MTVG is now using a number of recycled materials at its Englewood, Colo. headquarters to build its eco-friendly trucks.
In this age of environmental consciousness, many companies often claim to be “eco-friendly” and concerned about the future of our planet, but it winds up being marketing slogan and little more.
However, for the past year veteran mobile production company Mobile TV Group (MTVG), based in Colorado, has been putting its money where it’s mouth is. The company builds and maintains a fleet of traveling TV facilities at its two-story facility in the Denver suburb of Englewood, CO. The company has undertaken an eco-centric initiative that focuses on using recycled materials for its onboard workstations and crew positions, lowering cabling weight and soon may be using autonomous tractors to pull its trucks to the customer venues.
“We hope that’s its more than just a marketing slogan,” said Nick Garvin, the company's CEO. “It’s something we truly believe in. We’re not in the most eco-friendly business to begin with, moving heavy equipment around. And at its core technology is not an eco-friendly thing, but we’re in that business so we’re trying to do what we can for the world we live in.”
Nick Garvin, COO of Mobile TV Group.
The company, celebrating its 23rd anniversary, builds the interior portions of its 53-foot expando trucks—but not the outer shell and the expando mechanism. The company assembles two to three trucks a year, recycling cable and other components from older trucks to put into the new ones. They’ve even looked at installing solar panels to generate electricity, but found the panels too heavy for federally mandated weight limitations. [Each truck typically weighs about 80,000 pounds fully equipped.]
Indeed, reducing weight is one of the top priorities for mobile production companies.To this end the company is now using a new recycled and tightly compressed “Earth-friendly” paper product that is strong and can be easily modified to fit specific parts of the truck’s walls, framing and tabletop finishes within each production area.
To save weight and protect the envrionment, MTVG is using a new recycled and tightly compressed “Earth-friendly” paper product that is strong and can be easily modified to fit specific parts of the truck’s walls, framing and tabletops in each production area.
Another part of its ongoing eco-friendly initiative has seen the company pre-order two Tesla electric semi-tractors for its fleet of trailers.After unveiling the new electric semis in November of 2017, Tesla has said it would begin production in 2019, with the first units shipping in 2020. Like other companies in other industries that use trucks, MTVG has placed a $5,000 deposit and hopes to take shipment of tractors in 2020. The Tesla Semi is capable of traveling 500 miles on a single electric charge, which makes it ideal for regional sports networks that tend to be located in the Midwest and west coast part of the country.
“We’ll certainly install charging stations at our headquarters, but we’re hoping that Los Angeles and the California area will adopt some initiatives to build electric charging stations in its many cities,” Garvin said. “It’s good for our business and many businesses, so we’ll see how that all shakes out. In general, we don't produce many cross-country projects, which saves gas.”
As for the Tesla order, Garvin said the tractors’ electric motors feature less moving parts, so they’ll potentially last longer and run much more efficiently than the new semi-tractors it just took delivery of in January for two new 52-foot 4K HDR-capable production trucks that will hit the road later this year.
Most of MTVG’s new fleet of mobile units can help televise live events in HD (1080p, or 720p/1080i), 4K, HDR and 6X slo-mo, 1080p, or 720p/1080i. By 2020, some of these trailers may be pulled by a self-driving “Telsa Semi” tractor.
Interestingly, Garvin told The Broadcast Bridge he hopes Elon Musk, a pioneer of the electric semi, sees this article and contacts the company for his next big idea. He thinks Musk will be attracted to how the self-driving Tesla trucks will be used.
“We’d love for Elon Musk to see this article and we would love to work with him on some of his live Tesla events, so when he reveals his next big thing, he uses Mobile TV Group to broadcast it. I think he’d be very interested in how this industry is using his autonomous trucks, because the mobile production business in general has to be one of the highest dollar and most technologically advanced thing that a Tesla Semi can pull behind it. I’m talking value and technical sophistication of the cargo. That’s got to be more interesting to him than Fed Ex moving a bunch of packages around.
“In terms of what Elon would be interested in [given his SpaceX program] and what Tesla would think is cool, this industry got to be it.”
Garvin said while it has not necessarily led to increased business, being eco-friendly has boosted moral at his company, where employees feel part of something bigger than themselves and their everyday lives.
“It helps our employees be part of a culture that’s trying to do its part to be responsible,” he said. “I think we all have a moral responsibility to not damage the environment as much as possible.”
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