GULFPORT, MS - There may be no other industry more environmentally regulated than the trucking industry. With a focus on America's fleet of more than 3 million diesel drinking 18-wheelers, scrutiny is growing. From the anti-idling laws in California, to new emissions limits from Washington and even citations from the DOT for driving dirty, the ultimatum has been handed down. Get greener or pull over.
According to Louis Normand, Fleet Operator and CEO of National Truck Funding / American Truck Group, "It's all about efficiency and dependency. The more fuel efficient trucks become the cleaner our air and the less dependent we are on foreign oil. It's not rocket science just truck science." The average 18-wheeler burns 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. Multiply that by 3 million rigs and you can see how small percentage increases in fuel efficiency, combined with enhanced operating efficiencies can save millions of gallons of fuel and billions of dollars in freight costs.
There may be no one more aware of this onslaught of new mandates and regulations than National Truck Funding / American Truck Group (NTF) (ATG) CEO, Louis Normand. Managing a growing fleet of 500 and approaching 90 rigs into the service each month, Normand was forced to confront go-green initiatives head on when ATG built its brand new sales and service facility. Keeping a large fleet of big trucks in regulatory compliance was one thing but building a facility to service the fleet was a whole new ball game. Especially when you want to add an on-site truck wash to the facility footprint. With drivers becoming more sensitive to the fuel efficiencies of operating a clean truck, and ATG's own growing demand for a functional truck wash, Normand set out to include a truck wash in his building plans. He was determined to make it clean and green. So green it couldn't help but be more compliant than currently required and way ahead of its time in the event of even stricter "Green Regs" down the road.
As the planning stages progressed, Normand realized building an on-site truck wash was becoming one of the bigger challenges his business ever had to face. Not only were traditional degreasers, detergents and chemicals expensive, but the disposal of such, once combined with road chemicals and grime removed from dirty trucks, was subject to even more regulation and cost. So, in true Normand style, he decided to build a chemical, detergent-free, pollution-proof truck wash. "I just figured if I didn't use chemicals or detergents to begin with I didn't have to worry about getting rid of it."
And so the Pro-Wash Wastewater Filtration System was invented by this Mississippi truck dealer. But that's only the beginning of the story. What was intended to be just a green truck wash may have turned into the closest thing to a perpetual energy system the world has ever seen.
To eliminate the use of chemicals, the decision was made to use steam to clean. At the outset, the projected energy costs to run the high-output boilers that created the steam, threatened to wipe out the cost savings on chemicals and detergents. Such always seems to be the dilemma. Going green costs more green.
Undeterred, ATG engineers and developers, relying on MIT research, came up with a solution. Super-heated engine oil thins to a point where it can be combined with propane gas to create a highly combustible fuel. Fuel that can be used to heat the boiler that makes the steam. When Normand was asked how burning engine oil and propane could be cheaper than natural gas or electricity he just smiled and said, "you can't get any cheaper than free."
By combining a truck wash with an oil change facility, ATG is able to tap into an almost endless supply of fuel. The oil from each change is filtered, cleaned then used as fuel to heat the boiler that makes the steam to clean the trucks. When steam under high pressure finally hits the grime and rips it off the truck, the grimy solution drains into a proprietary gravity-fed filtration system that separates the pollutants from the water down to 0.006 microns. Then it is pumped through final stage filtration that removes all carcinogens and other harmful agents.
The end result is water so clean you could drink it. Or, if your water filtration system happens to be part of a truck wash, the sparkling clean water can be used over and over again to wash another truck. The cleaner the water used the cleaner the truck gets and in less time too.
Now a trip back to the roots of our country and the engine that built an empire. The steam engine. With now an unlimited supply of steam why not build an engine powered by steam to run a generator that charges the batteries that light the entire facility. And so it was done.
Finally, here's how the story of the Mississippi Green Machine ends. There's still those pesky filtered chemicals, grease and road salts to dispose of. Once these solids are separated from the grimy solution that runs off the truck, they are burned in the Pro-Wash Incinerator. This incinerator's exhaust gas re-burn system, manufactured in Mississippi, is the first of its kind in the world. It burns so clean, there's no smoke and all that's left from the burn is a fine non-toxic powder.
Without question, this system is a big win for the trucking industry and the environment. But those aren't the only winners. Drivers win big as well. Normand says, "the system cuts energy costs by $12,000 to $15,000 a month." In turn this allows ATG to offer a truck wash and oil change at dirt cheap rates. Drivers know a clean truck cuts fuel costs by as much as 4% while regular oil changes add life to a rig that just wants to keep America moving forward a mile at a time.
As traditional truck washes find it more difficult to meet new regulatory demands and stay in business, Normand's plans are to build a nationwide network of ProWash Systems. A plan that's sure to leave the existing competition green with envy. ProWash Systems Patented Methods*
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