Learn something new on fuel efficiency

Oct. 31, 2017
Learn something new on fuel efficiency

Now that we know that 10 MPG is possible with real trucks driving real routes delivering real freight we need to spread the word to the rest of the industry about what it takes to consistently achieve double-digit fuel efficiency. Or at the very least to raise their MPGs up as much as possible given their duty cycle, loads, etc.

Run on Less, the first of its kind fuel economy road show, featured seven drivers in seven tractors and trailers spec’d with different types of fuel saving technologies. While the trucks had some similarities, no two were exactly the same.

There are lessons to be learned from the Run and one of them is the importance of being educated about the various technologies and practices that will help fleets get more miles from a gallon of fuel. With so many choices available to fleets it can be difficult to know where to start.

For the past several years we have published Confidence Reports on a variety of topics ranging from automated transmissions to tractor aerodynamics to low rolling resistance tires to 6x2 axles to name a few. In all we have 16 of these reports. The reports go into great detail about the benefits and challenges of the various technologies and a Confidence Matrix helps fleets determine if the technology is something they should invest in.

While these are great tools, they take some time to read and might be a little daunting especially for folks who are new to the industry. During the Run we developed 40 short videos on various fuel-saving technologies as well as others that touched on things like team driving, the impact of wind, the effects of congestion and more.

These videos (16 in Today’s Technologies and 17 Stories from the Road, along with the seven featuring the seven drivers talking about the specs on their trucks and their own commitment to driving in a fuel-efficient manner, are a good primer on the elements necessary to achieve better MPGs.

I challenge everyone in the industry to spend a few minutes watching these videos because I can almost guarantee you’ll learn something new about fuel efficiency and the challenges on burning less fuel. And I encourage you to make them required viewing for new people coming into our industry so they can understand that it is a combination of OEMs designing better trucks, manufacturers continuing to develop products that add to a truck’s fuel efficiency, fleets installing those products and technologies on their trucks and drivers committed to driving practices that enhance the benefits the technologies bring.

After you’ve looked at the videos, feel free to contact me to let me know what you think of them and tell me what you think we might have overlooked. After all, I want to continue to learn too.

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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