Street smarts

About the time leaves were falling and grass was turning brown, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency let it be known that forward-thinking trucking industry leaders stay green all year.

The occasion was EPA’s 2006 SmartWay awards ceremony at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition. Among two dozen for-hire carriers, private fleets, logistics companies and state associations receiving awards were some little-known companies and some of the biggest, such as Schneider National and Wal-Mart.

SmartWay is an ATA-EPA partnership designed to improve the environment while boosting the bottom lines of trucking companies. It helps promote money-saving techniques to increase fuel efficiency, reduce idling and cut emissions.

Those goals would be unreachable without the many manufacturers of products that reduce idling and on-highway fuel use. They deserve credit, too.

Carriers aren’t the only truck owners buying these products. Many Overdrive readers are likewise leading the pack.

Take Dave Schwandt, our December Trucker of the Month. He has installed auxiliary heating equipment on every truck he’s owned since 1987. “I had 6 percent idle time on the last truck I had,” Schwandt says.

Single-truck operators such as Schwandt might never get public recognition for their efforts, but we salute them. Not only are they helping the environment, but they’re saving thousands of dollars. They know that’s the smart way to operate.
–Brad Holthaus, Publisher

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