Our current shell retrofit vehicles are 2 Isuzu NPR box trucks, and a Nissan Titan. One of my current goals is to reduce Tay River's fossil fuel consumption. I suspect that part of this involves looking broadly at the problem, and being open to a variety of solutions.
I'm really impressed with the ecomodder website. There's something very impressive about people who uncompromisingly pursue a single idea to an extreme degree. The site is full of fantastic information on vehicle fuel reduction.
As I see it, the problems Tay River face include:
– The Titan is an absolute pig. We bought it for the towing capacity, but of course it fell into general use.
– The Isuzu NPR's aren't bad as far as box trucks go, but newer box trucks are reported to be significantly better (25 mpg vs 15). Partly I wonder if we could modify the trucks to improve gas mileage.
– We carry a lot of material in the box trucks. In many cases (ex. cellulose) the material travels from Northern NJ to our shop, is loaded on box trucks, and then returns to Northern NJ to be installed on jobs. This seems pretty wasteful, and with better organization we could probably have material delivered to job sites directly, possibly allowing us to downsize vehicles.
– The vehicles seat 2-3 people, and not very comfortably. Frequently we will send 4-5 guys to a job, which necessitates sending 2 vehicles simply because it exceeds our vehicle's passenger capacity.
– We pick up materials too frequently. We seem to send trucks out for materials several x/week. I came through the trades believing this was a hallmark of inefficiency, and have never really shaken the feeling. Material runners are a death blow to job site efficiency.
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