Going green in trucking.

Going Green –  Green Shipping Practices in the New Green Trucking Industry era.

The over-the-road trucking industry has recently come under scutiny with new regulations to reduce carbon emissions (fat chance anytime soon).  New studies on the effects of climate change over the last decade have prompted authorities to take measures for reducing the carbon footprint in all industries, including the shipping industry. While the new administration has promised to ease back some of this regulation, the trend toward green shipping practices is still a good idea; though the reason is perhaps less to “save the environment” and more to lower operatin Going Green | Green Shipping Practices in the Trucking Industry

These measures start with green shipping practices recommendations for freight carriers and their drivers, to new regulations meant to minimize the impact of trucks on the environment. For example, in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new set of fuel economy regulations that should be fully implemented by 2018. These regulations require fleet-wide modifications for many shipping providers.  The performance-based standards grant shipping companies the freedom to combine technologies as they wish to meet the imposed emissions levels. The deadline for full compliance with the new regulations is 2021.

The Road to Green Shipping Practices is Littered with Speedbumps

Right now, trucking is far from the green industry the authorities are hoping for and getting there will not be easy. Every day, thousands of trucks cover countless miles, consume massive amounts of fuel and oil, and pollute the air with CO2. The good news is that technological advances in a variety of areas will make some of these goals more achievable.  Investors have been flocking to the transportation industry to support new innovation.  While the reason for these innovations is not necessarily to make trucking “greener,” the result of some of these ideas will clearly reduce emissions.

Driverless Trucks have grabbed the headlines of late.  OTTO, a driverless truck company recently bought by Uber, has recently made successful maiden voyages on America’s highways.  Daimler and Amazon are not far behind.  These trucks will operate in a driverless mode in the more predictable highway environment while relying on human drivers on urban streets.  The benefits are many: Speed and efficiency of driving styles will be more tightly controlled.  The trucks can optimize for mileage by not driving as fast because they will likely be able to operate many more hours without restrictions of operator time. Expect to regularly see driverless trucks on the road by 2020, just three short years away!

Tech Trends is the Trucking Industry Aid Green Shipping Practices

Real-time tracking is another tech trend that is important for the industry.  A startup named Four Kites is providing a platform for real-time tracking of delivery trucks.  There are obvious benefits to tracking and knowing where all rolling assets and associated freight is at all times.  This more efficient routing of delivery trucks will mean less fuel consumed.  Other emerging big data solutions being implemented by freight carriers strive to fill trucks and minimize deadhead return trips.  This trend will reduce the fuel consumed to move every pound of freight.

The Recent development of engine management systems promises to save even more fuel. IdleSmart manages a tractor’s engine during driver downtime. Instead of idling the engine all night at a truck stop to keep cabin temperature comfortable, Idlesmart manages the engine and its batteries to provide cabin comfort while idling the engine the minimum amount of time, thus saving fuel.

Other innovations are already available today and often provide an attractive payback period in operating cost and reduced emissions.   Aerodynamic panels, wide base tires, low viscosity lubricants, exhaust system upgrades, eco flaps, APUs (auxiliary power units), speed limitations, liquid natural gas powering or electric forklifts, are just some of the changes shipping companies can perform to lower operating costs and their trucks’ impact on the environment.

Though there is plenty of promising technology en route to reduce emissions, there are simple but effective measures shipping companies and their drivers can take today to protect the environment.

Obviously, Fuel and Emissions are the Major Factors

Most drivers can become more efficient by simply focusing on fuel consumption. If drivers reduce the speed by as little as five miles per hour, they can significantly lower their truck’s emissions. Driving slower also decreases the risk for accidents and lowers fuel consumption.  Also by modifying their driving style with fuel efficiency in mind, shifting speeds progressively and taking their time when starting and stopping their trucks, drivers can lower fuel consumption by 5 to 10%.  

Freight carriers can start by keeping their fleet well maintained to optimize efficiency.  More progressive transportation service providers can explore hybrid technology.  Every freight company should require less aggressive practices to lower fuel consumption, improve safety and set the stage for the green movement with their drivers.

