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Energy Efficiency at Facilities Brings Sizable Savings to Fleets, OEMs

A. Duie Pyle, a regional carrier based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, installed LED lighting and skylights in three new terminals built over the past two years. The carrier also ordered the use of both improvements in a renovation of the company’s Buffalo, New York, terminal.

“As we’ve built new facilities, we’ve gone to as many LED and efficient light sources as possible,” said Randy Swart, A. Duie Pyle’s chief operating officer. “But we’ve also found that we can go to modern skylights using prismed and reflective glass to supply enough light that in some cases, we don’t need other lighting at all.”

The company installed LED motion lights in work areas and break rooms on lower floors where skylights wouldn’t be effective.

“And on the docks, the LED lights are sequenced,” Swart said. “As you walk down a dock, 20-foot banks of lights come on and light the way as you go.”

Because billing rates for electricity fluctuate, it’s hard to know just how much money the carrier is saving with its new lighting, Swart said. However, one LED fixture reduces wattage consumption by about 48% compared with non-LED fixtures, “and light output is similar or usually better than what we had before,” he said.

Savings from another energy efficiency built into the carrier’s new terminals — radiant heating — is measured not so much in kilowatt hours, but in employee satisfaction and injury prevention.

“The heated shop floors allow heat to be where the mechanics are,” Swart said. “Shops are often 18 feet tall, and forced air just travels upward. Heating the floor makes it much more comfortable for employees, and it’s less expensive.”

Four-foot-long ramps leading from each dock to ground level at these shops also feature radiant heat. “We did this for safety,” said Swart. “True, the heat melts ice, so there’s no need to scrape or apply salt. These ramps are wide enough for two forklifts to transfer freight and probably cost $35,000 to $40,000, and we have them at every new terminal. But we’ll never know how many injuries we prevent by using them.”

Schneider, a national truckload carrier based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, doesn’t have terminals because its loads are transported from customer to customer. The carrier’s largest facility is its 269,000-square-foot headquarters. Steve Parent, vice president of facilities, said efficiency enhancements at this facility save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

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By Susan L. Hodges
Contributing Writer


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