ATLANTA, Ga. – Seven U.S. fleets have signed on to participate in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s (NACFE) first Run on Less demonstration.
Each fleet is contributing a fuel-efficient truck and driver to be tracked for a three-week period in September, as they go about their scheduled deliveries. Their fuel economy will be monitored and regularly posted and the participating fleets and drivers will share insights into how they maximize their fuel economy.
The fleets taking part in the Run on Less program represent nearly 11,000 tractors and 26,000 trailers. They include: Albert Transport, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, Hirschbach, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Nussbaum Transportation, Ploger Transportation, and U.S. Xpress. Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE, said they represent a broad cross-section of the industry, and include an owner-operator, as well as a mix of small-, medium-, and large-sized carriers.
“We’re excited to have these top fleets show how business can collaborate and innovate when it comes to efficiency. Collectively, these fleets are leading the way in entrepreneurial solutions to help the trucking industry remain profitable while reducing its emissions,” Roeth said.
The trucks will be monitored as they perform in their everyday routines, hauling various product over different types of terrain. The idea is to showcase the various methods employed to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Their movements will be tracked and displayed on the new www.RunOnLess.com website, and their fuel efficiency will be recorded and posted. Participating fleets and drivers, as well as event organizers, will also post information on obtaining good fuel economy.
Fuel consumption will be measured by sponsor Geotab, which will install its device on all participating trucks. Fuel usage, cruise control usage, idle time, and other details will be recorded and shared. Roeth acknowledged during a conference call to discuss the program that it wasn’t easy to get fleets to sign on and share their trade secrets.
“When we started planning the Run on Less road show, that was one of a handful of things people said, ‘I don’t think you can do this, I don’t think fleets will want to share their decisions they’re making on fuel efficiency’,” Roeth said. “We just kept at it and we were able to get these fleets to participate. We don’t see this as a competition between fleets or truck makers.”
Participating trucks include three Freightliner Cascadias, two International ProStars, and two Volvo VNLs. Roeth said it’s expected they’ll achieve about 9 mpg during the demonstration, thanks to fuel-efficient driving techniques and the use of a variety of technologies. He noted one benefit of participating is that fleets will raise the level of awareness about certain technologies, hopefully bringing economies of scale that will reduce acquisition costs and increase availability.
“We are most excited to join Run on Less because we want to demonstrate the success that can be achieved when pairing a trained and educated driver with the latest technologies in fuel efficiency,” said Brent Nussbaum, CEO of Nussbaum Transportation.
Royal Jones, CEO and president of Mesilla Valley Transportation, added: “Regardless of the price of a gallon of diesel, fuel is one of our largest expenses. We have made the investment in fuel-efficiency technologies to bring our fuel costs down as much as possible. Every dollar we save in fuel costs goes right to our bottom line.”
“By participating in Run on Less, we look forward to demonstrating how investments in fuel-efficient technologies pay off in our day-to-day operations,” said Gerry Mead, senior vice-president of maintenance for U.S. Xpress. “We are also eager to share the results of our investments with the rest of the industry.”
The Run on Less event will begin in early September, and conclude at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 25-28. You can track the progress of participating fleets at www.RunOnLess.com.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies