The high cost of diesel got everyone’s attention in the second half of 2022, but Mesilla Valley Transportation (MVT) was already way ahead of the game. Based in Las Cruces, NM, the 2,100 truck fleet is as eye-catching as it is energy efficient. Al Muskewitz, Editor in Chief at HireMaster, the job search engine for the transportation industry, recently wrote a great article about the greenest trucking company.
You’ll know what we mean if you’ve seen MVTs red, royal blue, and purple rigs loaded with aerodynamic technology on the road.
Founders Royal Jones and Jimmy Ray were the first truck drivers at MVT in 1982. In the late ’80s, the company went through controlled growth and began servicing the 48 states and Canada to become the largest privately-owned transportation fleet in the United States.
According to Royal Jones, “Mesilla Valley Transportation is committed to running the greenest fleet in the country and setting an example for fleets around the world. My dream of having this bigger company almost died, and I looked back at all my records, all the trip envelopes, and I realized these trucks were only getting about four miles to the gallon. Back then, that was the average, but when I drove my own truck, I got five to five and a half miles per gallon.”
Unable to change the freight rate, finance payments, or driver wages, Jones set to lower expenses, starting with fuel when it was a dollar per gallon. He told his drivers, most of whom have stayed with MVT for 30 years, “if we don’t get these trucks to five miles per gallon, this deal’s over. They got it to five a half.”
Muskewitz writes that the company avails itself of the newest technologies to remain as efficient and green as possible and has its division to help other carriers meet their own unique aerodynamics challenges. Where the typical 18-wheeler now averages 6.5 miles to the gallon, MVT and its engineers have devised solutions to bring its most modern equipment to just under nine mpg, using nearly 600,000 gallons of diesel less per month than the industry average based on 15 million miles of driving per month.
That translates to annual savings to MVT of about $22 million against the industry average. The difference between 8 and 9 mpg alone saves about $7 million.
“Drivers are in a constant battle against wind resistance,” Jones said. “We’re always trying different ways to make the driver’s job easier by reducing drag while simultaneously giving them the horsepower and energy needed to move his truck down the road and meet our customer’s needs as safely and efficiently as possible.”
MVT drivers have a stake in practicing good fuel efficiency. The company incentivizes its drivers through monthly cash bonuses and awarding a new car to the driver with the best fuel mileage in the fleet each quarter and a $25,000 bonus to the driver with the best fuel efficiency for the year.
The full story can be found here; it’s well worth the time.
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