November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story
Fort Worth, Texas
Raider Express started limiting the speed of its trucks in 2005, starting at 68 mph and gradually dropping it to an industry low of 60 mph. Component specs are designed to maximize mpg in the 57- to 68-mph range. It’s been an early adopter of technologies such as wide-base single tires, lightweight components and automated manual transmissions. Monthly truck averages regularly run above 9 mpg, sometimes above 10, while averaging 77,000 pounds GVW. Its 175 tractors are predominantly clean 2012 or newer tractors or experimental CNG trucks. The 300 refrigerated trailers are equipped with TrailerTails and side skirts. Raider says it has a “culture of fuel economy.”
Saddle Creek Transportation
Starting in 2012, Saddle Creek began a partnership with Freightliner to design and implement long haul CNG trucks with a range of 600-plus miles per fill. Out of 430 Class 8 trucks and tractors, it has 104 CNG and four LNG, and is adding 100 more CNG trucks in the next year.
Starting in 2012, Saddle Creek began a partnership with Freightliner to design and implement long haul CNG trucks with a range of 600-plus miles per fill.
The newest Cascadia 12-liter Freightliners have a complete aerodynamic package that improves mpg even more. In addition to the natural gas fleet, tractors and trailers use aerodynamic mud flaps, trailers are fully skirted and have automatic air inflation systems.
Green Bay, Wis.
Schneider has improved fuel efficiency 13% since 2008, using technology such as low emission engines, aerodynamic tractors and trailers, and low-rolling-resistance tires, and changes in operations such as increased tire inflation standards and more frequent maintenance. In 2008, it voluntarily slowed the fleet to 60 mph, saving 3.6 million gallons of diesel fuel a year. Schneider consumes more than 10 million gallons of blended biodiesel a year.
Schneider National does extensive testing of fuel-saving options.
In 2011, it began testing natural-gas-powered trucks, and late this year or early next will start testing LNG and CNG units with the new Cummins 12-liter engines. Onsite engineers are continually testing emerging new energy-efficient technologies. The company earned the SmartWay Award of Excellence five times since the award’s inception in 2005, including 2012.
Southeastern Freight Lines
In its fleet of 2,500 heavy-duty trucks and tractors, SEFL has implemented fuel-saving technologies such as aerodynamics on the long haul trucks, skirts on trailers, low-rolling-resistance tires on tractors and trailers, as well as some APUs on sleeper units. The company has lowered its GHG emissions each of the past three years as a result of these technologies as well as significantly updating its fleet with newer, more emission-friendly trucks. The green strategies extend to facilities, with construction and remodeling of terminals with energy-efficient utilities, adding solar panels and even a cistern for water recovery for watering the landscaping.
This fleet of 26 company-owned tractors, with 45 reefer trailers and 17 dry vans, has been a leader in its area in changing over to to EPA 2007 and then EPA 2010 tractors. Only three tractors currently do not have EPA 2010 engines, and 53 out of 62 trailers are equipped with side skirts. Twenty-two of the reefer units are less than six months old and much more efficient than previous models. The fleet runs low-rolling-resistance Michelin tires and retreads. A voluntary program encourages drivers to slow down to conserve fuel. The result? A fleet average of 7 mpg and a 15% decrease in fuel consumption over the last three years.