SmartWay generates smart buys

SmartWay generates smart buys

If you work in the trucking industry, and are not currently in some sort of coma, you have seen magazine ads or trade show displays of vehicles sporting the “U.S. EPA Certified SmartWay” logo.

If you work in the trucking industry, and are not currently in some sort of coma, you have seen magazine ads or trade show displays of vehicles sporting the “U.S. EPA Certified SmartWay” logo. Several truck and trailer manufacturers are proudly marketing products certified by EPA’s SmartWay program that offer improved fuel efficiency. By meeting EPA performance specifications, these certified models provide the three-fold benefit of saving operators money while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollutants.

SmartWay certification is reserved for long-haul truck components that offer significantly lower emissions and fuel consumption than standard designs. EPA and equipment manufacturers have worked together to develop these performance specifications and only vehicles with such components can be designated and labeled as “U.S. EPA Certified SmartWay.” The SmartWay label may be used at point-of-sale and applied to the interior of the tractors and trailers by the equipment manufacturers. Any fleet, of course, may purchase certified tractors and trailers; however, only SmartWay Transport Partners may apply the SmartWay tractor or trailer logo to the exterior.

These logos signify the tractor and/or trailer meet EPA’s environmental and fuel-efficiency standards for excellence. This is a designation that sets the SmartWay Partner apart from its peers in the industry. For carriers, the SmartWay logo is an indication to consumers and the community that they are taking actions to limit any environmental impact resulting from their business operations.

SmartWay-approved equipment, like aerodynamic bumpers and mirrors, can generate fuel reductions of 10 to 20 percent more than comparable trucks without these devices. For example, aerodynamic bumpers and mirrors on a tractor help conserve fuel by reducing wind resistance. Each qualified truck can produce savings from 2,000 to 4,000 gal. of diesel per year. With fuel at $3.50 per gallon, this could move up to $14,000 to the operator’s bottom line.

Included in the basic criteria for over-the-road tractor certification are:

• Model Year 2007 or later engine;

• Integrated high roof fairing;

• Tractor-mounted side fairing gap reducers;

• Tractor fuel-tank side fairings;

• Aerodynamic bumper/mirrors;

• Options for reducing periods of extended engine idling (auxiliary power units, generator sets, direct-fired heaters, battery powered HVAC system, and automatic engine start/stop system); and

• Options for low-rolling resistance tires (single wide or dual) mounted on aluminum wheels.

New long-haul van trailers can be ordered, and existing trailers can be upgraded, to qualify as an EPA Certified SmartWay trailer provided that they are equipped with: side skirts; weight-saving technologies; gap reducer on the front or trailer tails (either extenders or boat tails); and options for low-rolling resistance tires (single wide or dual) mounted on aluminum wheels.

Most U.S. truck builders offer at least one model that is EPA Certified SmartWay. For example, Kenworth’s new T660 and T2000 were recently acknowledged as SmartWay eligible trucks. Freightliner announced recently that its Cascadia has been designated as SmartWay certified. This marks the third Freightliner Class 8 truck –– along with the Columbia and Century Class S/T –– to earn this certification. Mack Trucks also offers its long-haul highway customers Mack Pinnacle tractors certified by the U.S. EPA SmartWay program. Peterbilt highlights its 386 and 387 models as environmental leaders as a result of its certification. Volvo offers a number of its products with a SmartWay package.

Today’s fuel prices demand that fleets make fuel savings a top priority. By participating in EPA’s Smart-Way Partnership, a transportation company can not only save money, but also differentiate itself from competitors. The SmartWay logo is not marketing hype. It’s an award that can be used by fleet managers who make smart purchasing.

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