The Slow Lane

This week I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Indiana Motor Transport Association in Indianapolis, IN, and to get to the meeting I drove six hours from Wisconsin to Illinois to Indiana, and then six hours back again. For the most part it's a boring drive, along boring stretches of Interstate highways, so it gives me a lot of time to think. There was something different going on along the Interstates this time, however, that gave me a whole new thing to think about.   At first I thought it was my imagination, but after a few hours I realized it was very real: trucks are driving slower. It came to my attention because I was making an effort to drive five to ten miles an hour slower than usual, in order to save fuel. I expected the big-rigs to be roaring past me more than ever, but they weren't... In fact, even at my reduced speed, I was passing most trucks. Now, it's true that I was driving on stetches of the I-system where the posted speed limit for trucks is five miles an hour slower than it is for cars, but honestly, when in the past has that made much of a difference? The trucks were definitely driving slower than normal.   I mentioned my observation at the Association meeting, and sure enough, virtually all the fleet guys nodded and said that they had recently reduced their fleet's top speed by at least five miles per hour. And no one was giving any indication that this was a temporary measure...   Sure, at first it's a little annoying, especially when there are only two lanes, and you've got a truck going 65 in the right lane, and another truck passing him in the left lane and going 66... But, hey, if it just makes us all go slower, we're going to save that much more fuel in the long run...   Has your fleet lowered speeds? If so, how much has it helped? And, if you haven't lowered your fleet's speed, why haven't you?

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