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Knight-Swift Transportation Sees Rise in Productivity After National Rollout of HVLS Fans

Knight-Swift Transportation Sees Rise in Productivity After National Rollout of HVLS Fans

By Vanessa Peng

The largest trucking company in the U.S. will be increasing worker productivity this summer, no matter what the temperature is – even in record-breaking heat.

Knight-Swift Transportation has teamed up with Arizona-based energy solutions company, U.S. Energy Recovery, for a rollout of high volume low speed (HVLS) fans across their U.S. terminals.

The national rollout comes on the heels of two successful HVLS fans projects in Ocala, Florida and Phoenix, Arizona. Ocala and Phoenix both experience hot and humid truck shop conditions in the summertime. These were the most recent projects and the most impactful locations due to the annual hot temperatures they experience.

Orville Hill, Service Leader at Swift Ocala, told us that once the HVLS fans were installed in his shop, the temperatures decreased inside and his technicians were happier and more productive.

“Since we’ve had the fans installed into the shop the temperatures dropped at least 10 degrees. We have a safer environment [and] the heat’s not so unbearable in here. It’s made a real big difference for the shop, we’re really happy with it.” said Hill.

U.S. Energy is a great company to work with. I feel that they came in, they worked in a timely manner. They were very respectful and they were on point.
David Covarrubias Tractor Department Leader - Phoenix, Arizona

At Swift Phoenix, Tractor Department Leader David Covarrubias said they used to use pedestal and floor fans, which could only do a certain amount of airflow in a singular direction. On the other hand, the new HVLS fans create an overall airflow that disperses across the shop.

“We’re hoping that’s actually going to boost up our activity. That ensures that we’re going to process more trucks. That means the drivers are going to get back on the road in a timely manner with no concerns,” Covarrubias said.

High volume low speed fans work by moving large fan blades at a slow speed. The fans move large columns of air that circulate in all directions. This action elminiates humid, hot air and replaces it with dry air creating a more comfortable environment for employees.

HVLS fans can make the perceived, or “feel-like,” temperature 6-8 degrees cooler than the actual temperature of the space they’re in. You can learn more about HVLS fans here.

Regional Technical Consultant at Swift Jurupa Valley, Luis Ramirez, said, “It keeps you cool, you have less overexertion, and it definitely makes you a little bit more productive.”

The installation process, top notch. They asked our opinions, got input from us. They had no issues at all. They came in and did what they needed to do and were gone, professional company.
Orville Hill Service Leader - Ocala, Florida

HVLS fans are energy efficient and cost just pennies a day to run. On top of that, they help lower a facility’s energy bill since the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) thermostat reading can be set at a higher temperature.

The HVLS fans U.S. Energy Recovery selected for the Swift locations come with a 15-year warranty, which sure beats the three to four shop fans that need to be replaced every year at Swift Phoenix.

“It’s a great investment if you want to be able to take care of your employees and ensure that they’re being as efficient and as productive as possible,” Covarrubias said.

Swift Transportation has partnered with U.S. Energy Recovery on other energy-saving technology projects, including lighting and solar.

Both Hill and Swift said they would recommend U.S. Energy Recovery to other commercial and industrial facilities looking to save on energy costs and improve worker comfortability and productivity.