Why A Clean Truck Is More Important Now Than Ever

Why A Clean Truck Is More Important Now Than It’s Ever Been
May 24, 2021
Posted by: Suppose U Drive

When it comes to a clean truck, physical appearance is certainly important, as it offers several benefits, which include a positive reflection of the company, pride of the driver, and longevity of the truck. However, a “clean” truck is also one that produces less air pollution and is easier on the environment, which today is more vital than ever.

Air pollution has been a concern in the U.S. for several decades, with one of the most defining events occurring in Donora, PA in 1948, when a dangerous cloud of pollutants hovered over the town for five days resulting in sickness and death. A combination of a weather inversion pattern, carbon monoxide, and industrial pollution was the cause, and it was a much-needed eye opener for the nation. Since then, and while this is undoubtedly an ongoing process, regulations have been put in place to reduce emissions.

According to Popular Mechanics, in 2016, there were at least 2.8 million semi-trucks registered in the US. The American Lung Association told The New York Times, “Trucks remain a major source of pollution that creates smog, and smog is linked with coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and can cause asthma and premature death.” According to Climate & Clean Air Coalition, approximately “half of all deaths are caused by diesel on-road vehicles.”

The Importance of Clean Air

Without a doubt, the state of California has been the leader when it comes to cleaning the environment. In 1977, it was the first state to impose standards on energy efficient appliances. Then, in 2002, the state fought for the reduction of vehicle emissions. One of the most impactful by-laws geared towards clean air is the Advanced Clean Truck Rule that benefits the economy, environment, and people. The Advanced Clean Truck rulemaking puts clean, zero-emission trucks on California roads by year 2024.

One major reason for California’s legislation enforcements on cleaner air is because it has some of the worst air quality in the U.S. While these regulations will impose major changes for the trucking industry, in time, cleaner air and eco-friendlier practices will benefit everyone.

How the U.S. Trucking Industry is Reducing Pollution

Most everyone recognizes the trucking industry as the backbone of America’s economy. Yet, all too often, truck drivers and fleet companies alike aren’t recognized for their multiple contributions to the clean emissions cause. It’s worth noting that long before this newest clean air act, the trucking industry has taken great responsibility towards reducing emissions.

Although transitioning from diesel to electric or hybrid trucks will likely not be complete for several more years, the trucking industry has made many strides to comply and contribute to improving air quality. Some of these changes include the following:

  1. Using the appropriate sized carrier to accommodate the load – not only does this reduce greenhouse gas emissions; it is more cost efficient.
  2. Utilizing lightweight trucks whenever possible equates to better fuel efficiency and few trips.
  3. Participating in the EPA SmartWay Program. This program was launched in 2004 and helps carriers and freight companies determine the most efficient routes and modes of transport.
  4. Fleet owners are continually improving logistics, offering driver training, and using GPS systems to optimize routes.
  5. Many trucks are now equipped with things like low-rolling-resistance tires, lightweight aerodynamic body styles, and fuel-efficient drivetrains.
  6. The use of electric idle reduction devices reduces emissions.
  7. Alternative fuels such as biofuels and natural gas are also being used, and according to Diesel Technology Forum’s Allen Schaeffer: “California municipal and private fleets rely 100% on renewable diesel fuels as a means of reducing the carbon footprint.

The Zero-Emissions Act

Finally, with the rising cost of fuel, both delivery and freight costs have also steadily increased. The Advanced Clean Air act will not only help us all breathe easier, but the zero-emissions act will provide lower cost options, which will eventually reduce the cost of goods, too.

Truck manufacturers are working diligently to offer powerful, reliable trucks and several large fleets have preordered electric trucks in support of cleaner air. The future of clean trucking looks bright, indeed.

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