Of course fleet owners and managers play a big role in the fuel efficiency of their operations. The way they spec a vehicle, the add-on devices they select, the way they train drivers all can increase the number of miles a truck gets out of a gallon of diesel.
But the design of the truck itself and the options offered by the truck makers also are key to just how efficient a truck can be.
Listening to OEM executives speaking at various trucking industry events this year I noticed a common theme. All of them are making significant MPG improvement claims for 2017 either by upgrading existing models or in some cases introducing entirely new models that are more fuel efficient coming off the production line.
That’s really great news because fuel efficiency improvements need to start at the OEM level. Yes there are lots of things fleets can do to improve their fuel efficiency once they own the truck In fact, we’ve identified nearly 70 technologies and practices on truckingefficiency.org that will help them do just that.
However, if OEMs start with an aerodynamic truck shape with factory installed devices like automated transmissions, tire pressure monitoring systems, lightweight components, etc. and also work with fleets to set electronic engine parameters that optimize for fuel efficiency trucks will be more efficient from the get go. Then fleets can look at some of the other add-on devices that will lead to incremental gains.
OEMs and fleets working together is the best way for us to get closer to the 12 MPGs we here at NACFE are looking for.