What are you doing to reduce fuel consumption?

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How is the supply of drivers affecting your operations?

“Relative to applicant traffic, we are certainly seeing less traffic than 6 months, 1 year and considerably less than 2 years ago. But the quality of applicants we are seeing now is as good as we’ve ever seen it within our acceptance criteria.”
Ed Brown, CEO
XRG Logistics Highway Transport Division, Evergreen, Ala.

“It is dramatically reducing the amount of work we can get done. We’re short about 20 percent, which is about 25 drivers. We’re a small fleet operator, but with 100 or so drivers, we still need 25 more. We have the work and equipment now. We’re working with a local community college on getting a training program going. We’re supplying the equipment.”
Gene Jenkins, general manager
Terrain Tamers Chip Hauling, Dillard, Ore.

“Right now there seems to be a shortage. I don’t have my trucks full right now. I haven’t had to advertise for drivers, but it looks like I may have to.”
Bobby Tucker, vice president
Jimmy Tucker Trucking Inc., Broken Bow, Okla.

Next month’s question:
What are you doing to reduce fuel consumption?

Send answers to [email protected]; fax (205) 750-8070.

“It’s ongoing. We’re not doing anything different than in the past, but we’re trying to get guys to shut their engines off. We have bunk heaters in the trucks, and the owner is looking at new systems for all new trucks that supply both the air conditioning and heaters. We’re trying to get drivers to use the cruise control more and to keep them from idling more than necessary. We also limit the speed on trucks, but sometimes that is counterproductive.”
Lonnie Hoepf, safety director
Nagle Toledo Inc., Millbury, Ohio

“We’re reducing idle time. All of our trucks have air fairings, and we cut all our trucks back to 68 mph. There’s not a whole lot else we can do but charge more money – that fix seems to be working pretty well right now.”
Charles Haywood, president
Haywood Trucking, Jackson, Miss.

“We’re working on lowering our idle time. We’re mainly working on that through education and driver reward programs through Cummins and Caterpillar.”
Joe Herman, president
Danny Herman Trucking Inc., Mountain City, Tenn.

“From an operational standpoint we’re monitoring speed to be sure our drivers stay within our company speed limits. That has been our primary focus, and it has had a huge effect on fuel economy, since of course we can’t reduce the number of miles we drive.”
William Smith, president
Renzenberger Inc., Shawnee, Kan.

“We’re cutting our idling time as much as possible. We track it and stay on top of it. We talk with drivers about controlling speed. We are trying to keep updated on the latest engines by continuing to purchase new equipment. We keep our tires inflated – we have good strong policies about that. We’re doing everything possible to maximize fuel mileage.”
Claude Lewis, president
Service Transport Co., Houston

“We are currently implementing a company policy to require trucks with Detroit [Diesel engines] to get 6.5 mpg, or the truck’s speed will automatically be reduced according to mpg of the ECM. This is called Detroit Diesel’s Fuel Efficiency Incentive Program. We are also very actively trying to gain our drivers’ cooperation in helping to reduce idle times, drive using progressive shifting techniques, and by using their cruise control whenever possible. We currently download each and every truck as it comes into the terminal and council every driver and discuss truck performance, driving techniques, etc. by utilizing DDEC reports from the truck’s ECM readings.”
Elisha Sawyer, fuel services manager
O&S Trucking, Springfield, Mo.

“We are changing some programming in trucks. We are fixing it so drivers have to do progressive shifting, and we’re slowing them down. We also use GPS monitoring to cut down on idle time.”
Vernon Kitchens, general manager
Watson Bros. Inc., Butler, Ga.

“We have installed bunk heaters.”
Cathy Knupp, accounting and fuel manager
IDM Trucking Inc., Weyers Cave, Va.

“We try to not let drivers idle as much – that’s about all you can do.”
John Tullis, president
Expeditors Express Inc., Madison, Tenn.

Next month’s question:
What are you doing now to prepare for the 2007 emission standards?

Send answers to [email protected]; fax (205) 750-8070.

Make your point
Send letters to Feedback, Commercial Carrier Journal, 3200 Rice Mine Road N.E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35406; fax (205) 750-8070; e-mail [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit submissions for length, grammar and appropriateness. All letters must include contact information.