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Fuel Economy Can Be Improved by Preventive Maintenance

Fuel Economy Can Be Improved by Preventive Maintenance

By performing regular preventive maintenance on heavy trucks, fleet companies can ensure fuel economy up to 10%. This fact was revealed in the latest research report by Trucking Efficiency, which is a collaborative effort by North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Carbon War Room. The research analyzes and identifies the factors that affect fuel economy, and concludes that there are specific operational practices and components, which can have a positive effect on the trucks.

According to an official statement by the Trucking Efficiency, “Fleets need to maintain their vehicles to ensure safe and reliable performance, avoid costly breakdowns, and allow the vehicles to reach their maximum useful life. However, even a vehicle that is running safely and reliably can achieve fuel economy savings thanks to additional or better-optimized maintenance.”

The report was complied, after studying the relationship between maintenance practices and fuel economy. The team of experts found out that the trucking and fleet companies are well aware of the effects of regular preventive measures on the overall fuel economy. Another thing mentioned in the report is that although the companies are aware of the dire consequences of missed maintenance appointments, they are still unable to quantify their losses in the form of fuel wastage. This is one of the main reasons due to which many truck enterprises avoid heavy investment in the preventive maintenance department or sector. The experts also mention that the companies, which are diligently following the PM practices, saw a shocking improvement in the fuel economy in the range of 5-10%.

Here are some of the specific areas that were highlighted in the report.

• Lubricants /Engine Oil
• Exhaust And Intake Systems
• Diesel Particulate Filtration System
• Engine Cooling System
• Air Compressor
• Wheel Alignment
• Tires
• Fuel Filters
• Aerodynamic Mechanics
• Electrical Arrangements
• Air Conditioning Systems

Maintaining these parts and directing repairs to them specifically can allow the trucking corporations to save a lot of money on fuel.

The experts asked many fleet enterprises to identify the factors that effected fuel economy. Many of them pointed towards weather, geography, type of load and operations. But many of them also mentioned certain maintenance problems such as clogged filters, loose tires and underinflated tire tubes. Roeth explained that all of these characteristics are correlated to each other and by combining together, they can have a devastating effect on the truck operations.

He said, “A lot of these things have been around forever. On diesel particulate filter cleaning, manufacturers are at a quarter-million miles and others lower. Cleaning DPFs sooner sometimes gained 1.5% or 2% in economy”.

Moreover, the report also mentioned that truck maintenance for local and long routes are different and should be handled accordingly. Another thing that was identified in the report was that regular PM program also keeps the truck in a good shape, which can enhance the truck’s resale value, ensure the safety of the drivers, and build morale among the workforce.

The trucking companies that are suffering from the CSA demerits, costly repairs and equipment related citations, should invest in the corrective PM measures to improve their reliability and uptime. After publishing this report, Trucking Efficiency is thinking about hosting a road show in which all those companies will be highlighted that are successfully achieving high fuel economy in their day-to-day operations. – See more at: http://truckernews.com/fuel-economy-can-be-improved-by-preventive-maintenance-p584-90.htm#sthash.MnazD0Yk.dpuf

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