Event to show how to run on less

NEW YORK, NY – Seven fleets that collectively operate about 11,000 power units and 26,000 trailers have signed on to participate in Run on Less — a fuel-efficiency demonstration that runs September 6-28 and wraps up at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Georgia.

The event is being run by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, which has already developed a library of “confidence reports” that quantify the benefits realized through different fuel-saving technologies.

Participating businesses include Albert Transport, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, Hirschbach, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Nussbaum Transportation, Ploger Transportation and U.S. Xpress. It’s a cross section that includes dedicated private routes and irregular for-hire routes, and mixes the 7,000-truck US Express with three 1,000-tractor fleets, two midsize fleets and an owner-operator.

“This is a stellar group,” said Mike Roeth, the council’s executive director, stressing that size doesn’t matter when it comes to the opportunities to improve fuel economy.

While trucks used by dry van and reefer operations typically achieve seven miles per gallon (33.6 liters/100 kilometers), these trucks will likely reach close to nine miles per gallon (26 liters/100 kilometers) during the demonstration, he said. They’re collectively expected to cover about 55,000 kilometers during the event.

The fleets will travel their usual routes through different weather conditions and terrain. So far, the road show will include three Freightliner Cascadias, two International ProStars, and two Volvos. There are 10 spots available overall, and Roeth hopes the final three will be filled by fleets that operate PACCAR or Mack equipment, to represent a broad cross section of vehicles.

“We don’t see this as a competition among the fleets or the truck makers,” he stresses. Rather, it is a demonstration of the different solutions that are available.

“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, US Xpress’ senior vice president – maintenance. “We are also eager to share the results of our investments with the rest of the industry.”

Daily results from the road show will be posted at www.runonless.com, where details will include fuel economy, miles accumulated, weather conditions, payload, miles per gallon, miles driven and idle time, among other factors. Related technologies will be profiled as well.

Each demonstrated technology must be commercially available, and no prototypes are allowed. 

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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