2007-11-01 EPA Sees Roehl Red As Green

MARSHFIELD, WI— Roehl Transport’s red semi-truck tractors are among the greenest on the road and making a leading contribution to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ground transportation industries, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Marshfield, WI-based trucking company recently received the agency’s SmartWaySM Excellence Award in recognition of its efforts to make trucking more environmentally friendly. This is the second year the agency has conferred the honor, which Roehl also received last year.

Begun in 2004, SmartWay is an EPA initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from freight transportation exhaust (truck and rail) by 33 – 66 million metric tons within six years. A companion benefit to reduced emissions is a substantial savings in fuel consumption – reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil by as much as 150 million barrels of oil annually.

Ground freight transportation consumes 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year, according to EPA figures and releases over 350 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulate matter.

“With 7 million commercial trucks on the road, our industry can make a significant contribution to a carbon-neutral economy,” Roehl Transport’s Vice President of Maintenance Phil Trierweiler said, explaining why Roehl was one the nation’s first major commercial carriers to join the EPA SmartWay program. “Environmental responsibility goes hand-in-hand with our recent American Trucking Associations awards for being the safest carrier in the nation,” he added. “It’s all part of being a socially-responsible company.”

Roehl’s environmental leadership has also led to the awarding of state grants from Wisconsin and Texas to study additional measures and technologies for reducing the industry’s environmental impact. For the Wisconsin program, the company has equipped several trucks with auxiliary power units (APU). The unit is a generator run by a small, highly efficient motor. It supplies electrical power and heat to the sleeper cabs at night so the driver can shut down the large diesel engine. In the Texas program, Roehl is testing a combination of three technologies. “We are working with the state to identify which technologies will be included but it could be something like APUs or night systems (another new technology targeted to reducing night time idling) along with new wide- based tires (reduced rolling resistance) and improved trailer aerodynamics (less drag). All of these steps reduce fuel consumption,” said Jolene Sternweis, Fuel Maintenance Coordinator for Roehl.

“These are measures Roehl has already implemented with part of our fleets,” Sternweis said. “Roehl has always been a leader in adopting new ways to reduce fuel consumption and environmental impact. SmartWay gives us credit for our efforts but it also helps focus the whole industry to do what it takes to be part of the solution. This year we are taking the message to our customers too,” she added.

Ranked among the nation’s 100 largest trucking companies, Roehl offers truckload van, flatbed, curtainside and now refrigerated service throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For more information about this story please contact Greg Koepel, Roehl Transport’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Administration, at 800-826-8367.