Fuel Efficient Trucking 101

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that,

​”Twenty-seven percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is from transportation. Transportation is the second leading source of GHG emissions in the United States, just behind electricity. Between 1990 and 2015, GHG emissions in the transportation sector increased more in absolute terms than any other sector.” Source

More specifically, medium and heavy duty trucks contribute to 6.21% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. But since the trucking industry is a vital backbone of the US economy, how can we reduce emissions, whilst continuing to move the industry forward and save costs for trucking companies?

Emissions generated by the trucking industry are not just an environmental concern: fuel efficiency also saves hard-earned dollars. In an industry where profit margins are getting ever smaller, every diesel drop counts.

How Fuel Efficient Trucking Can Help Your Business

In the last few years, regulations regarding emissions in the trucking industry have become stricter. Additionally, diesel prices have been on the rise again in recent months and since fossil fuels are a finite resource, this is an additional long term concern. Increased fuel efficiency, which reduces emissions, is not just a way to address environmental concerns, but also a way to save dollars. Besides, consumers are increasingly taking into account sustainability when making purchase decisions. Supply chain sustainability certificates such as SmartWay (EPA) can give companies an edge over their competitors.

USEPA SmartWay Logo

From Theory To Practice

Enough with the gray theory….how can we put increased fuel efficiency into practice? Big companies as diverse as Walmart and Tesla are looking at ways to make trucking more efficient. Several models of hybrid trucks and fully electric trucks are being tested or are already deployed on the streets. Additionally, the design of a truck can help reduce fuel consumption by using aerodynamic modelling. Another aspect is engine efficiency and using filters to reduce emissions.

However, not everyone can immediately afford to purchase the newest hybrid truck on the market. Fortunately, there are some practical tips in  getting more miles out of a full tank. First, removing additional weight from the truck helps reduce overall fuel costs. Second, maintaining a steady speed while driving, using cruise control and minimizing idling time, will help the trucker decrease fuel consumption. And finally, planning efficient routes with dedicated truck-specific GPS navigation will limit out-of-route mileage.

How Can CoPilot Truck Increase Your Fuel Efficiency?

CoPilot Truck allows you to plan trips that are optimized for your vehicle, your load, and the number of stops you need to make. Save money by reducing fuel usage with less time wasted on out-of-route miles. In addition, you can enter up to 100 stops and CoPilot Truck will calculate the most efficient route by organizing the stops into the most logical order.

Resources
http://www.trucking.org/Cleaner_Tomorrow.aspx
http://www.triplepundit.com/2014/12/trucking-companies-going-green/
http://atri-online.org/sustainable-freight-practices-for-the-trucking-industry/
https://www.advanced.edu/tips-sustainable-trucking/
https://www.dieselforum.org/about-clean-diesel/trucking

ALK Road Closure Alert: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

Closure will take place from October 20 at 8 p.m. until October 30 at 5:30 a.m. Click here for additional closure information.

The maps in the following ALK solutions have been automatically updated to reflect the road closure:

  • PC*MILER Web Services
  • ALK Maps
  • PC*MILER Web

PC*MILER desktop customers:
We suggest you use the “Avoid Roads” feature to bypass the road closure. For complete instructions on how to use the feature, please reference Chapter 12 of the PC*MILER User Guide.

The “Avoid Roads” feature can be found in the “Tools” tab.

 

On the map, the cursor will now appear with a minus or plus sign. Click on the road segment(s) to be avoided.

 

IMPORTANT: Your avoid/favor preferences will affect routing only when Routing Preferences > Custom Roads > Use Avoid/Favors is selected in the Route Options dialog or current route profile. This option is turned off by default.

Done! You’ll now be routed around the road closure.

Safe, Safer, Safest – Innovations in Truck Safety


In the last few years, the trucking industry has undergone some serious changes: From the emergence of electric trucks (see Mercedes, Tesla) to the digitalization of the back office and truck cabin. But what about innovations when it comes to safety?

In the US, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported a staggering number of 4,209 bridge strikes in 2014. In the UK, there were 1708 bridge strikes in 2013/2014. According to Network Rail, this is a 9.9% increase compared to the previous year. When it comes to road accidents involving trucks, the numbers aren’t much better. A 2013 study in the UK reported that,

“More than half of fatal accidents on motorways involve HGVs, despite HGVs only making up 10% of the traffic on motorways” (Source)

The FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) statistic shows that,

“There were 11.2 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2015, a 6-percent increase from 2010” (Source)

Needless to say, truck safety is a vital issue for truckers, fleets and road users in general. So, what are some of the innovations that can help improve road safety?

I Spy With My Little Eye

One of the biggest safety concerns for truck drivers are blind spots. The most obvious help for a driver’s visibility are the good old mirrors. For increased safety, truck owners should install the full set of mirrors including front projection mirror, side close proximity mirror, wide angle rear view mirror and of course the plain rear view mirror. Additionally, you can use blind spot detection systems. Ultrasonic sensors can detect obstacles in the rear, front corner or side of the vehicle and warn with an alarm. Plus, there are side view and 360 degree cameras that provide the driver with visibility when reversing or performing a difficult turn. Some manufacturers have gone a step further and trialled a rear screen that helps car drivers overtake trucks. Samsung has shown how technology can help all road users:

Driver Controls

What are some of the safety systems the big truck manufacturers have been integrating into their vehicles? Thanks to advanced camera, GPS, radar and sensor technology, truckers and fleet managers can take advantage of a variety of systems to help the driver and haulage arrive safely.

Cruise control anticipates the road and vehicle traffic ahead; Lane departure warnings alert the driver if there is an unintended lane change; Vehicle stability systems help keep the truck in balance in case of a sharp turn; Advanced braking warns the driver if there is an obstacle ahead and will brake if the limit is exceeded.

