Part of the LiveOAK Network

About Us:

We are a new media company publishing websites that focus on energy, the environment and sustainable living. By leading the conversation about green issues, LiveOAK aims to advance the principles of sustainability by making them meaningful and accessible to a mainstream audience.

  • Aaron

    This was a good start on a list, but some of your inclusions show a lack of understanding of the transport industry.

    #3: reducing weight
    This one is the biggest flaw on your list. There is no “reducing weight” in transportation since freight is almost always paid by weight. The drive to reduce the weight of trucks has been ongoing since federal bridge laws were enacted fifty years ago. The lighter the truck, the more freight it can haul and thus the more money it can make. Class 8 trucks (“big rigs”) are limited to 80,000 pounds gross weight (truck + trailer + cargo) and the goal of every company is to maximize the amount of weight that will fit into the cargo box without going over that 80k. So adding lighter wheels, for instance, might reduce the weight of the truck by 300 pounds. To a trucker and his company, that means 300 pounds more freight that can be hauled.

    #6 dual to single drive
    Shows that you’ve never driven a truck. They have dual drive axles for a reason. Under normal operations, the truck uses only one drive axle (usually the forward drive) to move. The second axle is engaged for added traction on bad roads, when pulling a heavy load from a stand still, etc. Further, having dual drives is an integral part of meeting the federal bridge laws, which stipulate not only the total weight of the vehicle, but also the allowed weight per axle. It works like this, going from front to rear on a standard truck-trailer combination:
    12,000 lbs on steer tires
    34,000 lbs on drive axles (dual)
    34,000 lbs on trailer axles (dual)

    Remove the dual axles and the number drops to 24,000 pounds on a single (four tire) axle.

    The bridge law was created to set limits on the amount of weight allowed per square foot on a bridge, so that engineering requirements could be set for bridge and overpass construction and so that heavy trucks wouldn’t collapse the things. It’s also the reason why nearly every highway entrance to a state or territory has Dept of Transportation weigh scales to weigh incoming trucks.

    Other than these two problems, your information is good and those are all things that the trucking industry has been working on for years.

  • Pingback: Green Business Blog Carnival #21 at sustainablog | Sustainablog