NACFE’s Industry Engagement Director, Dave Schaller, and I have been busy these last few weeks meeting with the drivers and fleet leaders who will be participating in Run on Less Regional in October.
While I don’t want to give too much away prior to our September 10th announcement about who the drivers are, the routes they will be traveling and the cargo they will be hauling, I can share that these meetings are reinforcing what we learned in our report More Regional Haul: An Opportunity for Trucking?
Lots of types of haul fall under the regional haul umbrella. The one constant is that the trucks operate within a 300-mile radius of a home base. Some of the drivers in regional haul operate in an out-and-back scenario, delivering goods at one stop only. Others make multiple stops along a route but return to base the same day. Still others are out for several days at a time making multiple stops.
The nature of the haul dictates whether the tractors will be sleepers or day cabs. Just as with Run on Less 2017, for Run on Less Regional, no two trucks are spec’d exactly the same. Fleets work hard to find that “special sauce” that works best in their particular duty cycles and geographic areas of operation. They look at things like engine size, aerodynamics, advanced driver assistance systems, idle-reduction technologies, etc.
We also are learning that these fleets and drivers are just as fiercely committed to freight efficiency as their long-haul counterparts.
In talking with the drivers, we are finding that one of the things they like best about regional haul is that it allows them time to be with their families, friends and neighbors on a more regular basis. This is a big plus and likely a factor in driver recruiting and retention.
While we already know a lot about regional haul from our report, we are continuing to learn new things from our interactions with the fleets and drivers that are participating in Run on Less Regional. And by the end of the Run at the NACV show in Atlanta, we hope to have a lot more to tell you about how fuel-efficient this growing market segment is.