Eagle Transportation is fully aware of the impact on the environment in respect to greenhouse gas emissions related to the trucking industry. We’re committed to doing our part by making significant efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. Besides lessening the harmful effects on the environment, there are additional benefits to implementing these measures for everyone, these include fewer air-borne particles which promotes healthier air, increased safety when trucks are traveling the roadways at lower speeds and increased equipment lifespan and value just to name a few. Eagle understands how even the smallest improvement can make a difference, so along with the new technologies we’ve already implemented we continue to monitor the latest innovations to assess which ones will help us reach our maximum green potential.
Auxiliary Power Units (APUs)
By far, the biggest impact to be had in reducing fuel emissions and increasing fuel savings is with auxiliary power units. These units are essentially generators that provide heating and cooling for truck cabs, along with the function of engine block heater.
They come into use when the truck is parked for loading and unloading, when the driver is at rest stops or stopped for the night, so instead of the former practice of keeping the truck engine running they can now run off the APU. This saves fuel significantly, which in turn cuts down on emissions, lowers engine running time and thereby increases time between oil changes and extends the life of the engine considerably. Eagle has numerous APUs already in place on their trucks and an ongoing program to retrofit additional trucks with these units until every truck in our fleet is outfitted.
In many areas, reducing idling time is not just a smart energy-efficient practice, it’s required by law. Anti-idling and it’s benefits has become standard practice at Eagle and is reinforced in our driver training sessions. Lowering idling time is one of the easiest ways to reduce fuel consumption and engine running time which in turn means less wear and tear on the main engine. Studies have shown that decreasing the idle time by 25% - 50% could improve fuel economy by up to 4%. This has an impact not only on individual trucking companies such as Eagle Transportation but also helps improve the economic and environmental performance of an entire region where these fuel-saving measures are implemented.
While delivering your freight efficiently and on-time is still our top priority, we can’t ignore the impact on the environment by reducing the speeds of our trucks on the highways. Just by reducing the highway speed of our trucks by 5mph results in a substantial 5-8% reduction in fuel burned, which in turn means lower particle emissions.
Passive aerodynamic devices are a strategic approach to improved fuel efficiency and reducing emissions that Eagle recognizes as significantly effective in our efforts to going green. Recent surveys within the trucking industry have demonstrated that these devices can bring about significant fuel savings, trailer sideskirts 3-4%, tractor/trailer gap fairing 1-2%, and aerodynamic front bumpers and tank skirts 1-2%. At Eagle we have begun the process to outfit our fleet with all of these devices and currently the majority of our fleet has at least two of the three in place, with the goal of 100% coverage.
Optimum fuel economy is also dependent on where the rubber meets the road. Not surprisingly, it’s not enough these days to try to get by with just a regular set of tires, thanks to years of research there’s much more to consider when outfitting a truck and trailer with tires. At Eagle, we’ve done our homework and read the reports, so we know how important it is to have tires regularly checked for alignment and tire pressure, both of which properly maintained can improve fuel efficiency by 3-5%. And thanks to our own on-site garage, we have the ability to check our equipment thoroughly and completely at regular intervals.