Solar Panels come to CFI reefer trucks!

By Chris Connell :: September 15, 2017

This week we heard many news stories about the spike in truck rates after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma blew through the country causing major flooding issues for distribution hubs. While we at CFI are always working diligently to mitigate risks and delays for our customers we wanted to take this blog and talk a little about some updates that CFI is making to our fleet to serve our customers.

In a concerted effort to add value to our services, we’ve started installing solar panels onto our refrigerated vehicles. Not only will these panels decrease the workload on the batteries, they’ll offset idling time as the panels can generate enough energy to maintain temperatures and electronic systems when the truck is idle.

Idling is a key drain on trucking resources, especially when those trucks are full of auxiliary operations like refrigeration, climate and controlled atmospheric options. Along with heating, air conditioning and ventilation, the true cost of idling at two hours per day (an exceptionally conservative industry average as some trucks can idle for eight hours per day) reaches $1650/year/truck translating to an industry loss of $20 billion a year, according to a study by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Our hope is to reduce that workload on the engine and batteries as we make these long term changes in our fleet.

Our Fleet Manager, Jorge Chavez, pioneered this upgrade to keep our trucks competitive and begin decreasing our ecological footprint. “Coming from a mechanic background, my goal is always to help and build. I want to help our fleet save the customers time and money and I want to build a fleet that is ready for the new challenges coming in the next few years and a large part of that is working towards a more renewable trucking fleet.”

We feel that our customers will benefit from not only our attention to the environmental cost, but also the reductions in fuel costs as we continue to upgrade.

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