The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) today announced six recommendations aimed at reducing fuel consumption, the first industry-wide environmental sustainability program to combat global climate change, the group said.

The initiative, titled Trucks Deliver a Cleaner Tomorrow, has launched a new website detailing the recommendations, which according to ATA would eliminate the equivalent of CO2 generated by 9.6 million Americans for one year if implemented.

The initiative’s six recommendations are:

  • Limiting speed governors on new trucks to a maximum of 68 mph and reduce the national speed limit to 65 for all vehicles.
  • Reducing idling.
  • Encouraging participation in the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership Program.
  • Improving highways to reduce congestion, raising the fuel tax if necessary.
  • Using more productive truck combinations.
  • Supporting national fuel economy standards for trucks.

“ATA has committed itself to a series of measures that can reduce fuel consumption by 86 billion gallons and CO2 emissions by 900 million tons for all vehicles over the next 10 years,” said ATA president & CEO Bill Graves. “Our proposals are practical, reasonable, and doable. They make environmental sense, and they make common sense.”

The report was developed by the ATA Sustainability Task Force, headed by Tommy Hodges, ATA Vice Chairman and Chairman of Titan Transfer, Inc.

“This report represents a culmination of many years of groundbreaking efforts on the part of the trucking industry to integrate the most effective diesel consumption reduction techniques into their business models and to transport goods to their destination in the most efficient way we can for us and for our customers,” Hodges said. “As the challenge of global climate change has emerged, we have the added impetus to make progress on those innovations.”

Graves was joined at the launch of the program by Margo Oge, Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as executives at trucking companies including Fedex Freight, UPS Inc., Schneider National, Titan Transfer Inc., and Con-way Inc.

“Schneider National supports the ATA’s strategies for reducing the trucking industry’s carbon footprint,” said Chris Lofgren, president & CEO. “As an industry leader, we are proud to already meet - and in many cases exceed – what the ATA is calling on the industry to do to reduce our environmental impact.”

Lofgren said Schneider will voluntarily slow its fleet to 60 mph, which would reduce its fleet’s diesel fuel consumption by over 3.75 million gallons per year and reduce truck CO2 emissions by 83.25 million gallons per year, the company said.

Con-way Truckload announced today it would limit the speed governors on its fleet of 2,700 tractors from 70 mph to 65 mph, which it said would save 2.8 million gallons of diesel fuel while reducing carbon emissions by approximately 62 million pounds, the company said.

"Lowering our speed governors is a major step for us, and one of many that we're taking toward conserving fuel and supporting Con-way's enterprise-wide sustainability initiative,” said Herb Schmidt, president, Con-way Truckload.

Parent company Con-way Inc.’s LTL division, Con-way Freight, lowered its governors to 62 MPH earlier this year.

“The program is a continuation of environmental advances made by the trucking industry over the last quarter century,” ATA’s Graves added. “But there’s no doubt that today’s skyrocketing diesel prices give us an added incentive to roll it out across the industry, and for Congress to provide the support the program needs.”

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