Trucks move 70 percent of goods across America, and the trucking industry employs 3.5 million truckers. Unsurprisingly, when the costs of oil and gasoline rise, it spurs anxiety — and higher prices for goods and services. To combat ever-rising fuel prices, the trucking industry is shaving costs in creative ways. What are some of the inventive methods the trucking industry is using to go green and reduce dependency on oil?
1. Fuel Optimization Technology
Fuel optimization technology brings together all of the pieces that truckers need to save on gas and mileage in one convenient place. There’s a range of fuel optimization technology software, but at a base level, the technology offers truckers the ability to track fuel usage and up-to-the-moment fuel prices, then leverage fuel cards and fuel purchasing cooperatives to help truckers find cheap gas. According to Mile.com, even if only 50 percent of company drivers use fuel optimization technology, a trucking company can realize 35 to 60 percent more profits — and reduced fuel expense.
2. Fleet Tracking Software
Just as fuel optimization technology helps realize cost savings with fuel, fleet tracking software helps prevent equipment malfunction by tracking truck maintenance and vehicle diagnostics in real time. This represents a cost savings by reducing the rate of expensive on-the-road vehicle breakdowns. Improved diagnostics help fleet owners decide when to schedule preventative maintenance to keep vehicles in best working order, and offers immediate notification if problems arise.
3. Alternative Fuels
Part of the greening of the trucking industry includes broadening support for alternative fuels, such as natural gas and electricity. Siemens Corporation is developing e-highways, electric highways that support electric trucks. Meanwhile, natural gas stations are cropping up, and energy companies are partnering with fleet owners to get both natural gas and natural gas-equipped vehicles onto American highways. Natural gas represents a cost savings and environmental bonus. They may still be a minority on the roads, but look for the numbers of electric trucks and natural gas powered vehicles to increase, especially with the price of oil.
4. Investing in Healthy Workers
Because they spend most of their day sitting and driving, truck drivers often struggle with obesity, lack of sleep, and health problems exacerbated by both poor sleep and excess weight. Additionally, the trucking industry has a high turnover rate. Fleet owners are investing time in social media to attract younger workers, and they are also acknowledging the need to promote healthier eating and lifestyles for truckers.
5. Anti-Idling Measures
Idling is a part of driving, as every driver knows. As trucks idle, expensive fuel is wasted and costs rise. Some companies offer rebates to fleet managers who want to install anti-idling equipment in trucks. The equipment cuts down on costly idling time and can be recharged at truck stops nationwide.
Cost savings in the trucking and transport industries have the potential to lower the price of goods shipped via fleet, passing some of the cost savings back to consumers. Not to mention the environmental savings that many of these measures also provide. Those of us eager for a greener, more efficient world are definitely please by the advances being made by the trucking industry.