But there are speedbumps on the road to attaining 100% Green Shipping practices.  Some environmental regulations add fuel taxes to incentivize lower consumption. Fuel prices and taxes have already risen over the years, and volatility in the world market causes the price to fluctuate. Because of this, companies are seeking more fuel efficient engines, but they have yet to meet performance standards. Biofuels have been rather disappointing in terms of efficiency as well.

Assuming that the problems with fuel-efficient engines and biofuels will be solved, transportation industry leaders warn that equipment modifications to allow the use of biofuel are prohibitively expensive. In fact, everything suggests that aggressive efforts to “go green” bring about increased operating costs, reduce service efficiency, and can cost freight companies profits.  Hopefully, the Trump administration will take a second look at biofuels as they apply to our industry.

Efficiency is KEY

Finally, there is a natural conflict between speed and fuel efficiency.  Asking a driver to slow down to save fuel means that he covers less distance during his shift.  This means slower delivery times, more hours on the road and higher labor costs.  Until there are driverless trucks which can operate 20 hours a day at fuel-efficient speeds, this problem isn’t going away!  Freight companies should make sure their drivers are motivated appropriately and compensation aligns with the company’s “green” goals.

Going Green will be a painful, costly process for the trucking industry.  It is fortunate that many new innovations have the double-benefit of cost savings and emissions reducing.  Look for those to occupy the forefront of the freight industry’s efforts!

Copyright 2017, Knighthouse Publishing. Reprinted with permission

Yukon Territory shipping regulations

These are the Yukon Territory DOT shipping regulations, limitations, rules and laws for the trucking of oversize and over weight loads over the roads and highways in Yukon Territory.

Yukon Province flag.

Yukon Territory flag.

Yukon Territory trucking regulations for oversize and overweight shipping.

Yukon Territory Rules & Regulations – for trucking and transport companies.
Yukon Territory DOT Trucking Information.


Contact Transport Services

There are a few exceptions to this overdimensional vehicle permit, as listed below:

  • Fire-fighting equipment or other equipment driven by or for government, in response to an emergency, or;
  • Vehicles registered as farm vehicles under the Motor Vehicles Act, or are towed farm implements exempt from registration under the Motor Vehicles Act, and are being driven between one half hour before sunrise and one half hour after sunset.

***Important — Carriers must call ahead with all information concerning weights and dimensions and ask for a travel number. Depending on load weight and dimensions, analysis might be required that will take at least 3 business days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays) to prepare.

NOTE: Both sets of contact info are different but both for Yukon Territory.

Permits may be issued at: Weigh Stations, at roadside inspection sites,

Phone: (867) 667-5729 or 1-800-661-0408 local 5729 (toll free within Yukon) or
Fax: (867) 393-6408 or
Email:  weighstation.whitehorse@gov.yk.ca

Carriers wanting to move several over-dimensional loads may choose to purchase a Multiple Trip Permit. The application for these permits may be approved only if driving the vehicle on the highway will be safe, and will not cause excessive damage to the highway.

Physical address:

Government of Yukon
Department of Highways and Public Works
Box 2703 (W-17)
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6

Email: road.safety@gov.yk.ca
Telephone line: (867) 667-5832
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, (local 5832)
Fax: (867) 667-5799
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Pacific Time Zone

Click here for the Yukon Territories website for oversize and over-weight hauling permits.

Legal Loads:
Length: Trailer length maximum is 53’.  Overall length can be up to 75′ 4″ long.
Width: 8’ 6” wide.
Height: 13’ 7” tall.
Weight: 13,000 steer axle, 20,000 single axle, 36,300 tandem axle, 52,800 tridem axle.
Overhang: no limits, is only restricted by the overall length of load; 75′ 4″

Routine over-weight, oversize, shipping, trucking and transport permits:
Length: Since Yukon Territory has no said length restrictions you overall length approval will depend on your proposed route.
Width: 16′ on four lanes roads and highways and 15′ on two lane roads and highways.
Height: 15′ is about the most you can get away with on routine permits and main routes. Anything taller than that off of the main roads should prepare to have a route survey performed.
Weight: Yukon Territory allows for 29,700 lbs on a single axle, 50, 600 lbs on a tandem axle and 63,800 lbs on a tridem axle.
Overhang:  Route specific as determined in overall length above.

