YRC to Test Hybrid Trucks in Cities
Outlines Plan to Speed Delivery Times
By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter
This story appears in the July 14 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
YRC Worldwide will begin testing hybrid trucks this year as part of a corporate commitment to sustainability and said it will save as much as $40 million annually by streamlining its service network to speed up transit times.
YRC will acquire as many as six hybrid straight trucks for city deliveries in the Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Atlanta areas to evaluate their performance, said Mike Smid, chief executive officer of YRC North American Transportation. The company is still evaluating engine and transmission options in proposals from manufacturers and hasn’t yet purchased any equipment, he said.
“Sustainability is a big deal for us,” William Zollars, YRC Worldwide chief executive officer, said July 10 in Washington. “If we don’t start [focusing on sustainability], we won’t ever get there.”
Besides the testing of hybrid vehicles, Zollars cited steps to reduce fuel use such as governing all YRC trucks to run at about 63 miles an hour, setting a corporate policy against idling and continuing the company’s long-standing support of a nationwide 65 mile an hour speed limit. If that limit had been adopted five years ago, when his company and other fleets first advocated for it, the national limit would have saved 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, he said.
Zollars also pressed for a national standard for biofuels that motor carriers could use, saying that individual states’ efforts to implement alternative fuels make it more difficult on carriers with nationwide operations.
YRC’s service network has been streamlined to reduce transit times by more than one day on 15% of its shipments. The former five-day transcontinental standard is being reduced to four days.
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