Taking Responsibility for Fleet Sustainability

By Marcus Myers and Andy VanZant

Roughly 7% of global carbon emissions come from heavy-duty trucking. Though we are nowhere near the largest contributor to greenhouse gases, we recognize our responsibility to do all we can to protect and maintain the health of our planet. Owning that responsibility has led us to make great changes to the Gulf Relay fleet.  

For example, the MPG parameters many of our customers require when choosing carrier partners were impossible for us to meet just five years ago. We have seen incredibly positive results since we started planning and implementing our carbon footprint reduction initiative 3 years ago.  

In those three years, we worked alongside engineers at Mack to conduct A/B testing to discover optimal settings for our fleet’s internal computer systems. We have also made multiple aerodynamic add-ons to our trucks and trailers, like lower trailer skirts and bumpers, to reduce weight and wind drag. The asset operations department has also reformed processes to help with our environmental footprint by increasing the productivity of our customer networks and reducing empty, dead-head miles 

The overall results show increased fuel efficiency and lowered NOX emissions. We’ve seen an overall decrease in emissions of 12%, increased fuel economy by 5-10% per truck, and an MPG gain of 10% on average.  

In 2021, we were recognized by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) on their SmartWay High Performer list in the Carbon Recognition category. Our plans to continue replacing old equipment with newer models and lowering our allowance for NOX and CO2 emissions will result in even greater success. We fully expect a continued improvement in fuel efficiency of around 0.5-1.0 mpg per truck by the end of this year.  

In addition to the environmental effects, there are also tremendous cost-saving effects that get relayed to our customers. Implementing environmentally conscious changes makes everyone a winner: Gulf Relay, our customers, and the planet.  

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