You can, and in a big way, according to a new study from the North American Council for Freight Efficiency(NACFE), a group that aims to double the efficiency of the continent’s trucking fleet.
Its Annual Fleet Fuel Study of more than 53,000 tractors and 160,000 trailers, operated by 14 fleets, achieved fuel savings of U.S.$477 million in 2014 by adopting a variety of fuel efficiency technologies.
It found such improvements save U.S.$9,000 per year per truck, with an estimated payback period of two and a half years while reducing their carbon emissions by 19%.
This year’s study also discovered the adoption of fuel-saving technologies had increased from 18% in 2003 to 42% in 2014.
As a result, the 14 fleets have achieved 7.0 mpg on average for all their trucks, while their 2015-model-year trucks have reached as high as 8.5 mpg.
That is well above the national average of 5.9 mpg, reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.
The 14 fleets included in the study achieved this high level of fuel efficiency by adopting a combination of nearly 70 currently-available technologies and engaging the resources and guidance of Trucking Efficiency, a joint effort of NACFE and the Carbon War Room (CWR), a global nonprofit, advocating the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions and advance the low-carbon economy.
“The dramatic improvement in fuel economy of the leading fleets this year is exciting,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE. “If we can get the owners and operators of the 1.5 million tractor-trailers on the road today to invest in more of these technologies, we will see significant reduction in fuel consumption.”
According to the group, major trucking fleets such as Con-way Truckload, Frito Lay and Schneider are actively pursuing fleet-wide fuel savings and seeing on-the-road results from adopting recommendations from Trucking Efficiency’s Tech Guide and Confidence Reports on individual trucking technologies.
Such reports are available on tire pressure systems, 6×2 axles, idle reduction, transmissions, and engine parameters.
“We have been aggressively pursuing fuel savings and freight efficiency for many years,” says Steve Hanson, director of fleet engineering at Frito Lay. “Through collaboration with tractor builders and aerodynamic-device and fuel-system suppliers, we are now able to get the aerodynamics we desire on our latest tractors. This will help us continue to increase our overall fleet-wide fuel efficiency.”
Con-way Truckload saw major success in equipping 48% of their fleet with automated manual transmissions, according to NACFE.
“We will continue to buy automated manual transmissions as they are providing fuel savings and drivers appreciate their performance,” says Randy Cornell, vice president of maintenance and asset management at Con-way Truckload.