Large trucks require longer stopping distances and not just when carrying heavy loads. That makes them dangerous when operated at high speeds, especially to smaller vehicles that are able to stop in much less road. Resulting crashes can be devastating.
In an effort to reduce tragedies, in 2008 two Canadian Provinces, namely Ontario and Quebec introduced legislation requiring speed limiters on heavy trucks on all their roads and highways. The speed limiters cap the trucks’ maximum speed at 105 kilometers per hour (65 mph).
The device connects to the truck’s engine control module to govern the truck maximum speed. The technology is built in on all new trucks by the manufacturers but not activated.
Speed Limiter Benefits
Fatalities involving large truck crashes have markedly declined since implementing with speed limiters. But that’s only part of the story. Testing had revealed that trucks traveling at higher speed burn more fuel than those driving the same distance at lower speeds. Driving slower saves fuel and that translates to profit for the truck or fleet owner.
The use of speed limiters reduces big rig crashes and lessens the severity of truck crashes, saving lives. It may lead toward lowering the number of nuclear verdicts courts are seeing now, and could help to lower insurance costs.
Saving fuel at lower speeds results in fewer harmful emissions from many trucks. The environmental impact means lowering greenhouse gas pollution. Given the advantages of saving money and fewer emissions some fleets in the US and parts of Canada that are not mandated have installed speed limiters on their trucks.
Factors Worth Noting
However, slower trucks mean longer trips and could make for a lower level of service to their customers. And that may cause some operators to lose customers as they seek out speedier pickups and deliveries.
Opponents of speed limiters claim they cause more accidents by having large vehicles slowed while smaller ones can speed. But a study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) debunks these false claims.
The MTO study found that after mandatory speed limiter legislation was enacted speed related at-fault crashes with large commercial vehicles dropped by a staggering 73%. Over the same period other vehicle crashes declined by only 30%.
Moreover, the study found no evidence that more crashes of large commercial vehicles were involved with smaller vehicles due to speed differences.
Fuel Savings Present Opportunity
Owners of small repair shops and those of small fleet shops will see an opportunity of selling their customers on fuel savings to be experienced by testing and setting speed limiters that already exist in almost all trucks in use today. Don’t forget to tell customers about increased safety and benefits to the environment.
And make use of technology in your shop. At BrightOrder Inc. we created FleetSquared. It’s a repair shop fleet maintenance management system designed to make life easy for service managers and technicians.
Get your techs up to speed in 30 minutes or less. Eliminate stacks of paperwork by easily and efficiently turning digital repair orders into invoices and emailing them as soon as they are ready. With FleetSquared you can handle both your internal fleet repairs as well as customer repairs.
Test Drive It
FleetSquared comes with a 30 day free trial. Take it out for a spin. We’re confident you and your techs will love using it.