Once again, MPG is about the driver

Nov. 15, 2017
Drivers can improve MPG by thinking about idling and truck stop time and proper acceleration techniques and appropriate engine and road speed.

We have long known about the role of drivers in improving MPGs. We got some additional confirmation during Run on Less, when one of the drivers — Henry Albert — told us that he had three of his top five MPG days while driving in the Run. Henry, as many of you know, is a member of Team Run Smart and is a fuel efficiency devotee, as are all the drivers in the Run.

Henry said the Run put him in a competitive mode to the point that he thought about MPG every second of every day. In fact, he did not even take time to get his truck washed over the course of the three-week Run. He told us he had never gone three weeks without washing his truck but during the Run didn’t want to waste time (and fuel) sitting in line at a truck wash.

And just the other night, another Run on Less driver, Joel Morrow of Ploger and my travels interconnected, and Joel told me that the Run was so much fun because it caused him to be “ON his game, every mile of the three weeks!”

Now NACFE is not advocating skipping the truck wash, or expect all of you drivers to be totally ON your game all the time, but we hope more drivers will take the attitude of the drivers in the Run and think about fuel economy more often than they probably do. To think about idling and truck stop time and proper acceleration techniques and appropriate engine and road speed.

The PIT Group came out with some studies recently that acknowledge the driver’s role in fuel efficiency but also found that if fleets want all their drivers to drive in a fuel- efficient manner, they need refresher courses in how to do that. With fuel-efficient driving it is not just one and done.

According to the PIT Group studies, a variety of methods can be used to train drivers from classroom to simulators to in-cab.

I would add to that list having your fuel efficiency guru share his of her best practices with all the drivers in your fleet. Maybe by doing all these things every driver will be singing the praises of fuel-efficient driving. Perhaps then 10.1 MPG will become the industry average instead of a number achieved by seven drivers during a fuel efficiency challenge.

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.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Route Optimization Mastery: Unleash Your Fleet's Potential

Master the road ahead and discover key considerations to elevate your delivery performance

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...