With more and more businesses opening each day, the demand for the trucking and delivery services is believed to also increase. Why? Many companies will need to deliver goods to their business partners/customers and restock their shelves. They can’t do this without the help of trucking businesses and their services.
Furthermore, another reason for the increasing demand for trucking services is the prevalence of online selling. As more people shop online, trucking companies will have to operate in different locations to address the logistical undertaking behind online shopping.
Unfortunately, the rapid growth of the trucking industry comes with one glaring disadvantage: environmental degradation. According to the IEA (International Energy Agency), the transportation industry is accountable for around 37% of CO2 emissions worldwide. As the effects of global warming are becoming harder and harder to dismiss, it’s high time that trucking businesses take action to reduce their carbon footprint and make their business operations sustainable.
Sustainable Trucking Business 101
If you’re an entrepreneur running a trucking business and are looking to gear towards an eco-friendlier paradigm, here are some strategies to help you out:
1. Prioritize And Improve Fuel Efficiency
The main source of pollution for trucking businesses comes from vehicle engines burning gasoline and diesel fuel.
Burning diesel fuel produces harmful and destructive byproducts like hydrocarbons, benzene, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide (CO). One way to reduce your trucks’ carbon footprint is by prioritizing and improving fuel efficiency.
Here are a few options to improve fuel efficiency and make your trucks eco-friendlier:
- Add catalytic converters like DOCs (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst) to your trucks’ engines.
DOC is designed for all types of diesel engines. It passively converts your engine’s harmful emissions (e.g., carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, etc.) into carbon dioxide and water, eventually reducing your truck’s carbon footprint. Plus, you may do more reading on what DOCs do to understand how they make your trucks cleaner and more efficient.
- Regularly check and maintain your trucks for peak efficiency.
Regular truck maintenance may include changing the vehicles’ oil with the correct oil grade, checking/cleaning the fuel filters, and monitoring engine performance. All these can extend your truck’s lifespan and significantly impact the overall fuel efficiency.
- Inspect your tires.
Underinflated tires can impact your trucks’ fuel efficiency as well, leading to more wasted fuel. Inspect your tires regularly and ensure the pressure reaches the standard PSI levels. Additionally, avoid over-inflating your tires beyond the recommended pressure to prevent decreased tire life.
Your trucks’ fuel makes the most of your business’s expenses and carbon emissions. Taking action to improve fuel efficiency will make your trucking business more sustainable and helpful to the environment.
2. Plan A More Time- And Fuel-Saving Route For Your Truck Drivers
Another way you can make your trucking business more planet-friendly is by optimizing your drivers’ routes. Before you let your drivers go their separate ways to their assigned destinations, plan their itineraries and find routes that’ll help them skip traffic and reach their destinations in the shortest time possible.
Consider installing technology systems like Global Positioning System (GPS)-powered devices on all your trucks to locate which drivers are the closest to the target destination and assign that driver to complete the job.
You can also use GPS to monitor which roads have the highest traffic and inform your drivers ahead of time so they can go to an alternative route with minimum traffic, saving them time and fuel.
3. Educate Your Staff On Improving Their Trucks’ Efficiency
Your drivers’ driving habits can significantly impact your trucking business’s sustainability too. So, ensure your drivers undergo proper training and orientation about sustainable driving habits. For example, teach them about the environmental dangers of idling and how to minimize it. Parking their truck on the side while leaving the engine on can lead to more carbon emissions and wasted fuel.
Encourage your workers to strategically plan their breaks and remind them how idling engines impact the environment. If they need to stop driving and park for 10 seconds for personal reasons, they must turn off the engine to avoid wasting fuel and producing carbon emissions. The installed GPS can be used to monitor your drivers’ driving habits and performance as well. Or, you can use telematics systems to track your trucks’ performances in real time, including idle time and fuel usage.
Besides reducing their idling time, your drivers can improve their trucks’ efficiency and make your business more sustainable by driving slowly and steadily. When drivers rapidly start or stop their trucks, this can use and waste too much fuel.
Driving at high speed increases fuel consumption. Train your drivers about the recommended driving speed and proper acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle.
4. Look For Alternative Fuel Sources
If you want to take a massive step (or change) to make your trucking business sustainable, consider looking for alternative and eco-friendly fuel sources. Here are two of the common sustainable fuel sources for trucking companies:
- Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
This is a clean-burning fuel suitable for light- and heavy-duty trucks. It’s cheaper than diesel fuel and has lower carbon emissions.
This type of fuel is extracted from plant-based materials (corn, vegetable oil, etc.). You can use them on diesel engine trucks with minor modifications required.
Putting these tips and strategies into practice can significantly improve your trucking company’s sustainability. Besides helping preserve the environment, you can also enhance your business operations and save on operational costs. Starting today, implement these tips for a more sustainable future.