Money Saving and Emissions Reducing Implementations for Fleets

By Jake Mil­lan:

I see exam­ples every day of ways fleets can reduce oper­at­ing costs, while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly reduc­ing car­cino­genic emis­sions, as well as over­all petro­le­um con­sump­tion. One of the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties to do this is by address­ing idle reduc­tion.

The US uses over one bil­lion gal­lons of diesel in trucks that are by def­i­n­i­tion “not mov­ing.” Some of that is to pow­er spe­cial­ized HDVs, and cold weath­er nights in long haul trucks. These issues are being addressed with hybridized HDVs, and through the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of truck stops. The low hang­ing fruit here is unnec­es­sary idling, which is often done in sen­si­tive air qual­i­ty nonat­tain­ment areas.

For sev­er­al decades in the diesel engine com­mu­ni­ty, the thought process went like this: “It’s cheap­er to burn more diesel fuel, rather than replace the starter.” This think­ing occurred when diesel fuel was cheap and bat­ter­ies were far less pow­er­ful than today. Now, once a diesel engine is warm, mod­ern bat­ter­ies give the start­ing motor plen­ty of pow­er to restart the engine eas­i­ly. Cur­rent­ly, there are sev­er­al GPS tech­nolo­gies on the mar­ket that can inform fleet man­agers when dri­vers are idling exces­sive­ly, speed­ing, or tak­ing the wrong route. At the very least, talk to your dri­vers and edu­cate them about the col­lec­tive ben­e­fits of turn­ing your truck off when you are stopped as these seem­ing­ly small imple­men­ta­tions can make a big dif­fer­ence.

Idle reduc­tion is just one exam­ple of inno­va­tion by mak­ing smarter and more effi­cient deci­sions. The time has come to stop doing things because “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” and to start think­ing about what makes sense.

Jake Mil­lan works in Busi­ness Devel­op­ment for Pro­pel Fuels.

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