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Five Ways to Make Your Truck Fleet a Lean, Green, Hardworking Machine

3p Contributor | Friday September 24th, 2010 | 0 Comments

Chevrolet Silveradoby Summer K. Sellers

In addition to the purchase price of each vehicle, every business owner must take cost of operation into consideration when evaluating their company’s fleet expenditures.  And within the last few years, more emphasis has been placed on making those vehicles environmentally-friendly. Here are five ways to accomplish both goals, resulting in energy-efficient, wiser fleet choices that positively impact your bottom line.

  1. Buy hybrids. Hybrid vehicles use batteries or fuel cells, which produce electricity and run in conjunction with regular gasoline.  If your business requires pickup trucks to get the job done, purchase hybrid trucks such as Chevrolet Silverados or GMC Sierras, which are currently getting around 20 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway.  If your company requires more of an SUV-type fleet, check out Toyota Highlanders, Chevrolet Tahoes, or GMC Yukons.  These hybrids are bringing about 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on the highway.
  2. Use vehicles that consume alternative fuels. Biodiesel fuels, for instance, are made of oil extracts from plants such as soybeans and peanuts.  Since this type of alternative fuel doesn’t contain any carcinogen benzene or sulfur, it isn’t detrimental to human health.  Compressed natural gas is often used for taxi fleets or public transportation buses because it’s clean-burning and affordable.  Bioalcohol fuel comes in two forms: ethanol and methanol, which are also clean-burning and can be blended with gasoline. Biomass fuel is a wood gas; it’s made from wood or agricultural byproducts.
  3. Use zero-emissions vehicles for smaller tasks. To lessen vehicle dependence even more, a freight bicycle is an excellent choice for transporting small cargo within short distances. They’re compact, not limited to on-street parking or fuel availability, and can fit into tight spaces such as heavy city traffic.  And it’s good exercise for the rider, too.
  4. Plan your most common daily tasks into an efficient route. This will cut down on the amount of gas you use per day and save you lots of time, too.  Use a GPS unit or map website such as Maps.RandMcNally.com.  You can choose different route options such as shortest time or shortest distance.
  5. Have your fleet serviced regularly. By keeping a good maintenance schedule for your fleet, your vehicles will last a long time.  Staying on top of things such as filling the right amount of air into your tires and putting a tonneau cover over the truck bed to lessen wind resistance when not carrying much will help improve gas mileage.

Implementing these five green tips into your business operations will not only reduce your fleet costs, but you’ll be making a positive impact on the environment as well.

What other tips do you have to help make your truck fleet cost less and make it more environmentally-friendly? Is there a particular green fleet strategy that has been working well for your company?

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Summer K. Sellers is a writer for the aftermarket auto accessories industry and editor of Torque, the TruckChamp.com blog. TruckChamp.com, a subsidiary of LOF, Inc., is a leading online retailer of discount aftermarket truck accessories. From towing mirrors to nerf bars, TruckChamp.com offers a wide selection of great products at low prices and is committed to providing incredible customer service.


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