Con-way Freight has turned back the speed governors on its trucks to run at a maximum of 62 mph — down 3 mph from previous settings — to improve fuel conservation and reduce carbon emissions.

According to the carrier, the move will save 3.2-million gallons of diesel fuel for its 8,400 tractors and eliminate 72-million lbs. of emissions per year.

“Freight transportation, by its nature, is a significant consumer of carbon-based energy resources. Yet it also is one where if we look creatively at how we operate the business, we can find and adopt practices that reduce our carbon footprint and help the bottom line,” said John G. Labrie, Con-way Freight president. “Fuel conservation and cost savings aside, this speed reduction initiative will have the single largest impact on carbon footprint reduction of any operational or business practice change available to us.”

“The plan was initially launched back in November, and it's going over as well as we hoped with the drivers,” Con-way spokesman Gary Frantz told Fleet Owner. He added that this was the first time the company had turned back speed governors, and that the company's initial estimates for fuel savings have been bearing out so far.

Besides the environmental benefits, there are also safety and monetary benefits to driving at a reduced speed — using less fuel saves fleets money, while less speeding usually leads to fewer accidents.