It is pretty common to hear talk about global warming and the negative effects that industrialization has brought to the environment. Though there are some individuals who would disagree with this idea, many have also agreed with this viewpoint. Now more than ever people are becoming more aware of the environment and clean technology is gaining attention in many ways. Buyers now consider hybrid and electric vehicles as well as internal combustion engine cars. Wind farms are gaining popularity as an alternative to coal-powered energy plants. The forest is also acquiring its share of 'green' technology through environmentally friendly tree trucks.
These vehicles are essential tools for maintaining the forest. The majority of the equipment used in the forestry industry utilizes a truck-based design. This means that the mechanism that actually does the work sits on top of a truck frame. These vehicles are favorable for this sort of application because their frames are rigid and agile enough to withstand unpredictable forest terrains.
Although this means of transportation is perfectly suitable for forestry applications, there is one bit of a downside on its design, namely the internal combustion engine that is uses for power. These gasoline-powered engines are known to be the number one cause of air pollution; therefore, trucks used in the forestry industry traditionally have not been environmentally friendly. There has not been an engine design that could equal and replace the internal combustion engine until recent technology has developed new alternatives.
One of the clean alternatives to the internal combustion engine is the electric-powered truck. Today, many major and small-scale truck manufacturers have already designed fully electric medium-duty commercial vehicles. One good example of this application is the recent acquisition by the U.S. Forestry Service of several of these 'green' vehicles for its Savanna river site located in South Carolina.
Fully electric trucks are comparable with internal combustion engines in terms of performance but have not completely replaced the petrol and diesel engines on these trucks just yet. Given our present technology; the batteries used for these electric-powered vehicles are limiting; they are costly, have a fairly low capacity, and take quite a bit of time to recharge. The limitations of these batteries keep the electric motor from completely replacing the internal combustion engine.
Old Design Meets New Design Technology
For now, creating a good balance between efficiency and reliability is achievable using hybrid technology. This is a combination of the internal combustion engine and the electric motor. Hybrid vehicles are popular for forestry applications, especially with forestry bucket trucks, because this function is perfectly suited to how these vehicle are used. When being driven, the internal combustion engine powers the transmission; when it comes to lifting, the electric motor takes on that role. For long hours of operation, the hydraulic system that powers the lift switches from the electric motor to the internal combustion engine for power. This set-up greatly reduces fuel consumption and carbon monoxide emission on the hybrid vehicles.
Further Environmental Considerations
The emissions on regular trucks with internal combustion engines can be minimized by keeping the engines well-maintained. To reduce carbon emission and fuel consumption, it is important to have regularly scheduled tune-ups that include: oil changes, belt adjustments, fuel injection calibration, and transmission maintenance to name a few measures. These steps will help extend the life of the engine by reducing engine wear-and-tear, reducing fuel consumption; and reducing emissions. It is also important to check the wheel alignment on the tires of the trucks. Misaligned tires can increase road friction, lower the thread life of the tires and increase the load on the engine.
Ultimately, purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle will cost more; however, it will also help the environment by decreasing fuel consumption and harmful emissions of a standard gasoline-powered truck. Look into the options that are now available and let your tree trucks help the environment!
Christopher M. Hunter is an expert in commercial specialty trucks. To find out more about Tree Truck, go to the main website at: http://www.firstfleettrucksales.com/home.