Trucking still leading in freight-efficient transportation projects

OTTAWA — Five new projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the freight transportation sector, including another two trucking-related ventures, have approved for the eighth round of funding under Transport Canada’s Freight Sustainability Demonstration Program.

Fredericton-based Sunbury Transport joins the list of trucking carriers to participate in the program, which provides financial assistance to any truck, rail, aviation, marine, or intermodal freight company that can make an environmentally-sound case for it.

More carriers are getting in line to show Ottawa how environmentally-
friendly they can be. The government cash doesn’t hurt either.

Ottawa will fund up to $97,000 Sunbury’s Fuel Efficiency Online Tool that assists its on-road fleet with managing fuel consumption and idling. Through a satellite tracking system, Sunbury gathers data from the engine computer on each satellite-equipped truck. The information captured includes data on miles per gallon, idling time and inter-trip idling, among others. The information is sent each week to a secure website where drivers can access personal performance data and compare that to the divisional averages and the top 25 per cent of each fleet.

Also selected is Freight Wing Inc., which will demonstrate to Canadian trucking fleets the potential of aerodynamic trailer attachments to reduce fuel consumption. The attachments consist of two wind deflectors attached to the underside of trailers to prevent wind from hitting the rear wheels; and one mounted on the front of the trailer that deflects the air around the trailer’s flat face. Successful trials may lead to large-scale installations on participating fleets and could also serve to demonstrate to the Canadian trucking industry the validity of these fuel-saving products.

“The companies awarded funding under this program have shown innovation and a willingness to experiment,” said Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon in a statement. “The results have the potential to enhance not only our environment, but also the processes and equipment that we use in freight transportation every day.”

This round brings the total funding handed out for the program to approximately $4.7 million for 34 projects across Canada since 2001.

The Government of Canada contributes up to 50 percent of eligible project expenses, to a maximum of $250,000, with applicants and their partners contributing the remainder.

Trucking-related proposals already approved and underway include: fuel-efficiency training programs, testing of anti-idling units, adoption of fuel-saving technology, and changes to existing equipment to more environmentally friendly gear.

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