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Carriers slow down their trucks

By Land Line staff


Stating that costs are rising faster than its ability to deal with them, on May 29, Dallas-based Frozen Food Express Industries Inc., announced it had reduced the maximum speed of its company-operated truck fleet from 65 to 62 miles per hour.

In a press statement, FFEX officials said they expect that “most of the independent contractors who provide (the company) with trucks will take similar steps to reduce their expenses.”

At the end of the first quarter of 2008, FFEX had 2,029 trucks in service, 1,485 of which were company operated. Trucks running for the FFEX family – including FFEX Transportation Services, American Eagle Lines and Lisa Motor Lines – will also soon be equipped with anti-idling control devices and additional aerodynamic features.

FFEX is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership.

Citing similar reasons, officials from Con-way Truckload announced recently that they had lowered their trucks’ engine governors from 70 to 65 mph. The company officials said Con-way will save nearly 3 million gallons of diesel each year because of the change.

Con-way CEO Herb Schmidt told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that drivers – who are paid by the mile – should not see changes in their pay because the company already figures average trip mileage at 45 mph.

Con-way is also switching to wide-base tires on its tractors and trailers and is adding aerodynamic fairings to reduce drag.

Schneider National has also lowered the top road speed of its trucks, which are now running at 60 mph.

The Wisconsin carrier announced that lowering speeds on its more than 10,000 trucks from 63 mph to 60 mph will save nearly 4 million gallons of fuel each year and greatly reduce harmful emissions.

Canadian motor carrier Bison Transport has reduced its corporate speed limit to 100 km/hr, or about 62 mph, in order to reduce fuel consumption by its large fleet of trucks. Bison Transport is a member of Natural Resources Canada’s FleetSmart Program and was the first Canadian carrier to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transportation Partnership.

According to Trucking News, speed reduction is one part of Bison’s sustainable transportation strategy and conforms with its corporate goal of minimizing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere. LL