The future of fuel economy for heavy trucks

The next advancements in fuel economy for heavy trucks.

Fuller of U.S. Xpress Max Fuller said Class 8 OEMs are doing a good job improving fuel efficiency. He said his company's new Class 8 tractors are getting 1 mpg better fuel economy than the same models that were purchased 12 to 18 months ago.

Fuel economy wild card

The truck driver is the "wild card" in fuel economy," said Fuller. "We know now that simply spec'ing an automated manual transmission can boost a bad driver's fuel by as much as 5 percent and a good driver's by 1 to 2 percent. But you have to have a proper incentive plan in place to encourage fuel economy."

U.S. Express has found that the difference between a good and bad driver, in identical trucks, pulling the same loads over the same roads, can be as much as 1 mile per gallon. "And the problem follows the driver if you have them swap trucks," Fuller pointed out.

"I's something we're working on and will continue to work on because it can really help our bottom line if we can get all our drivers focused on fuel."

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