When it comes to effective truck fleet management, many things need to be taken into consideration. Those who are in charge of managing truck fleets must track vehicles using GPS, calculate and map out the most efficient routes, manage maintenance and repairs for the whole fleet, keep track of receipt stacks and reimbursement stacks and make sure that drivers are reimbursed in a timely manner. In addition to juggling all of those responsibilities, a truck fleet manager has to track and manage fuel consumption. Fuel consumption and liquefied natural gas may pave the way to a brighter, greener future.
Fuel Consumption in the Trucking Industry
Everyone knows that fuel prices are through the roof, and the problem only seems to be getting worse. Managing fuel consumption is one of the trickiest parts of being a truck fleet manager. If things aren’t managed properly, a business’s bottom line can be negatively impacted. As a result, fleet managers are always looking for ways to optimize the fuel consumption of their fleets. An exciting new agreement between Shell and Travel Centers of America might make that a lot easier.
An Eco-Friendly Agreement
A partnership between Shell and Travel Centers of America, or TA, is setting the stage for optimized fuel consumption in the trucking industry. The project is currently in the works. When it is completed in 2013, more than 100 TA sites and Petro Stopping Centers will offer liquefied natural gas, or LNG. More than 200 LNG fuel lanes are expected to become available next year, and they will be offered at sites all across the United States highway system. By taking advantage of this type of fuel, fleet managers should have an easier time optimizing fuel consumption levels.
Key Advantages of Liquefied Natural Gas
One of the top advantages of LNG is its affordability. Compared with diesel fuel, it is remarkably cheap. That fact alone should be enough to convince many fleet managers to give it a try. LNG is also very clean. It doesn’t release the harmful toxins that make diesel so problematic for the environment. This type of fuel is also abundant, whereas diesel fuel is become scarcer – and more expensive – by the day. It’s every bit as good as diesel too, which is a definite plus.
Primary Benefits for the Trucking Industry
From the standpoint of truck fleet management and the trucking industry, LNG comes with lower fuel costs. As mentioned above, fuel consumption and costs are some of the more complicated aspects of managing a fleet effectively. LNG also results in reduced emissions. It produces significantly less nitrogen oxide, which is especially tough on the environment. By switching to LNG, a fleet will be doing its part to reduce its impact on the planet.
Managing a truck fleet is a complicated business. The cost margins are usually razor thin. With the new partnership between Shell and TA, liquefied natural gas will be available to more trucks than ever. In every conceivable way, this is a positive step in the right direction.
Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @CedesPotter.