Why Aren’t You Optimizing Your Engines?

Feb. 16, 2015

They cost nothing, add no weight to the vehicle and need no maintenance, yet not all fleets are using them. They are electronic engine parameters. And our just released Confidence Report (link here) shows fuel efficiency improvements on the order of 5-8% can be achieved by optimizing engine parameters for fuel efficiency if a fleet currently is not using them at all. Looked at it this way: a 5% improvement would equate to more than a $4,000 fuel saving per year per truck at 2014 average fuel costs. Even if fuel were at $3.25 a gallon you still would realize a $3,000 saving per truck per year. Not bad, especially since it’ll require only time not money to do it.

So why aren’t more trucks optimized for fuel efficiency? The sheer number of parameters available can be daunting, and engine makers are regularly creating new parameters. In addition, many of the parameters are interrelated so that if you change one, you have to change several others. There also is the fact that each engine maker has its own terminology and brand names for its parameters. Given that fleets often have trucks of various ages, with various engines from various manufacturers, getting them all optimized can seem like a Herculean task.

But that 5-8% fuel efficiency improvement at no additional cost is not something to ignore, even if it takes a little time and effort.

Our Confidence Report gives you a clear picture of what you stand to gain by prioritizing parameters. Trucking Efficiency is highly confident that programmable parameters, if optimized, are proven to enhance fuel economy. Where else can you get savings like that at no cost?

The report also offers some best practice advice. Among others we encourage you to keep records of parameter settings you currently are using and to make parameter templates that cover a group of similarly spec’d trucks. Both of these actions make it easier to reset parameters if they get changed, to ensure parameters on acquired trucks get set the way you want them with minimal fuss and also guarantee that parameters on new orders are set just the way you want them from the get go.

I fully understand that when you first set out to optimize engine parameters for fuel efficiency it’s going to take a bit of your time. But, do me a favor. Try it on a few of your trucks and then let me know what happens. I’m betting it’ll be worth the effort.

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