Bigger Truck Can be Good for the Environment

by : Gertrude

According to the study conducted by the Canadian Trucking Alliance-Natural Resources Canada, longer trucks produce lesser harmful emissions and even help in improving highway safety. The Nova Scotia government is studying at how longer truck configurations could operate in the province.

Canadian Trucking Alliance-Natural Resources Canada has conducted a two-year study that involves ten trucking fleets from Western Canada and Quebec and the result was really astounding. The alliance have discovered that the use of longer combination vehicles such as turnpike doubles and single can actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve highway safety.

The study has also showed that turnpike doubles are also two to three times safer compared to the overall tractor-trailer fleet that travels on Ontario's multi-lane highways when measured by kilometers traveled per vehicle. The turnpike doubles was also found out to save an average of 28.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers traveled compared to a single-trailer configurations which records 55 percent saving.

Aside from that turnpike doubles could also reduce the number of trucks on the road by six to ten percent basing on the study. For several months, New Brunswick has been involved in a pilot project that utilizes the combination of vehicles consisting of a tractor and two, 16-metre trailers. Sunbury Transport has been operating the trucks between Dieppe and Saint John. The vehicles are operating under a special permit.

The executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, Peter Nelson said that the industry is working toward the reduction of harmful emissions and improving safety. He also added that the reduced emissions resulting from longer trucks, combined with new eco-friendly engines, better quality components that are now being used together with ultra-low-sulphur diesel fuel, will ensure that "by 2010 will have almost an emission-free truck."

The alliance's study further shows that approximately 900 million kilometers of truck travel would be saved annually by promoting the use of turnpike doubles, similarly 260 million liters of fuel will also be saved and 730 kilotons of greenhouse gases will be avoided.

The alliance's study also shows that if ever the turnpike double network is expanded the big winner will be Ontario followed by Quebec, and Maritimes. It is estimated that for freight movements in Ontario alone, the annual savings would be 54 million liters of fuel and 151 kilotons of greenhouse gases would be eliminated. And not only that! A turnpike double system from the Maritimes to Ontario would help in saving 106 million liters of fuel and prevent 297 kilotons of greenhouse gases.

Aside from Canadian Trucking Alliance-Natural Resources Canada the study was also conducted by a consulting firm and overseen by a steering committee including the Centre for Sustainable Transportation, Climate Change Central, Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, the Canada Safety Council, and Transport Canada.