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5 Ways Werner Is Using Technology to Reduce Carbon Emissions

Jun 20, 2022 | ESG, Innovation + Technology

At Werner, we’ve been doing our part to lessen our impact on the environment for over 30 years—you could say we’ve built it into our DNA. The transportation industry is a sizable contributor to carbon emissions, and we believe it is our duty as industry leaders to reduce that impact in any way we can. Since 2007, we’ve kept more than 3.4 million tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. By 2035 we plan to reduce our carbon footprint by 55%

Technology has been a driving force behind our commitment to sustainability, helping us optimize our operations and making our equipment more efficient. Here are just a few ways we use technology to reduce our carbon impact, and a peek at what we plan to do in the near future.

  1. Automated Manual Transmissions

Our entire fleet is equipped with automated manual transmissions, giving our trucks a 1%-3% boost in fuel economy. This type of transmission merges the efficiency of a manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic. A manual gearbox is controlled by a computer system that changes gears at the most opportune moment.

  1. Solar Panels

We are currently piloting solar panels on nearly 50 of our trucks with the goal of extending battery life and reducing the need for jump-starts. This tech will benefit our long-haul drivers, whose trucks are at a greater risk of losing charge during downtime. We’ve also started using solar-power GPS devices on new trailers, versus battery powered devices, to further reduce waste.

  1. Predictive Maintenance

Werner is a pioneer in the predictive maintenance space. Using IoT technology, we can monitor the condition of certain equipment and flag when maintenance is due or if there is a detected loss in performance. This allows us to alert our drivers to potential mechanical problems before they happen and plan around truck maintenance to stay at maximum efficiency. It also reduces roadside breakdowns and emissions produced from towing. We’ve already implemented these systems on our truck batteries and tire pressure sensors, with plans to expand to other systems soon. We’ve also optimized our maintenance to be completed when it’s needed for a truck’s individual use versus a blanket mileage/age across the fleet. This ensures that our filters are operating efficienctly and keeping emissions as low as possible.

  1. GPS Trailer Tracking

Real-time monitoring of trailers helps our dispatch team boost hauling efficiency by directing drivers to the nearest shipment and providing them with the most direct routes, reducing empty miles and fuel usage. We’re also working on integrating weather alerts into our route mapping to reduce weather-related delays and incidents.

  1. Fleet Age

Newer equipment means better fuel efficiency and adherence to EPA standards, so Werner makes a point to invest in the latest equipment continually. Our fleet is one of the youngest in the industry, with an average truck age of two years and trailer age of four years. Vehicles that we phase out of our fleet are put up for sale on the secondary market.

Looking Ahead

These are only a handful of the technologies we’re currently using, and we are always on the lookout for new technology that will make us better and more sustainable. Earlier this year, Cummins Inc. announced our partnership to integrate its new natural gas and hydrogen internal combustion engines into some of our vehicles later this year. Improving our carbon footprint through tech optimization is one of the biggest things we’re focused on as an organization right now. Recently, we have added “Sustainability” as a core component of our 5Ts strategy, which includes Trucks, Trailers, Terminals and Technology. This strategy represents our commitment of resources to remain at the forefront of the industry.

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