This Earth Day is a good time for fleets to evaluate how their day-to-day operations impact the planet. The transportation industry accounts for 27% of all greenhouse gas emissions. As businesses increasingly look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, fleet management can play a critical role in reducing emissions while saving companies money. These are a few ways fleet management systems can help transform the impact the transportation industry has on the environment.
Reduce Unnecessary Idling:
Idling is a significant factor in the number of emissions that the transportation industry produces. With drivers having mandated rest periods, it is not uncommon for them to sit in the truck with the engine running. Not only is this bad for the environment but it also wastes a lot of fuel and money. The U.S. Department of Energy cites that idling burns up to 1/8th of a gallon of diesel fuel per hour. That equates to around $3 billion dollars of wasted fuel every year in the U.S. Additionally, rest period idling releases about 11 million tons of carbon dioxide and 55,000 tons of nitrogen oxide into the environment each year in the U.S.
Fleet management technology like GPS trackers can monitor and report a vehicle’s idle time. This insight is huge for fleet managers and is a great way to reduce fuel consumption that impacts the planet and a fleet’s bottom line.
Maintain Vehicles Regularly
Proper vehicle maintenance is another way that fleets can reduce their amount of emissions. Regular maintenance can ensure that the vehicle runs efficiently and that components such as tires, engines, and filters are in optimal condition. The U.S. Department of Transportation found that under-inflated tires lower gas mileage by 2% for every psi drop in the average pressure of tires. Fleet management systems like Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) can monitor tire psi and up to 34 wheel positions and report the status back to fleet managers. Other systems like Omnitracs RNT can run vehicle diagnostic tests on your vehicles and even request maintenance. Maintaining vehicle health will not only keep your fleet on the road, earning money but also helps the environment.
Reduce Fuel Consumption
As discussed prior, monitoring idling times is a good way to reduce fuel costs but there are other areas that contribute to high fuel consumption. Speeding, harsh braking, and quick acceleration are all driving behaviors that can waste fuel. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, speeding can lower gas mileage by up to 33%, so for every 5 miles over 60 mph fleets can expect to pay an additional $0.24 per gallon of gas. Based on this estimate, if a fleet of 100 vehicles drove an average of 70 mph on the highway instead of 60, they would waste 1.5 million gallons of fuel per year. Another useful fleet management tool are Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) which can monitor vehicle and driver performance and provide real-time speeding alerts. Additionally, telematics reporting comes standard in most live dash cameras today which can show driver behavior and vehicle diagnostics. By implementing telematics fleet managers can optimize fuel consumption to reduce emissions and costs.
Optimizing routes can reduce driving distances and create more efficient routes, ultimately reducing emissions. By using fleet management software. such as Omnitracs RNA & RNT, fleets can optimize routes, and reduce their fuel consumption and carbon footprint. In one study, UPS reduced its delivery mileage by 28.5 million miles by optimizing its routes, resulting in a reduction of 31,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
Earth Day is our reminder of the responsibility we have to protect and reduce our direct impact on the planet. Fleets have the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing different fleet management tools. These fleet management tools not only act as a way to better manage your fleet and reduce levels of emissions, but they can also save companies money. Celebrate Earth Day and implement one of these practices today!