Driver Efficiency Tops Carriers’ Needs, Survey

DALLAS, TX – Carriers rated driver efficiency as the highest return on investment (ROI) of all other fuel-saving initiatives in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay program, Transplace said.

Transplace, along with PepsiCo, EPA and carriers including J.B. Hunt, Con-way, Western Express, Smith Transport and Dart Transit, surveyed over 65 carriers to help identify which were the best fuel-efficient initiatives for their fleets.

Results from the survey showed the majority of carriers regarded highway speed reduction, driver training and progressive shifting as the best return on investment.

And with transportation-related emissions accounting for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, demand for corporate citizenship and leadership has increased, according to Transplace.

“Co-sponsoring this survey with Transplace led to valuable insights from the participating carriers that we believe will benefit leaders across the industry who are striving to make their fleets more efficient,” said Mike O’Connell, senior director fleet operations for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division.

In addition to highway speed reduction, driver training and progressive shifting, recording engine data for greater driver feedback, aerodynamic mirrors and verified low rolling resistance tires were also commonly popular with the carriers surveyed.

Other initiatives, including tire pressure monitoring systems and gap reducers, had a more limited deployment across the fleets.

Some fleets have implemented such initiatives with expected ROI, and other fleets are either still evaluating these initiatives or have had more mixed results following implementation, Transplace said.

Ben Cubitt, senior vice president, consulting and engineering at Transplace, said the survey was designed based on key input from shippers and carriers. Cubitt added that Transplace looks to continue investing engineering resources to include more carriers in the survey.

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