With everything we know about fuel efficiency these days, it’s tough to find a fleet that isn’t doing something to reduce fuel usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Be it to boost the bottom line, to create a “greener” perception of the fleet, or just to be a better corporate citizen, most carriers are implementing some device or training technique designed to cut fuel use.
From side skirts to fuel-efficient tractors and everything in between, fleets are willingly testing and implementing devices when they can. For some fleets, though, the cost of installing a device that might only provide a 1% fuel efficiency gain could be a deal-breaker.
There are other fleets, however varied their equipment might be, that see each 1% as something to gain, a little more profit during times when profit margins are slim. Some fleets also see improved driver morale and retention as a result of these initiatives. JBS Carriers is one of those fleets.
All of the initiatives at JBS, which include side skirts, TrailerTails, auxiliary power units (APU) and driver training to name a few, are designed to both increase fuel efficiency and create a positive experience for drivers.
“One of [President Rodrigo Horvath’s goals upon taking over] was really to optimize the fleet…to improve the fleet and attract drivers,” says Cameron Bruett, sustainability-corporate communications for JBS. “We’re having record lows in [driver] turnover,” adds Horvath. “It’s hard to say what any individual effort has done [to contribute to that], but it’s all part of the [fleet] image.”
For its efforts, JBS Carriers is Fleet Owner’s 2013 Green Fleet of the Year.
JBS Carriers is a 48-state truckload carrier hauling a variety of items, from refrigerated meats to cattle and even some bulk liquids. The carrier has a regional division as well, operating in some Midwest and Western states near its home base in Greeley, CO. The fleet has terminals in Greeley as well as Green Bay, WI; Hyrum, UT; Cactus, TX; and Pittsburg, TX. There is also a growing logistics operation based in Gainesville, GA.
The trucking fleet is part of JBS Companies, which is said to be the largest animal protein processor in the world. JBS Companies produces a variety of products, including food, leather, pet products, and biodiesel. It has production and processing plants in Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Australia, U.S., Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico, China, and Russia.