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Plan Ahead to Ensure Your Company’s Success


Plan Ahead to Ensure Your Company’s Success

  09:55:09 am, Categories: economy , Tags: clean truck, emission levels, freight volume

Freight volume is down. Business is slow around the world. The Port of Los Angeles instituted the Clean Truck program. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a portion of the Clean Truck program. The EPA is requiring new emission levels on 2010 equipment. OEMs have developed two different methods to achieve the emission standards. Carriers are filing bankruptcy. These are just a few of the headlines in the transportation industry since the first of the year. With all the changes happening in transportation today, how can you afford to plan ahead or can you afford not to plan ahead?

First you must look at your current operation and find things you can do today to ensure that your company survives these tough times. Strip out all unnecessary expense and unprofitable lanes. Build customer loyalty with you profitable customers. Search for addition customers in industries outside your normal business model. Look outside the box.

Once you have determined that you are lean and competitive, sit down and contemplate the future. When freight volumes rise (which they will eventually), will you be ready to capitalize at that time? Now is the time to plan.

Will you need to purchase new equipment? If so, will you purchase the SCR or enhanced ERG motors? It appears, at this time, that both methods will be certified by the EPA 2010 emissions standards. You need to research both methods and determine which will work best in your fleet. The enhanced ERG motors require only minor modification to maintenance schedules, but there are concerns that the fuel efficiency will suffer slightly and there will be more heat to dissipate. The SCR motors require an additional DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) tank. DEF is a 32.5% urea (ammonia) solution in a purified water base. The OEMs estimate that you will use 1 gallon of DEF for every 300 miles of travel. They also claim that you will increase you fuel efficiency by 2 to 3% which should offset the price of the DEF. Many truck stops are already getting ready to sell DEF, so it should be readily available, but the price has yet to be determined. You need to research and decide now which equipment you will purchase next year.

With the Port of Los Angeles implementing the Clean Truck program, other ports will likely follow. If you go to any port to drop or pickup containers, you will need to start planning now. With the appeals court in the middle of this, no one is sure what the final program will be, but cleaner truck programs of some type will become more prevalent in the coming years. If you plan now, you can be on the forefront of this movement.

These are just two areas that require immediate attention. We have all heard the expression, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Start now and plan your survival in the changing transportation industry.

Craig Sorensen
TruckMaster Solution Provider
TruckMaster Your Trucking Company

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