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TOWING & RECOVERY September 2012 Keeping industry pros on their tows FOOTNOTES 3 ® AD Partn tow ers Se VI e P S ag O e 1 R www.trfootnotes.com FREE FOR TRUCK & EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS & DISTRIBUTORS We’ll promote your new & improved equipment for FREE!!! Just add the Footnotes editor to your emailing list for press releases: bill@trfootnotes.com T&R FOOTNOTES HELPS BUILD BETTER BUSINESS GREEN TOWING How good environmental practices in the shop can pay off ARTICLE & ART BY JOHN CROSSEN SPOTLIGHT In This Issue: In The Towing Insurance See page 8 Still feeling a little green about sustainable towing practices? Maybe all the environmental stuff seems beyond your reach even if you cared enough to consider making the effort. You may be surprised, however, to find that it’s easier to steer your business into the green lane than you think. And there are very real benefits to your bottom line and to your company image in the community. So it’s worth at least a look. Unprecedented change in industry green practices is happening every-where: the auto industry is committed to increased fuel efficiency, countless green products line the shelves of mainstream stores, and environmental policies are being discussed at all levels of government and industry. Recycling is happening everywhere, alternative energy sources are under development, many more local farmers markets are thriving, and every school in the nation is doing sustainable green projects. If, by now, you are curious about a few things that can be done at your towing company to give a green light to environmental sustainability, here PRST STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID PEORIA, IL PERMIT NO. 315 burning can make a big difference in your company’s bottom line. • A well-tuned engine is essential, whether you are running diesel, bio diesel, ethanol, propane, gaso-line, or CNG • For gas-powered engines there are aftermarket products available to increase mileage and burn cleaner. One product is HHO systems, hy-drogen-on-demand systems that create hydrogen under your hood and inject it into your fuel sys-tem. They really work, are simple to install, and easy to maintain. They cost a few dollars but the fuel savings can be 25 percent or more depending on your motor. Check it out at www.water4gas.org • The market is chock-full of oth-er options that may boost your fuel economy by a few percent-age points. These include chang-ing your oil to high-performance synthetic oil, using iridium spark plugs and wire sets, and installing improved air intake and filter sys-tems, gas or diesel additives that clean your engine, and high-per-formance exhaust systems. • The auto industry is constantly working on green improvements. Someday we will probably see hy-brid trucks with enough juice to do the job, but until such time, it’s really all about how you drive that makes the biggest difference to fuel consumption and pollution: See GREEN TOWING, page 3 Fire & Rescue Special Issue Gifts & Toys For November: For October: are several suggestions for good office, workshop, and fleet practices that you can implement: An Environmental Mission Statement for your compa-ny’s sustainability policy is a good place to begin. Get staff input so that it will be a group effort. The idea is to adopt proactive company strategies to preserve, restore, and enhance the environment in which you and your staff work and live. Spell out your goals so everyone will know what they are seeking to accomplish. Staff Incentives. It’s hard to change old habits so incen-tives can be very effective. Suggestions include time off, cash bonuses, gift certificates, or tickets to an event as prizes for staff members who demonstrate the most initiative toward meeting your company’s green goals. Keep records of the resulting company environmental changes and upgrades. Electing a person to be the company “eco-monitor” can help keep new programs in motion. Fuel savings. As we all know, a dirty but unavoidable side effect of the towing industry is the burning of fossil fuels. What type of fuel and how much of it you are 1 Advertise Now! Call David Abraham 877-219-7734, Ext 1 Volume 23, Number 5 x $3.95 © 2012 Causey Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2 Towing & Recovery Footnotes P .O. Box 64397 Virginia Beach, VA 23467 ® 3