Do You Know Where You’re Going?

We’ve come a long way since paper maps. Since the emergence of PCs in the 90s and mobile devices on the 00s, fleet management and trucking has changed significantly. The humble paper map has been replaced by mobile devices that not only show you a map but give the driver instructions, warnings and optimized routes.

Mobile truck-specific navigation apps have been available for many years now, but some drivers still use GPS navigation that is not suitable for larger vehicles. The danger? Directions from a car GPS will route heavy-duty drivers down narrow roads or bridges that are truck-restricted. The best case is a hefty fine, the worst case an accident with vehicle damage or even injury. So make sure your drivers/you are using navigation and routing suitable for commercial vehicles.

Drive safely 🙂

Resources
http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/21-10-2013-lorry-fatalities-research
https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/deliveries-in-london/delivering-safely/safer-trucks
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/understanding-direct-and-direct-vision-from-hgvs-summary.pdf
http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/media/21-10-2013-lorry-fatalities-research
http://www.orsa.org.uk/facts-and-figures/crash-and-casualty-data/
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556396/rrcgb2015-01.pdf

ALK Map Data: Built for Commercial Vehicles

Commercial map data is the core of our business. At ALK, we have a team of GIS and mapping specialists that dedicate every hour of every day to ensure our premium-quality, street-level map of the North American road network is the most comprehensive and accurate source for our customers. These maps form the basis of our commercial brands in North America and are relied on by millions of drivers and more than 22,000 motor carriers, private fleets and third party logistics companies every day.

Our portfolio of transportation solutions offer the most comprehensive set of commercial truck restrictions in North America. It’s what defines us as the trusted industry standard for safe, accurate and reliable routing, mileage, mapping and navigation.

Check out what our robust set of commercial map data includes:

2017 Standard Chartered Great City Race – London

 

Last night, our British colleagues Matt Conby and Will Colborn entered the 2017 Standard Chartered Great City Race​ along with a few fellow colleagues from Trimble Real Estate and Workspace Solutions (RE&WS).

Congratulations to both of them for getting involved in this charitable event, as the run was a way of raising funding and awareness for the Seeing is Believing charity.

A total of over 5000 runners took part in the 5km race, snaking through London’s financial district, also known as the Square Mile – around sites including St Paul’s and the Bank of England.

 

Official Times:

Will: 24m 38s

Matt: 24m 56s

 

This was the first time Will entered a 5km race, but it sounds as though he has caught the bug and wants to sign up to more of the same. Matt, however, had already participated in this particular race, and yesterday he completed it 2m 25s quicker than last year!

Goodbye Roaming Charges, Hello Europe!

Good news for all Europeans: From mid June onwards, roaming charges for certain mobile plans in the European Union have been dropped. That means there’s a good chance you can now travel across Europe and use your data without worrying about extra charges. Say goodbye to surprise bills from your mobile provider at the end of the month when completing a delivery through several countries.

And the best part for CoPilot Professional and CoPilot Truck users?

  1. You will now be able to use ActiveTraffic when driving abroad without paying a hefty bill at the end of the month if you have a good mobile plan.
  2. You can still take advantage of CoPilot’s offline capability if you’re driving in areas with low data coverage. Say goodbye to interrupted service when crossing borders.
  3. If you have a monthly cap on your data usage, you can still use CoPilot’s offline maps to minimise data usage. Especially if you’re a fleet manager, this will keep costs down across the board.

So check in with your mobile provider and see how your data plan abroad has changed regarding your international shifts!

PS: If you are in the US or other places around the world, roaming charges will likely still apply. So make sure to turn off your data roaming if you want to avoid hefty bills.

Join Us at the Transport & Logistic Trade Show – Munich, Germany

The Transport & Logistic show will kick off in two weeks in Munich, Germany. It is the world’s leading trade fair for logistics, mobility, IT, and supply chain management.

Are you ready? We are!

Our German team and German-speaking London-based colleagues will be at the event from May 9-12 to tell you more about ALK. Pop in to our booth in Hall 2, Stand 233 for a live demo of our CoPilot Truck, Advanced Route Optimization, and ALK Maps solutions, and to learn more about how to integrate ALK to your own applications.

Don’t forget to get your visitor pass for the trade show and come meet us to learn more about ALK Maps and CoPilot Truck:

http://www.transportlogistic.de/trade-fair/visitors/purchase-ticket/index.html

 

In the meantime, find out more about CoPilot Truck and ALK Maps here.

ALK Road Closure Alert – I-85 Atlanta, GA

Please be advised I-85 in Atlanta, GA near Piedmont Road has been closed due to a collapse.  If this road closure affects your business or travels:

 

  • ALK Maps, PC*MILER Web Services & PC*MILER|Web customers – We have updated the map data for these products to avoid the road closure.
  • PC*MILER Install customers –  We suggest you use PC*MILER’s Custom Roads Manager feature to avoid the road closure.  For information on how to use the feature, please reference Chapter 12 of the PC*MILER User Guide.

 

If you have additional issues or questions, please contact ALK Support at pcmsupport@alk.com.

 

We will inform you when the road is reopened.

We’re Headed Out to Some of the Transportation Industry’s Biggest Tradeshows!

We’ve got a full schedule this September and October – we’ll be exhibiting at the McLeod Software User Conference, in.sight User Conference and Expo, and the ATA Management Conference.

Stop by our booths and get a demo all of the latest features and functionality of PC*MILER, including the new PC*MILER|WEATHER module, CoPilot Truck, and ALK Maps by one of our product experts.

We’ll also have dedicated product overview sessions at the McLeod Software User Conference and in.sight User Conference and Expo. Check out the program guides for dates and times.

Hope to see you soon!

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