Photo: NACFE
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Lots of fleets are on the fuel efficiency band wagon (we have proof)

Sept. 19, 2018
Three sources showed a similar 2% gain in fuel economy to the NACFE fleets even though there were some differences in the makeup of the groups that were surveyed.

In a recent blog post, I shared some results from our 2018 Annual Fleet Fuel Study and talked about how fleets are adopting technologies that help improve fuel efficiency at a higher rate.

And that’s good news, but I am also aware that the 20 fleets in our study are ones that have made improving fuel economy a corporate goal. So we were curious if the NACFE fleets, as we call them, were an anomaly or if other fleets are waving the fuel efficiency banner.

In this year’s study, we were fortunate to get data from some other sources that track fuel efficiency. First I want to thank — American Truck Business Services, National Private Truck Council and FleetAdvantage for sharing their data with us, data that in some cases has not been widely shared before.

What was amazing to me is that all three of these sources showed a similar 2% gain in fuel economy as the NACFE fleets even though there were some differences in the makeup of the groups that were surveyed.

ATBS serves owner/operators and small fleets, NPTC members are private fleets that tend to keep their trucks longer and FleetAdvantage helps fleets focus on total cost of ownership.

In spite of the difference in the groups and the age of the vehicles they own and the mileage on those vehicles, it was clear that a big portion of the trucking industry is moving toward spec’ing and outfitting their trucks with technology that makes them more fuel efficient and they are also likely to be engaging their drivers in the race to save fuel.

I am not naïve enough to think that 100% of the fleets and owner-operators have improving fuel economy in their sights especially given that diesel is relatively low priced these days. But it sure looks to me like there are a lot more folks out there who are focusing on it and seeing steady improvements year-over-year. Sure I’d like to see everyone at the 10.1 MPGs that the Run on Less by NACFE fleets achieved. But I will take the 7.28 the NACFE fleets got and the movement of other fleets in that direction over the 5.91MPG national average any day.

We do the study every year and I confident we will see even more movement toward better MPG. I can live with slow but steady.

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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