Fleets still improving MPG, study shows

Even a 1% increase in MPG can have a significant impact on reducing operating costs. In our 2017 Annual Fleet Fuel Study we reported findings from 19 fleets operating more than 71,124 tractors and 234,292 trailers.

We asked fleets about their use of 85 different technologies and practices that improve fuel economy. Based on their adoption of some of these technologies — each fleet selects its own combination of technologies and no fleet can use all 85 — they saw a 1% increase in fuel economy in 2016 compared to 2015.

Combined these fleets reached an average fuel economy of 7.11 mpg compared to the average U.S. fleet. Keep in mind that 7.11 is an average fuel economy number; 2017 model trucks operated by those fleets achieved 7.8 to 9.2 mpg and some even approached 10 mpg.

What reaching 7.11 MPG means in dollars and cents is a combined savings of nearly $500,000,000 or $3,874 per year per truck with fuel at $2.34 a gallon.

Think about that. $3,874 per truck per year. That’s a significant savings for those fleets that choose to make these investments.

If you are not investing in fuel saving technologies and practices, you might want to ask yourself why because clearly these technologies work.

If you are not sure which technologies to spec on your vehicles, you can take a cue from the 19 fleets that participated in your study. Automated transmissions tire pressure systems, two-speed fan clutches, low viscosity oil and predictive cruise control all saw increased adoption by fleets. Trailer skirts was the technology with the quickest ramp up to widespread adoption.

The thing to remember about improving fuel economy is that there is no one right answer. The fleets in our study — like the fleets in Run on Less, our fuel economy roadshow — used various combinations of technologies and operational practices to do better than the average fleet.

If you want to talk fuel savings, stop by the NACFE booth at the North American Commercial Vehicle show in Atlanta later this month. I can share results from both the Fleet Fuel Study and Run on Less and provide other information to help you get to 7.11 MPG. The Run on Less fleets are aiming for 9. 

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