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Con-way Truckload Lowers Top Speed of Fleet

Con-way Truckload, a nationwide full-truckload freight transportation company, has reduced the maximum governed speed of its 2,700-tractor fleet from 70 to 65 mph. By adjusting its fleet to run at the lower maximum highway speed, the company expects to save 2.8 million gallons of diesel fuel per year, while reducing annual carbon emissions by approximately 62 million pounds.

Lowering our speed governors is a major step for us, and one of many that we’re taking toward conserving fuel and supporting Con-way’s enterprise-wide sustainability initiative.

We have adjusted our operational planning and management controls to ensure we can reap the benefits of this change for the environment, while continuing to meet the needs of our customers for consistent, reliable on-time service. I want to especially commend our drivers for their support. Their professionalism is really showing through. They recognize the importance of this initiative and the key role they play in making it successful.

—Herb Schmidt, president, Con-way Truckload

In addition to reducing the maximum speed of its fleet, Con-way Truckload has invested in new technologies and practices in an ongoing effort to reduce fuel consumption, including:

  • Switching to fuel-efficient single wide-base tires on all tractors for a savings of .2 miles per gallon, with all trailers to follow by the end of 2012;

  • Using special engine and drive train lubricants to increase operating   efficiency;

  • Lowering each truck’s weight by more than 670 pounds through specification changes, resulting in savings of 11,400 gallons of diesel fuel per year;

  • Equipping the fleet with aerodynamic panels to reduce drag; and

  • Reducing idling time through measures such as diesel-fired bunk heaters, commercial transponders for bypassing weigh stations, increasing the use of team drivers and designating “no idling” parking areas at selected terminals.

Since 2005, Con-way Truckload has been a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership. SmartWay Transport is a voluntary partnership between EPA and freight industry businesses aimed at reducing greenhouse gas Schmidt added that the speed reduction initiative is being accomplished without any deterioration in service to customers.



I am all for setting a 60 mph national speed limit. I know there will be people that will flame this idea all to heck, but it would save fuel and we need to do that now.


I'm all for a 55MPH speed limit on SUV's or any fuel wasters but please no speed limit on much more efficient and aerodynamic sports sedans, compacts, etc.


There is some real merit to having a lower speed limit for trucks & suvs. First, per GdB lower speed limits should have the most aerodynamic benefit for big trucks. It would also encourage people to take cars for their longer trips so they could get their faster. So you may save more by having the limit just on trucks.

There may also more of a safety benefit for trucks & suvs due to their rollover risk. Given the higher mass of trucks, it also seems fair to protect those in smaller vehicles by balancing out the other variable in the kinetic energy equation to limit damage from collisions. The only question I would have is how it would impact safety to have vehicles travelling at different speeds. They have dedicated truck lanes now for semis and it seems to work fine, but I wouldn't assume this would be true for all situations.


how much did they give the drivers who are spendig more time on the road, and how much longer do the trucks have to be running to get the delivery accomplished? if the trucks were designed and geared to run 65 then they are just doing what makes sense. if/when you restrict trucks in a lane then keep 4 wheelers out for they do not know how to drive!


So Conway has made the ultimate sacrifice in fuel savings and protecting the environment. For all of you out there that are not familiar with the trucking industrie, here are some facts.

The driver is required by federal law to spend 10 consecutive hrs in the sleeper birth of the truck or a motel / terminal bunk room.

There are now states like New York , California etc that prohibit idling trucks.

Just try to imagine this: After your car was parked in the mall parking lot for 2 hrs at 90 degree outside temperature, instead of running the AC, make yourself comfortable and take a 10 hrs nap. Why? Because its against the law to idle and no idle equals no AC. By the way. The Law enforcement officer during the time writing the idle ticket to a driver will have his AC running.

Reduced speed for a trucker means less miles during the allowed 11 hrs driving time per day. And since we the drivers are getting paid per mile we are bearing the brunt of the cost savings.

Reduced or split speed limits and truck lane control. Sounds good. California has split speed 55 trucks and 65 cars. Even on a 2 lane highway. I’m no rocket scientist but 2 different speeds in the same lane?!

Trucks in the right lane during rush hrs. Great idea. How many time did you try to get on a free way with a truck in the right lane? If it was me I would get rid of the HOV lanes and make that the truck lane to get the trucks away from the cars.

There are two counties in TN that reduced the posted speed limit to 55 for environmental reasons. But only for trucks. So now when I drive my truck at 55 north of Knoxville TN I can get a better view of the gigantic coal burning power plant. Of course I cant look to long because here comes an other car onto the interstate down the exhilaration lane at 45 trying to merge between two trucks restricted to 55 in the right lane while other cars in the left lane are running 65. What a mess?

The article mentioned the Pre Pass. Great. Only thing. It wont work in KY. Kentucky is using Nor Path. Why? Because they can.

I know there are problems out there and companies have to save money. Great, just keep your greedy paws out of my wallet. And if you want to pass laws to restrict idling the pass a law that will force the manufactures to include an alternate power source. Works for campers. And how about building some rest stops for us to park before you restrict parking on ramps. Also I notice more and more rest stops with no truck parking. I think Tennessee has it right. “Welcome center next right. NO TRUCKS” I almost wished that all truckers were either of one ethnic back ground or one sexual preference. Because then we could claim discrimination the ACLU would be all over that. But as it is. Everyone is talking but no one is doing


love the part aboutthe coal burning plant. but lets start w/ the drivers they are easier to skew


It makes sense to have APUs or better yet plug in. I agree that we should have truck rest areas with plug in for AC and what ever. It is one of the private/public issues. Is the taxpayer money best spent on one group or to benefit a larger group? If truck companies want to pay a surcharge to get all this installed in rest stops then fine. The time to do that was years ago, with fuel costs it is out of the question now.

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