These days, we’re all becoming more aware of how our actions impact our environment. With more and more calls to action when it comes to slowing and reversing climate change, reducing pollution, and combatting our individual and collective negative impacts on the environment, “going green” is here to stay.

But how does the trend of “going green” affect the trucking industry? And, more importantly, how does that affect the small fleet repair shop?

There are some major companies already setting the trend when it comes to new standards in the industry. Let’s take a look at some of the measures already being taken, some small steps you can take the initiative to improve, and how the “going green” trend will impact your small repair shop.

Current Trends

  • Autonomous Trucking – This is the technology of automated trucks (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems – ADAS). The automation can reduce fuel consumption by 10%. Using automated trucks will also make it easier to use with Vehicle Platooning. This means trucks drive directly behind each other and it greatly saves time, fuel, and emissions.  Emissions can be greatly reduced. The distance between the trucks are adjusted to reduce the air drag, reducing wind resistance, and improving fuel economy. 
  • Alternative Energy – Major truck manufacturers are coming out with various models to reduce emissions, ranging from aerodynamics to electric and fuel cell technologies. 
  • State Mandates – California has signed a mandate that all operations of medium and heavy-vehicles be 100% zero emission by 2045 where feasible. Read more about the mandate here.  
  • Company Sustainability GoalsWalmart has pledged to have a 100% emission free fleet by 2040 and has laid out a three step plan to achieve that goal. In addition, Anheuser-Busch announced that their 2025 sustainability goal is to transition their entire fleet to cleaner-buring renewable natural gas.

 

What Steps Can You Take To Go Green?

  • Proper and Regular Maintenance – Lack of efficient maintenance is one of the main contributors to poor fuel efficiency. 
  • Maintenance and Engine Changes – There are little things you can do in your shop to increase the fuel economy of the trucks. 
    • Switch to low-viscosity engine lubricants and expect a 0.4% to 1.5% fuel savings.
    • Invest in aerodynamics, there are many options to explore for the tractor and the trailer.
    • Optimize all parameters for fuel economy and save 5-8%. Even adjusting only the parameters on new trucks in a few key areas such as vehicle speed and idle reduction can save 3-5%.
  • Make your office/shop green – Use LED lights, make sure to turn off all lights and electronics when leaving the office, lessen printing, recycle …. there are a lot of things that can be done in your office and shop to be more environmentally friendly.
  • Cut down the paper trail – Upgrade your office and your shop processes. Invest in a fleet repair shop maintenance management system to keep track of your inventory, technician work and time, set up repair orders, issue invoices, and have access to all your repair and maintenance history in one easy to use software system. Try out FleetSquared 30 days for free and see how it can make you more efficient and eco-friendly. 

 

What Is The Impact On Fleet Repair Shops?

There will be a major impact on fleet repair shops as technology and regulations changes. It’s important for all fleet maintenance and repair shop owners to keep abreast of the trends and developments in the industry. Consider how you will need to evolve your shop as new vehicles are introduced in terms of equipment and knowledge. You may need to invest in technicians that are trained to work on alternative technology. 

But this is also an opportunity. If you are proactive you can get a leg up on the competition and be prepared as the trends continue to evolve. Make sure your trucks are ready for upcoming regulations, benefit from the fuel savings, take the time to educate your technicians and upgrade your shops, and you can ultimately be the role model for other shops and who your customers will turn to for advice and leadership.