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Fuel-Saving Tech And its Impact on the Trucking Industry

The emphasis on fuel-efficiency was fairly nonexistent during the 80s and 90s. It wasn’t until the turn of the 21st century that the importance of a vehicle’s fuel-economy began to gain traction.

As oil prices increased around the world, manufacturers and consumers had to rethink their approach to modern transportation as it relates to fuel-efficiency.

Freight Trucks and Fuel Technology

Standard vehicle companies aren’t the only manufacturers in the industry that recognize the importance of technology’s influence on gas mileage.

Trucking companies such as J.B. Hunt and Mack Trucks are pushing for better fuel economy for their freight trucks as well.

Traveling hundreds of thousands of miles while pulling heavy cargo is not cheap. And the amount of fuel being used to accomplish this task isn’t any less expensive. There is good news, however.

The technology that has been researched and tested over the past several years is starting to find its way into newer freight truck models. Fuel technology is finally being implemented “in the field” and the results are favorable.

Numerous fuel economy “packages” are being installed or built into the framework of the latest 18-wheelers.

Fuel Economy Packages

“Fuel economy package” is a term used to explain a specific type of technology that is being utilized in a freight truck.  For example, Mack Truck’s most notable truck, the Anthem, offers a HE+ efficiency package.

This package includes technology that allows the truck to recover and reuse energy. This technology converts the engine’s exhaust into reusable energy that improves the truck’s fuel efficiency by 9.5%.

Volvo Trucks offers their own package called Xceed that implements lightweight advancements along with aerodynamic improvements for less draft. This package delivers a fuel efficiency increase of 11%.

Volvo also offers a payload package that eliminates between 335 to 540 lbs depending on the truck.

Freight Truck Fuel Efficiency Initiatives

Run on Less is a yearly initiative hosted by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFA) that promotes the union of technology and truck efficiency.

According to the Run on Less website, “it showcases how efficiency technologies improve the bottom line for fleets and benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Expanding the awareness of the advanced technologies available to freight companies will hopefully convince manufacturers to start implementing these packages into their newer models. Just two years ago, the fuel economy sat at 6.4 mpg in 2017.

Recently, seven fleets of trucks accomplished 10.1 mpg using fuel economy technology.

The goal at this moment is to continue improving fuel efficiency while convincing freight companies around the country to buy into these fuel technology initiatives.

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