For your consideration

For your consideration

While we’ve talked about the government’s SmartWay program before on this page, we believe the importance of the program, to fleets as well as the country, warrants another mention.

While we’ve talked about the government’s SmartWay program before on this page, we believe the importance of the program, to fleets as well as the country, warrants another mention.

Managed by the Federal Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the SmartWay Transport Partnership is a voluntary program designed to improve the environmental performance of the country’s freight delivery system through money saving, market-based approaches. An improvement in environmental performance benefits the country. Its money saving, market-based approaches benefits fleets.

Ground freight, to include both truck and rail, is big business and an integral part of the United States economy. According to government and industry statistics, 85 percent of the total value of U.S. cargo is trucked, accounting for 66 percent of all freight by weight. However, ground freight is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for approximately 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from all transportation sources. Ground freight is also a significant source of smog-forming emissions and other harmful air pollutants that impact public health, particularly of the young and the elderly. Ground freight accounts for 40 percent of the oxides of nitrogen emissions and 31 percent of the particulate matter emissions from transportation sources. These emissions can impact air quality and contribute to climate change.

Carriers and shippers may become SmartWay Transport Partners by committing to improve the environmental performance of freight delivery operations. Carriers commit to integrate fuel saving products and strategies into their fleet operations. Shippers commit to ship the majority of their goods with SmartWay carriers. Companies that meet SmartWay Transport Partnership requirements will benefit from reduced operating costs and enhanced visibility.

By encouraging manufacturers to design trucks that meet specific guidelines for fuel economy improvements and emissions reductions, SmartWay aims to reduce carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter emissions. Trucks that earn the SmartWay designation can be 10 to 20 percent more fuel efficient and up to 90 percent cleaner than comparable models.

To be designated SmartWay-eligible, tractors must feature an aerodynamic design, a 2007 engine, a sleeper cab, side fairings and low-rolling resistance tires. Also, fleets must spec vehicles with auxiliary power units (APUs) or other idle-reduction technology. Fleets with SmartWay eligible vehicles that meet idle reduction requirements may display a SmartWay badge on vehicles.

Responding to the challenge, Freightliner Trucks recently announced that two of its 2008 models – the Columbia and the Century Class S/T – have been selected by the EPA as vehicles worthy of its new SmartWay designation. In conjunction with this announcement, Freightliner is also rolling out two new spec packages that allow operators to take advantage of the fuel and emissions savings as laid out by the SmartWay program.

“These trucks aren’t just compliant with EPA ’07 emissions standards, they’re recognized by the EPA to be the cleanest and most fuel efficient trucks on the road,” said Timothy Blubaugh, director of government technical affairs for Freightliner. “By assembling these spec packages, we’re making it easy for our fleet customers to participate in the SmartWay program.”

We applaud Freightliner for its recognition of the importance of the goals of the SmartWay program and its encouragement of fleet participation in the program through its engineering designs. We also believe this is a program that deserves more attention by fleets since its stated goals will result in financial savings for fleets. You can learn more as well as apply for participation at EPA’s website w.epa.gov/smartway.

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