Paraclete Transport saving on fuel with new technology 0
Norman Thiessen, owner of Paraclete Transport Ltd., said that new technology has helped the company to save money on fuel. (Jordan Maxwell/Portage Daily Graphic/QMI Agency)
WIth National Trucking Week a focus, a Portage trucking company provided their thoughts on the industry and the challenges they currently face in this economic climate.
Norman Thiessen, owner of Paraclete Transport, said that the company continues to find ways to cut costs by adding electronic addition to their fleets to help save money.
"The biggest thing we've done this year is we've invested in some smart truck undertray systems to help cut down on fuel consumption. It's a smart-way certified product that helps us to reduce fuel we're using per mile," he said.
"We've installed it on all 45 of our trailers. We've seen a six to nine per cent savings in fuel. We've haven't seem a big jump in growth but in savings is something you can see immediately on every fueling."
The Smart-Trace technology is the only system available in Canada that helps to provide up-to-the-minute notifications of movement and temperature.
The device send data signals and records it in a database so information can be transmitted throughout an end-to-end journey.
Thiessen said that since the devices have been added to all their trucks, it's saved them about $4,000 to $5,000 in fuel per truck.
"We were ordering some new trailers and it was a technology that is just coming out onto the market. We invested in some air systems but the problem with that is they're high maintenance systems. This is a technology that helps to deal with drag on the back of a trailer. Every trailer is kind of like pulling a parachute," he said.
What's more, he added the technology is a great investment that pays for itself after nine months.
"The cost of fuel keeps going up so this is what we've done to make the cost of fuel not become astronomical. We keep investing in new trucks so it's one of those high-capital industries where you're never done spending and always looking to improve to get better. Anything to try to reduce costs," said Thiessen.
With the economy continuing to see stagnancy, truckers like Paraclete have been doing what they can to trim costs, while still bringing people onto their workforce, a task that can be challenging at times.
"The industry is still trying to recover from the economic downturn. There's driver shortages because the older drivers are retiring and they're not interested in putting up with the border hassles. We're mostly a north-south carrier so we often have to cross the international border. The older drivers are retiring and newer drivers don't have the work ethic that the older drivers do," he said.