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The improving fuel economy offered by this year’s trucks and engines makes updating older equipment an attractive proposition, according to Jeff Jones, v.p., North American engine business for Cummins. He noted an ISX15 engine bought this year will be 7% more fuel-efficient than the same engine was four years ago. Improvements have come in the form of: reduced parasitic losses; improved combustion efficiencies; SCR optimization; and other enhancements.

“If you’ve got a four-year-old truck and you’re contemplating trading it in, the new truck you’re putting into service will be at least 7% more fuel-efficient,” Jeff insisted during a press conference. “That is a big deal.”

How big a deal? He said a Class 8 truck grossing 80,000 lbs costs about $1.65 per mile to operate, with fuel accounting for 60 cents of that. “A 7% improvement on what’s more than a third of the operating cost of a vehicle goes straight to the bottom line,” Jeff said, adding it could save a fleet about $4,000 per truck each year.

Let’s be honest, the OEMs over the past decade have had their hands full complying with wave after wave of emissions regulations. Only recently have they been able to direct some R&D attention towards optimizing those systems and mining fuel efficiency gains from their products. For the first time with the GHG regs introduced this year, there’s a direct correlation between the government’s priorities (reduced emissions) and those of industry (better fuel economy performance).

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