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New fuel efficiency resource for trucking launched

Sept. 22, 2014
A climate change activist organization founded by a group that includes entrepreneur Richard Branson has joined forces with the National American Council for Freight Efficiency to launch TruckingEfficiency.org to help fleet operations reduce fuel costs and carbon output. The goal is to double the fuel efficiency of the North American commercial truck fleet.

A climate change activist organization founded by a group that includes entrepreneur Richard Branson has joined forces with the National American Council for Freight Efficiency to launch TruckingEfficiency.org to help fleet operations reduce fuel costs and carbon output. The goal is to double the fuel efficiency of the North American commercial truck fleet.

The website that NACFE and the Carbon War Room (CWR) officially launched Sept. 22 offers an interactive platform for fleet owners to explore some 70 technologies that could help improve fuel efficiency. Trucking Efficiency also will offer workshops for truck owners. Workshops currently scheduled include Oct. 20 in Indianapolis and Nov. 19 in Allentown, Pa.

NACFE Executive Director Mike Roeth had announced the alliance with CWR in March at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting. In addition to heading NACFE, Roeth serves as the trucking program lead for CWR.

Trucking Efficiency leverages the core competencies of NACFE and CWR, Roeth told Fleet Owner. NACFE has expertise in fleet equipment and management and has conducted fuel efficiency benchmark studies and a series of technology “confidence reports” on various topics – tire pressure systems, 6×2 axle configuration, idle reduction. NACFE is now working on a confidence report on automated transmissions and has plans for others.

NACFE’s core competency is in understanding the technologies and how they can benefit different types of operations, Roeth said. “But we are not the best at writing reports, promoting them and reaching a  broader audience.”

CWR, however, has expertise and resources for packaging technical content to make it more accessible. And CWR has connections that NACFE doesn’t to the financial community, media and philanthropists, Roeth said.

TruckingEfficiency.org allows users to browse fuel efficiency opportunities either by type of technology or by operational profile.

Until now, NACFE resources have been available as PDF downloads, each of which required the user to wade through dozens of pages. But TruckingEfficiency.org presents the material in a user-friendly, interactive manner that makes it much easier for truck owners to explore the more than 70 technologies, Roeth said.

The website’s content is organized under broad categories of technologies:

  • Idle reduction
  • Chassis
  • Tires and rolling resistance
  • Powertrain
  • Tractor aerodynamics
  • Trailer aerodynamics
  • Operational practices

Or a trucking operation can explore the material based on its operating parameters, such as whether the operation:

  • Has dedicated/known routes vs. wide-ranging routes
  • Averages speeds under 45 mph vs. over 45 mph
  • Performs maintenance in house or outsources it

Whether the truck owner navigates the site based on technology or operational parameters, he finds the material presented in a way that best suits that operation, Roeth told Fleet Owner.

“The new website allows you to work through benefits and consequences,” Roeth said. Users can drill down to detailed data or find comments about technologies by prior users. And at any time, a user can download an entire report.

Roeth believes that one of the biggest advantages of TruckingEfficiency.org is being able to leverage CWR’s resources to promote fuel efficiency to a much broader audience. NACFE’s current reach covers about 50,000 power units, “but we think there are about 1.5 million trucks that could benefit from the website.”

About the Author

Avery Vise | Contributing editor

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