Low-Cost Green Fleet Strategies for Medium-Sized Trucks

green fleet vehicle3 Easy Ways Fleets Can Reduce Vehicle Emissions and Cut Fuel Costs:

The upfront costs to invest in a fleet of hybrid vehicles is quite expensive.  But there are other great ways to create a green fleet and save money.

1. Driver Efficiency Initiatives:

Train and educate your drivers. Your drivers can control fuel consumption each time they fire up their engines. Proper training can improve fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions. There is a quick ROI on driver training because fuel consumption can immediately be reduced by at least a few percent.

Hard acceleration, speeding and idling are the biggest causes of wasted fuel.  Use data gathered from a fleet tracking system to monitor and improve driver behavior. Develop a driver training course for drivers and reward participation. A GPS Vehicle Tracking System provides insight into how a fleet vehicle is being driven, any faults that are occurring in real-time.   Using this information, fleet management can offer training to the drivers that need it the most.

Poland Spring realized that its fleet was idling for up to 1,400 hours per month in the winter in 2007.  Fleet management posted a list that ranked the idling time of various drivers in the break room and the top ten drivers were given gift cards. By February 2009, truck idling time had been reduced to a mere 380 hours. Also, they reduced fuel consumption by 8,000 gallons, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 77 tons annually. This strategy saved the business tens of thousands of dollars annually.

2. Right-sizing Vehicles:

Using the smallest truck that can get the job done saves considerable fuel.

For example, according to Jason Mathers, project manager in the Corporate Partnership Program at the Environmental Defense Fund, “Frito-Lay has moved from a 24-foot Class 6 vehicle, to a 20-foot Class 5 vehicle.  They are saving 10% on fuel and I’d imagine they are paying less upfront for that class 5 vehicle, too.”

3.  Transmission Adjustments

Transmissions are typically programmed for optimum power, not efficiency. Many trucks can be reprogrammed so the transmission up-shifts at lower speeds, reducing the amount of vehicle fuel consumption.

According to a recent PHH Arval Study, Staples reprogrammed the transmission on its single-unit trucks and set a 60 mph limit, resulting in a fleet-wide 12 to 16% increase in fuel economy.