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Roeth: Bringing diverse solutions to trucking’s challenges

July 26, 2023
Decarbonizing the industry is hard work. We must employ those who view problems through different lenses in order to surface as many solutions as possible.

It's been a whirlwind month for the NACFE staff as we have completed all 10 visits to the fleet depots participating in Run on Less—Electric Depot. In completing those site visits, we interviewed 122 people.

In a previous blog, I wrote about the people's passion for making electric trucks a viable reality for transporting goods. But I noticed something else as we made our site visits and began putting together the fleet profile videos that we will start posting on runonless.com in August. What I saw was the incredible diversity among the people we talked with. I hope you will notice this when you watch the videos.

Having more diversity in the people involved in the trucking industry is a good thing. There are a host of articles written on the benefits of diversifying the workforce. Among those benefits is more creative problem-solving. When people bring different experiences, perspectives, and insights to a discussion, it is likely that a larger number of potential solutions will be surfaced.

See also: Roeth: CARB and engine manufacturers' Clean Truck Partnership good for zero-emission future

The business of decarbonizing the trucking industry is hard work. There are myriad of challenges we are facing, but despite those challenges, we need to work to reduce trucking's impact on the environment. We are going to need to surface as many solutions as we can. We need people who look at problems and solutions through different lenses because the more ideas we have for addressing the issues we face, the more likely we are to find creative, workable solutions.

Those of us who have been in trucking for decades need to make sure we make room for these new people and their new ideas. The solutions of the past will not solve the problems of the future. That being said, we need the real-world experience of folks who've been in trucking for some time. All those new ideas generated by these fresh, young minds must be filtered through the everyday reality of operating a fleet.

The combination of people with a wide array of backgrounds and experiences focusing their attention on trucking is exciting, and it bodes well for a cleaner future for all of us.

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.

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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