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YRC To Save Fuel With Synthetic Motor Oil, Skirts

Logistics provider YRC Worldwide is planning to save over 100,000 gallons of fuel per year through measures including wind skirts and the exclusive use of synthetic motor oil.

This month, YRC’s vehicles will begin shifting to 5W full-synthetic motor oil, which the company says will improve the miles-per-gallon efficiencies of the fleet and reduce waste motor oil.  The switch will be fully implemented in 2012, according to YRC, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Overland Park, Kan.

“When fully implemented… this change will translate to an annual savings of approximately 100,000 gallons of fuel,” says Mike Kelley, chief sustainability officer and vice president, external affairs. “In addition, this will reduce the waste oil we dispose of each year by approximately 28,000 fewer gallons.”

The company is also adding wind skirts to its 53-foot trailers. Mounted below the trailers’ bottom rails, these skirts reduce drag. Combining them with fuel-efficient, low-rolling resistance tires – which the company started using in early 2010 – will help reduce fuel consumption by five percent, YRC says.

Concentrating initially on equipment in California, YRC will then extend the use of wind skirts nationwide.

YRC is also to order an initial SmartWay-certified power unit to use in a pilot program this summer. SmartWay is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program that identifies vehicles and engines with superior environmental performance.  The company anticipates concluding the pilot program and placing an initial order for new equipment before year-end.

The company will also be hiring additional network engineers in the next few months. “Network engineers are skilled in finding ways to optimize our network to minimize empty miles and maximize trailer capacity,” says Kelley.  “Our network design works in tandem with our fleet enhancements, driving further reductions in emissions.”

In April logistics and delivery giants UPS and FedEx were among a host of companies that launched the White House’s National Clean Fleets Partnership as charter members.

The Department of Energy-run initiative seeks to help large fleets across the country cut petroleum use by 2.5 billion gallons by 2020. The program will offer companies technical assistance and purchasing help, to encourage the adoption of alternative-fuel vehicles.

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