Day in, day out, I see growing adoption of fuel-efficient technology solutions by small, medium and large fleets and by for-hire, private and government fleets. But, because I live and breathe it, and want to see the industry I love become more fuel-efficient, I like to see evidence that I am not just drinking my own Kool-Aid. So, while I am fairly confident in the numbers I use when I talk about adoption rates by fleets of fuel efficiency technology solutions, I like to see confirmation from other sources too.
Most recently, that confirmation came from the CK Commercial Vehicle Research 2014 Annual Fleet Study. The 20-question study was sent by CKCVR’s fleet advisory panel, and 62 fleets operating over 40,000 Class 8 tractors and 105,809 trailers responded.
The findings from this study closely parallel what we found in our research and what we are hearing at our Trucking Efficiency Workshops.
Take automated manual and automatic transmissions for example. In our Fleet Fuel Study, members indicated they were running automated transmissions (15%) and automatic transmissions (20%). At our recent Trucking Efficiency Workshop in Indianapolis, it became clear those percentages may be growing—all the fleets in attendance indicated they are moving away from manual transmissions toward automated ones and are spec’ing new trucks with automated transmissions. CKCVR’s numbers were even higher: 46 percent for automated transmissions and 41 percent for automatics.
With 6x2 axle technology, the numbers from the two studies were nearly identical approaching 5%. And, more importantly, the CKCVR study shows the growing number of fleets trying 6x2s for the first time—a very encouraging 44 percent of respondents.
Our numbers aligned again in the area of wide base tires on both tractors and trailers. CKCVR research shows 29 percent of fleet respondents planned to spec wide base tires on tractors and 22 percent on trailers. Our own study indicates that 30 percent of the NACFE fleets had wide base tires on tractors and 19 percent had them on trailers.
Lastly, spec’ing lighter weight trucks is being done by 45 percent of the CKCVR survey respondents and 54 percent of the NACFE fleets. CKCVR fleets are spec’ing tire pressure monitoring and tire pressure inflation systems more often than the NACFE fleets, but both sets of fleets are investing in that technology in growing numbers.
While the percentages are not identical, they show increasing adoption of fuel-efficient technology solutions by small, medium and large fleets and by for-hire, private and government fleets. Both the NACFE fleets and the CKCVR fleets are microcosms of what’s happening in the trucking industry…the numbers speak for themselves.
To learn more about the potential benefits and challenges of adopting these technologies, please visit www.TruckingEfficiency.org