Notes:  Anything over the above is more than likely is a superload.  Here is the latest superload information.  Lights, flags and signs: Lights are required in positions of flags at night.  Flags are to be positioned on all 4 corners of outer most extreme corners.  Signs should read “WIDELOAD” for wide loads and “LONG LOAD” for long loads.  Loads that are both wide and long you should have OVERSIZE LOAD” banners but a “WIDELOAD” banner may be used.

FROST & THAW LAW RESTRICTIONS: Yukon Territory does have spring weight restrictions and the roads and highways are dependent on conditions.  Overall weight reductions may be imposed up to 50% reductions have been noted.  Check with Yukon Territory permit office for clarification.

Travel times and restrictions:
Travel is permitted 24/7 with the following imposed maximums in Yukon Territory;  10′ 6″ in width, 14′ 6″ in height, 82′ in length.  If load exceeds these dimension daylight only travel is permitted.  No travel on Sunday is permitted, and no travel during the summer months (last Friday in June until the second Monday and September) after 2 pm.  On Fridays and Saturdays you may resume travel at 4 am the following morning.  Holiday restrictions vary so refer you your permit or or contact the Yukon Territory permit office for clarification.

Pilot Car and Escort vehicle information:
Length: If load is over 85′ 5″ long you need one rear pilot car (escort), over 101′ 9″ long requires 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Width: If over 10′ 5″ wide 1 rear pilot car (escort) vehicle is required (beacon light may be substituted if not on highway 97).  Over 11′ 5″ requires one rear pilot car (escort), over 12′ 6” requires 1 front and 1 rear pilot car (escort).
Height: If t all depends on your route.  Height in case by case basis for pilot cars (escort).
Weight: Check with Yukon Territory DOT to see if your weight class will require a pilot car/escort.
Overhang: If over 21′  4″ past the last axle in overhang you are required to have one rear pilot car (escort vehicle).

Pilot car and escort vehicle requirements:
All pilot cars/escort vehicles must display a bumper or roof mounted “OVERSIZE LOAD” sign visible from both the front and rear of the vehicle. Sign must be at least 5′ long and 12″ in height, yellow in color with black letters no less than 10″ tall and 1 1/2″ in width. Vehicle must have 2 safety flags red or orange in color and be a minimum of 18″ of length and/or height mounted at a 40 to 70 degree angle on all 4 corners of the vehicle. Company identification signs must be placed on both sides of the pilot car (escort vehicle) displaying the name of the company, phone number and be placed on both the left and right hand sides of the vehicle. These signs must be no less that 8″ tall x 12″ wide and identity writing must be plainly legible. Vehicle must be equipped with a horizontally mounted rotating (or strobe) amber colored flashing light which must be visible from a 360 degree angle from a minimum of 500 feet. Vehicles must be equipped with a CB radio or 2-way communication device, 2 – 5 pound fire extinguishers type A, B and C, a sign with the word “STOP” on one side and “SLOW” on the other with dimensions of no less than 18″ in diameter with a minimum of 6″ letters. A red safety colored flag with handle no less than 18″ square, 3 reflective emergency road triangles or 18″ traffic cones, 2 “OVERSIZE LOAD” banners (yellow with black lettering) and a safety colored (red, orange, yellow or lime green) vest, jacket or shirt (used while directing traffic).


The information contained in these pages is research information primarily for use by oversize and overweight trucking company drivers, dispatchers and pilot car companies. While every effort is put into maintaining the accuracy of this information you must absolutely verify this information with the Yukon Territory DOT Permits office before commencing movement.



Yukon Territory road & highway conditions.
Yukon Territory permit office.
Yukon Territory trucking companies.
Yukon Territory pilot car companies.
Federal bridge formula.
Frost and thaw laws.