749-8567 or at www.timothybrady.com

About the Author

Timothy Brady

Timothy Brady is an author, columnist, speaker and business coach who provides information, training and educational presentations for small to large trucking companies, logistics organizations and community groups. He’s the business editor for American Trucker Magazine, the “Answer Guy” for trucking education website TruckersU.com, an author and business editor for Write Up The Road Publishing & Media and freelance journalist. An expert in crafting solutions to industry challenges after 25 years in trucking, Brady’s held positions from company driver to owner-operator to small trucking business owner. Along with sales and business management, he has a well-rounded wealth of experience and knowledge.

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