You may have heard of a firm called Wal-Mart? They have quite a few stores and they have . . . 7,200 trucks! That is a lotta trucks! If they were lined up end to end they would stretch 109 miles (175 kilometers long). In other words they would fill one lane of the New Jersey Turnpike from Philadelphia to somewhere north of the George Washington Bridge!
Anyway, about 18 months ago their CEO, Lee Scott, said Wal-mart would do something about fuel economy. They did. They have raised their fuel efficiency about 15 percent - that is almost one percent a month! You may remember a recent post of mine quoting another fleet operator who said they were doing 6.4 MPG. Wal-Mart claims they have gone from 6 MPG to 7 and they want to go further, up another 10 percent in the next year.
How are they able to do this and do it so quickly? They didn't buy 7,200 new trucks. No, they went for the LHF - the low hanging fruit. What do I mean? Those items like: tire pressure, aerodynamic drag (Great Dane Trailers is working with Walmart to reduce trailer drag), idling at truck stops, tires, other driver practices like how long to idle the engine or what gears to choose.
The fuel saving alone is estimated to be worth $35 to $50 million dollars. Plus there is the reduced wear and tear on the engines, reduced emissions and greenhouse gases and the free positive press - like this post - that Walmart has generated.
You give credit where credit is due. Wal-Mart does a lot of importing but it is doing a little less importing now - of petroleum. That is Autoblog Green.
- Wal-Mart will cut truck fuel use by 25% by 2010
- Wal-Mart receives its first Peterbilt hybrid big rig
- Kenworth launches new T270 hybrid-electric truck
BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD Step behind the curtain at Ford Motor. Experience the documentary first-hand.