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NACFE study: Fleets adopting efficiency technologies save millions at the pump

Aug. 28, 2018
Average miles per gallon for the 20 fleets included in the research was 7.28 in 2017.

(Editor's note: The full report, released on Aug. 28, can be found through this link.)

A study of 20 fleets found adoption of fuel efficiency technologies resulted in a savings of more than $600 million in 2017, compared with the average truck currently on the highway. 

The study issued by the North American Council on Freight Efficiency (NACFE) found these fleets achieved 7.28 miles per gallon in 2017 for their combined 71,844 tractors and 236,292 trailers. That was a 2% increase over 2016 and also represents a return to the 2% average gain since the study began in 2012. 

The average mpg for U.S. fleets was 5.91, NACFE said. 

Last year’s gain is important, said Michael Roeth, NAFCE’s executive director, because miles per gallon was flat in the prior study. He suggested that could have been in part due to lower diesel prices, but this report show carriers continue to adopt technologies, and they “are delivering for fleets.”

Roeth said on a conference call that “manufacturers continue to develop and improve technologies. And fleets are buying them.”

Overall, NAFCE’s report tracks the adoption of about 85 products and practices for improving freight efficiency among 20 fleets over a 15-year period. The work encompassed Class 8 daycabs and sleepers and trailers in regional and longhaul applications. 

The adoption rate for the technologies studied has grown to 44% in 2017 from 17% in 2003. Roeth said the use of certain technologies such as diesel-powered auxiliary power units has slowed, while others like automatically opening trailer tails are seeing greater adoption. 

Roeth also noted that while the report indicates many positives on fuel efficiency, there is still room to improve, as seen with the “Run on Less” showcase last year, which showed a limited number of trucks reaching 10.1 mpg. 

Fleets providing data for the 2018 study by NACFE were Bison Transport, Cardinal Logistics, CFI, C.R. England, Challenger Motor Freight, Crete, Frito-Lay, Hirschbach, Maverick, Mesilla Valley Transportation, NFI Industries, Nussbaum, Paper Transport, Prime, Ryder System Inc., Schneider, United Parcel Service, and U.S. Xpress.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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