DIEPPE, N.B. — As the price of fuel soars, the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) is urging Truckers to ease up on the gas pedal.
"As the high price of fuel continues to wreak havoc on our industry, the slow approach will definitely help carrier companies save money," said Ralph Boyd, APTA president. "The same also applies to four wheel (car) drivers."
Reduced speed on the highways can dramatically increase fuel efficiency. As speed increases, so does air resistance, or drag, which opposes the forward motion of a vehicle. The higher the speed, the harder the engine and drive train must work to push the vehicle through the air and down the road. Working the engine and drive train harder requires more fuel and increases maintenance costs. The recommended maximum cruising speed for professional truckers is 90 kilometres per hour.
"Generally, for every 10 kilometres per hour above 90 kilometres per hour, you burn 10 per cent more fuel. Higher speeds cause more wear on all parts of the engine and drive train," says Boyd. "Tires alone can easily wear out 20 percent faster. As you can see, travelling fast is not only unsafe, it is a costly proposition."
Another sure-fire way to reduce fuel consumption is for truckers to limit their idling. According to Natural Resources Canada’s FleetSmart Program, if a trucker reduces idling time by only one hour per day for 260 days, that truck will save about 1,050 litres of fuel. A 10-truck fleet would save about 10,500 litres, and a 100-truck fleet would save 105,000 litres of fuel. That translates into some very serious savings.
Of course, fuel consumption is not the only important reason to reduce speed. Saving lives on our highways is another positive side effect. Speed contributes to at least 30 per cent of road traffic crashes and deaths. For every 1km/hr increase in speed there is a 3 per cent increase in the incidence of injury crashes and a 5 per cent increase in the risk of fatal crashes.
To contact the APTA, call 506-855-2782.
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