As we progress towards a greener world, fleets are a big sector to improve. This is due to the carbon emissions that trucks emit while carrying out their operations. Carbon dioxide gas causes the greenhouse effect to increase, which in turn allows more heat to enter the atmosphere and therefore heat up the planet. As we see today, many are innovating our traditional methods of transportation, including the production of electric vehicles, because transportation accounts for 23% of all carbon dioxide emissions. And in that 23%, fleet vehicles take up significant space. On average, the typical fleet truck emits roughly 223 tons of CO2 gas into the environment each year. To put that statistic into perspective, the average human is accountable for approximately 16 tons of CO2 gas emissions annually. So, trucks emit about 14 times the amount of an individual.
While innovation of trucks to reduce emissions is still in progress, other accessory solutions can help reduce the emissions of fleet trucks out in the field today. This includes telematics solutions such as Positioning Universal’s FT7500 gateway solution. In most senses too, using telematics for greener practices also helps fleets cut costs and prolong fleet vehicle lifetimes. This solution can help with:
Idling is a big factor that can help fleets operate cleaner and save on fuel in general. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that between a quarter to a half of a gallon of fuel are wasted per hour from idling. Multiply that with the size of fleets, and excessive idling can produce huge fuel losses to a team. However, telematics solutions such as the FT7500 can capture when the vehicle is idling and log that data for fleet managers to see. By doing so, managers can pinpoint where excessive idling is taking place, and therefore address any idling issues that are present. As a result of that, CO2 emissions will be reduced, and money will be saved on fuel.
One amazing advantage of implementing telematics solutions into fleet vehicles is the ability to optimize routes. Route optimization not only saves on time and costs, but likewise helps reduce emissions into the environment. Telematics helps optimize routes in a few different ways.
First, consider a helpline service where customers can call in for in person assistance. Telematics solutions log real-time locations of their vehicles which can allow the central hub to easily locate the closest vehicle to the call. In this simple case, the route is optimized by offering an easy way for fleet managers to pick the closest vehicle to the service request.
In another case, using telematics can also help managers identify poor routes and in turn find better routes. A lot of logistics involves trucks going back and forth between locations—for example, from manufacturing to a distribution center, or a distribution center to a retail location. With these types of trips, fleet managers can identify areas where the vehicle travels very slow for extended periods of time, or maybe even idles along the route, indicating heavy traffic in those areas. From there, managers can look at different routes that will allow for smoother driving (maybe at a price of a few extra miles) but overall lowering fuel consumption and the emissions that come with it.
Telematics can help in a variety of more ways with route optimization. As these examples disclose, the data that telematics grabs can allow for creative solutions that in the end optimize routes and allow the fleet to be greener.
Proactive Maintenance Scheduling
Telematics solutions provide information that help ease the process of scheduling maintenance. With telematics, fleet managers have an easy guide as to when each vehicle needs maintenance and can ensure that vehicles are always well kept and cared for. Without proper maintenance, vehicles will burn unnecessary fuel which means more greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions. So, having telematics allows fleet managers to make sure this does not happen, and likewise have a central location to monitor all of their vehicle’s statuses. Not only does that save on emissions and make the fleet greener, but it helps cut fuel costs too. And, it can really help reduce even bigger problems like trucks breaking down on the road.
Promotion of Good, Eco-Friendly Driving Practices
Through previous blog posts of ours, we have seen how telematics solutions can be used to better help drivers practice safe driving behavior. The same principle applies to driving with an eco-friendlier behavior as well. In fact, many of those practices overlap too. First, as mentioned above, telematics can help drivers reduce their idling time and save on fuel. Next, though, telematics can help fleet managers identify harsh braking and accelerations, which are a significant threat to fleet safety. On top of that too, harsh braking and acceleration are also inefficient driving practices that sacrifice extra fuel. That same principle applies to speeding, an unsafe driving practice that also uses excess fuel and can be addressed through the power of telematics. In all, by utilizing the technologies of telematics and the data and insights it can provide, not only can fleet managers help drivers practice safer driving, but in turn also produce more eco-friendly driving too.
The beauty of telematics is that not only can it be used to practice an eco-friendlier operation, but these practices also save money and increase fleet safety. These three spheres are very intertwined in the fleet sector, and implementing telematics solutions such as Positioning Universal’s FT7500 can help optimize all three.