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Eight steps to maximize truck efficiency and reduce emissions

Advancements in vehicle and engine technology, communication systems, fleet management programs and more allow fleet operators to improve performance, reduce emissions and reduce operating costs.

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Dan Arcy is the global OEM technical manager for Shell Lubricants.

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Advancements in vehicle and engine technology, communication systems, fleet management programs and more allow fleet operators to improve performance, reduce emissions and reduce operating costs. Below are several technology and product options as well as best practices which can easily be deployed to help create a more sustainable fleet and help to reduce CO2 emissions.

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1. Reduce rolling resistance

Use SmartWay-verified tires that provide low rolling resistance and always maintain the proper tire pressure. Tires that are low on air are less efficient and can be hazardous as well. In addition, the right axle and bearing grease and a good maintenance regimen can help improve fuel efficiency by reducing rolling resistance. (Ed. Note: You can read more on the importance of tire inflation here.)

2. Reduce drag

Using add-ons such as side-skirts and trailer tails in addition to reducing the gap between trailer and tractor can help reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.

3. Use premium lubricants

High-quality, low-viscosity engine oil improves efficiency and reduces emissions. Synthetic lubricants for transmissions and axles can also help increase fuel mileage and the overall efficiency of the truck.

4. Use vehicle automation

Automating even simple things such as optimal gear changes to operate the engine in most efficient range can help improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

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5. Maximize utilization rates

Use freight-brokerage apps and fleet management tools to cut idling and eliminate empty miles. Plan routes, maximize utilization and dynamically re-route to cut fuel consumption with the latest telematics.

6. Reduce weight

While you might not be able to reduce the overall weight of the truck, remove unnecessary heavy items from the truck when possible. For short trips, don’t fill the fuel tank with more than you need—you are carrying weight that doesn’t need to be on the truck.

7. Tailor driving styles for efficiency

Use information from the truck’s telematics systems to help coach drivers to be more fuel efficient in their driving styles. Reducing speed when driving will also increase fuel mileage.

8. Preventative maintenance

Keeping trucks on a preventative maintenance schedule will enable fleets to easily and effectively manage each vehicle and to ensure a fuel-efficient and sustainable operation that also saves on operating costs.

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The important responsibility of reducing CO2 emissions can be easily managed with technology and products currently available. Technology partners such as Shell Lubricants can also collaborate with you to gain maximum efficiency from each vehicle and help fleets achieve their goals.

Dan Arcy is the global OEM technical manager for Shell Lubricants.

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