In recognition of Marten Transport’s commitment to energy and operational efficiency, the temperature-controlled carrier has earned the Thermo King Energy Efficiency Leader Award. Martin Duffy, vice-president, sales and market development for Thermo King, will present the award to Doug Petit, executive vice-president of operations for Marten Transport, on June 30 at Marten Transport corporate headquarters in Mondovi WI.

The company’s fuel-savings initiatives began in 2007 with the installation of auxiliary power units (APUs) which have now been installed on the entire fleet. These APUs made it possible to reduce idle time to 2%.

Marten Transport wanted to increase efficiency throughout its fleet of approximately 4,300 company-owned trailers. It selected a temperature control system that provides exacting temperature visibility and control, which has minimized fuel consumption and overall engine hours—and, peripherally, reduced maintenance costs.

The company worked with customers to test in-transit product integrity at different set points in order to gauge the impact on products and to determine fuel savings potential. The results proved frozen products could be transported at substantially lower cost without impacting product integrity when set at –1° F rather than –10° F.

Maintaining sub-zero temperatures while reducing refrigeration demands by only 9 degrees allows a reduction in the number of defrost cycles required. With 4,300 refrigerated units, the net impact of the change has been significant.

Marten Transport’s idle percentage has averaged 1.7% over the past 90 days. This equates to a monthly savings of $560,000 versus a comparable non-APU fleet of this size. Company leaders are also seeing a weekly savings of around $20,000 for managing idle percentage versus the industry average on APU-equipped fleets.

The firm’s new SB-230 refrigeration units provide:

•OptiSet Plus—allowing optimized unit performance, greater fuel efficiency, and cargo protection.

•SR-3 Controller with USB port—making it easier for drivers to accurately manage temperature in the trailer, no matter what is hauled.

•EMI-3000 (Extended Maintenance Interval) with 5-micron filter—reducing maintenance cost and waste.

•An exclusive fuel filtration system—saving the average 500-vehicle fleet owner up to $100,000 in fuel-related maintenance expenses.

•A new controller that allows data transfer via USB flash drive—allowing the average 500-vehicle fleet to gain180 hours of in-service time annually compared with data transfer via traditional laptops and cables.