GREEN TOWING

John Crossen

<br /> Still feeling a little green about sustainable towing practices? Maybe all the environmental stuff seems beyond your reach even if you cared enough to consider making the effort.<br /> <br /> You may be surprised, however, to find that it’s easier to steer your business into the green lane than you think. And there are very real benefits to your bottom line and to your company image in the community. So it’s worth at least a look.<br /> <br /> Unprecedented change in industry green practices is happening everywhere: the auto industry is committed to increased fuel efficiency, countless green products line the shelves of mainstream stores, and environmental policies are being discussed at all levels of government and industry. Recycling is happening everywhere, alternative energy sources are under development, many more local farmers markets are thriving, and every school in the nation is doing sustainable green projects. If, by now, you are curious about a few things that can be done at your towing company to give a green light to environmental sustainability, here are several suggestions for good office, workshop, and fleet practices that you can implement:<br /> <br /> 1 An Environmental Mission Statement for your company’s sustainability policy is a good place to begin. Get staff input so that it will be a group effort. The idea is to adopt proactive company strategies to preserve, restore, and enhance the environment in which you and your staff work and live. Spell out your goals so everyone will know what they are seeking to accomplish.<br /> <br /> 2 Staff Incentives. It’s hard to change old habits so incentives can be very effective. Suggestions include time off, cash bonuses, gift certificates, or tickets to an event as prizes for staff members who demonstrate the most initiative toward meeting your company’s green goals. Keep records of the resulting company environmental changes and upgrades. Electing a person to be the company “eco-monitor” can help keep new programs in motion.<br /> <br /> 3 Fuel savings. As we all know, a dirty but unavoidable side effect of the towing industry is the burning of fossil fuels. What type of fuel and how much of it you are burning can make a big difference in your company’s bottom line.<br /> <br /> • A well-tuned engine is essential, whether you are running diesel, bio diesel, ethanol, propane, gasoline, or CNG<br /> • For gas-powered engines there are aftermarket products available to increase mileage and burn cleaner. One product is HHO systems, hydrogen- on-demand systems that create hydrogen under your hood and inject it into your fuel system. They really work, are simple to install, and easy to maintain. They cost a few dollars but the fuel savings can be 25 percent or more depending on your motor. Check it out at www.water4gas.org<br /> • The market is chock-full of other options that may boost your fuel economy by a few percentage points. These include changing your oil to high-performance synthetic oil, using iridium spark plugs and wire sets, and installing improved air intake and filter systems, gas or diesel additives that clean your engine, and high-performance exhaust systems.<br /> • The auto industry is constantly working on green improvements. Someday we will probably see hybrid trucks with enough juice to do the job, but until such time, it’s really all about how you drive that makes the biggest difference to fuel consumption and pollution:<br /> <br /> Driving Practices. Different drivers can obtain substantially different fuel mileage in the same model vehicle. Trials done in Sydney, Australia by two large transport companies showed that “smooth” drivers used 27 percent less fuel than “lead-footers” in an empty Kenworth, with only three minutes added to a 70 km run. Research in the United States found that driving aggressively increased fuel consumption by nearly 30 percent. The researchers offered the following advice to drivers:<br /> <br /> • Leaving a truck idling, unless you absolutely need to, is counterproductive to fuel economy and cleaner air<br /> • Anticipate conditions ahead so that braking is minimized<br /> • Do not accelerate to a higher speed than required if you must later slow down or stop. Every time brakes are applied, energy extracted from the fuel is dissipated.<br /> • Performance improvements can come from starting up/warming up: start with no throttle, idle until full oil pressure is indicated, and maintain low engine speed until water temperature begins to rise.<br /> • Next, ease up to full speed, using only enough revs to keep the truck moving and to reach the next gear smoothly.<br /> • And watch the tachometer. Fuel efficiency is greater when engine speed (rpm) is slightly above where maximum torque is produced.<br /> • Downshifting. Let the engine pull down to torque speed before selecting lower gear, because lower rpm means lower fuel consumption.<br /> • Avoid jerky patterns of acceleration and deceleration. Sudden acceleration results in incomplete fuel combustion and heavy exhaust smoke. One suggestion: drive as if there was an egg between your foot and the pedals.<br /> • Make sure tires are inflated properly<br /> • Many companies conserve fuel by utilizing GPS systems and real-time traffic-report software that helps drivers avoid fuel- and time-wasting traffic jams.<br /> <br /> 5 Office Practices. Greening your towing business is not just about your vehicles. There are yet other ways to pave the way to greener pastures:<br /> <br /> • A membership in an online sustainable business network is a great way to get onto forums and receive e-newsletters that will give you or your staff eco-monitor updated strategies to implement at your place of business.<br /> • Make sure most of your bills are paperless, use direct debits to the company bank account, and implement an e-billing and payment plan.<br /> • Make sure all your waste paper is put into the recycling box and that spent toner and old printer cartridges are properly recycled<br /> • Old computer hardware, spent batteries, and other electronics should be sent to proper recycling stations. Research your local newspapers for temporary recycling stations, often set up in local parking lots on weekends.<br /> • If you are renovating the premises, ensure that the paint, wall surface materials, flooring, and other products are “eco-friendly” and that you choose materials that are recyclable. The same goes for heating, plumbing, windows, and doors. There are many options today for high-efficiency products that will stand the test of time and be easily recycled in the future.<br /> <br /> 6 The Little Things Count. Of course there are many small things to do around your premises that help as well:<br /> <br /> • Use only 100 percent-recycled paper products for printing, cleaning, and in the bathroom<br /> • Place washable cloth napkins in the lunch room and washable cloth towels in the bathroom<br /> • Replace the fridge with a more energy-efficient model<br /> • Change to low-wattage light bulbs and recycle the replaced bulbs properly<br /> • Turn all the lights and machines off when not in use<br /> • Install low-flow toilets<br /> • Utilize only green-certified cleaning products<br /> • Keep cloth shopping bags handy and in the trucks to avoid using plastic bags<br /> <br /> 7 In The Shop. If you have a repair or other workshop at your towing location, here are a few more tips to consider:<br /> <br /> • Install skylights and lower-energy lighting<br /> • Put recycling bins near the workbenches<br /> • Be sure all waste oils and fuels are sent to recyclers/refiners<br /> • Sell scrap metal, tires, and old batteries to scrap merchants<br /> • Create a parts-cleaning station that filters and recycles the chemicals<br /> • Deal with local companies for parts in order to avoid shipping and over-packaging<br /> • Support other like-minded businesses<br /> <br /> 8 Marketing Your Green Image. Once you are operating a green business and supporting other green businesses, you should market yourself as an eco-friendly towing company. The more you are seen as a real advocate for the environment in your community, the more people will show their appreciation by giving you their business. There are several ways to show the public you care about the environment:<br /> <br /> • Consider branding your trucks, shop, and staff uniforms with green logos<br /> • Add a tag line about your ecofriendly practices to your letterhead, business cards, yellow page listing, online directories, and print ads<br /> • Get involved in sponsoring recycling events, junk car removal projects, local charities, or if you have a green thumb, perhaps a community garden<br /> • Sponsor a local ball team in conjunction with an “adopt a highway” program<br /> <br /> Once you are well-situated on the eco-bandwagon, you’ll get your community’s attention and you can watch your business grow, leaving your competitors green with envy!

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