Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Make Your Bucket Truck Eco-Friendly!

As an answer to the increasing cost of gas and the growing concern over global warming, vehicle manufacturers have been racing to provide their customers with fuel-efficient versions. Today they are being built with fuel-efficient engines, smart engine management systems, and hybrid engine technology. Some are already fully electric and no longer require petroleum-based fuel to operate.

The efforts to create eco-friendly and energy-efficient vehicles have been successful with personal passenger cars. Unfortunately, the commercial truck versions still need a lot of additional work. Not all of the eco-friendly technology available in cars can be adapted to commercial truck applications due to the demanding uses of these vehicles. Despite this, there are still ways to make bucket trucks eco-friendly.

Follow a Regular Maintenance Schedule - Following a regular maintenance schedule is one way to keep any vehicle eco-friendly. A regular tune-up will keep the engine's timing synchronized so that it can burn gas efficiently and eliminate any unburned gas from leaving the exhaust. According to the manufacturer's recommendation, the air filter should also be replaced regularly. A clogged filter can reduce the proper fuel-to-air ratio and as a result, the engine has to burn more fuel to maintain its power output. It is also important to check the wheel alignment and the air pressure of the tires regularly. Either of these problems can increase the engine's workload and reduce efficiency.

Use Bio-Diesel - The type of fuel used also affects the energy efficiency and emission of the truck. A diesel engine is already 30 to 40 percent more efficient than its gasoline counterpart; however, it is still possible to increase efficiency and reduce emissions by using bio-diesel. This fuel is derived from plants and is considered carbon neutral since the plants used for producing the gas consume roughly the same amount of CO-2 from the air as is released when bio-diesel fuel is combusted.

Reduce Drag - Another way to effectively increase efficiency when driving is by reducing the amount of wind drag on the bucket truck. Wind resistance can significantly increase the engine's workload. Two simple ways to effectively reduce a vehicle's drag is by closing the windows when driving and driving at a moderate speed.

Use Less Air-Conditioning - Air conditioning increases the engine's energy consumption. So if it is not needed, always turn off the A/C and use the vents instead. During the day, it helps to park in a shady area to prevent heat build-up inside the cab.

Go Easy on the Pedal - Avoid sudden breaking and rapid acceleration. Sudden braking will cause the tires and brake pads to wear out faster, while rapid acceleration can increase energy consumption. If possible, try maintaining a constant speed to reduce fuel consumption.

Plan a Route - Reduce energy consumption by planning a route and avoiding heavily congested traffic. If possible, drive the truck when the traffic is not heavy to avoid stop-and-go traffic, which really increases energy consumption. For unavoidable traffic delays, save energy by turning the engine off while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.

Bucket trucks are known as gas guzzlers, and although most eco-friendly and energy-efficient technologies are not yet widely available for commercial truck applications, there are still many ways to make vehicles energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Following these beneficial tips will help keep the truck in better operating condition and help save the environment!

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