While long-haul trucking still has a long ways to go towards becoming a "green" form of transporting freight and materials, developments such as BioWillie biodiesel have attempted to lighten the footprint of the "big rigs." This past week, another venture jumped into the marketplace to address trucks' and truckers' environmental impact: non-profit Cascade Sierra Solutions' first "outreach center" for green trucking technologies near Salem, Oregon. CSS director and founder Sharon Banks notes that the center is designed to address a fundamental issue with products that help truckers green their ride (and save money): access.
Banks said the trucks usually get 5 miles per gallon of diesel, but a retrofit of energy-saving goods ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 could save 25 percent on fuel bills.The center is the first of five that are planned: others are slated for Seattle, Portland, Medford, Sacramento and Los Angeles. We hope truckers themselves spread the word nationally -- who better? ::Cascade Sierra Solutions via Salem Statesman Journal
"If you're going to keep your truck for three, four or five years, you can get a good return on the investment," she said.
Among other items:
- Single tires: A tire with 17-inch tread can replace double 11-inch wheels on long-haul trucks converting an 18-wheeler to a 10-wheeler, and saving as much as 8 percent in fuel, Banks said.
- Radio-controlled tire pressure monitors -- running fully inflated tires saves fuel.
- A dashboard display that gives a continuous reading of fuel efficiency, allowing the driver to adjust driving techniques to save fuel.
- Diesel air cleaners that reduce emissions 90 percent -- and cost $18,000. "You can literally put a white hanky over the tail pipe and it won't turn black," Banks said.