Con-way limits LTL fleet to 62 mph
Less-than-truckload motor carrier Con-way Freight said Monday it is resetting speed limiting devices on its 8,400 trucks to 62 mph from 65 mph to improve fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions.
The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company estimated the move would save nearly 3.2 million gallons of diesel fuel per year and eliminate 72 million pounds of carbon from the environment. The fuel conservation will save the company $12.2 million dollars per year at $3.80 per gallon, the average going rate for diesel fuel on March 10. Con-way’s annual fuel consumption is in excess of 100 million gallons of diesel fuel per year.
Most large trucking companies install speed governors — preset electronic microchips in the engines that limit top speed — on their tractors for fuel and safety reasons. The American Trucking Associations favors a national regulation mandating the use of speed governors in all new medium and heavy-duty trucks preset at a maximum speed of 68 mph. Many trucking firms restrict the top speed of their trucks to between 63 mph and 68 mph. Independent drivers paid by the mile typically prefer to run unrestricted under the belief that they can make more deliveries and income, but trucking experts say that fuel and tire consumption costs above 63 mph outweigh any speed advantage.
Con-way and other highway carriers maintain that slower speed does not reduce productivity or on-time performance levels because of the tightly scheduled networks they operate.
Con-way is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smartway program, which accredits transport companies and their customers who strive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Other steps taken by Con-way to improve efficiency and the environment include equipping trucks with aerodynamic fairings to reduce wind resistance, using special engine and transmission lubricants, setting engines for automatic shut-off to minimize idling when parked, and refurbishing used trailers at sister company Road Systems Inc. instead of buying new trailers.
The company, a subsidiary of San Mateo, Calif.-based Con-way Inc., has also converted its fleet to 100 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel which emits fewer particulates, sulfur and nitrous oxide byproducts. ' Eric Kulisch