Fuel Efficiency Is Important To All Of Us
“I need to cut down my costs to save for more fuel,” is the first thought on everyone’s mind. But what can be betterin order to achieve that efficiency? What are the products that promise the best results?
All such questions were put up for debate in this year’s annual Truckload Carriers Association convention held in Las Vegas. A panel of experts which included the CEO of Melisa Valley Transportation, Royal Jones, president of Raider Express, Mr. Mike Eggleton, CEO and president of Hirschbach Motor Express, Brad Pinchuk and the director of operations at Prime Inc., Pat Leonard was organized to address all these key issues when it came to improving fuel efficiency and cost reduction.
The panel was moderated by Susan Fall, the President of LaunchIt. All the panel members seem to agree that by spec’ing their fleets beyond the average carrier was the way to improve fuel efficiency. Jones of Melisa Valley believed that the reason the company had become a pioneer in fueling market was because it had decked out its trucks with aerodynamic features from the moment they were purchased.
He said, “We use 6x2s. We are now running Allison automatics. On trailers, we’ve put the FlowBelow (wheel cover) system. We also run skirts, tails, and wide-based tires. We do a handful of things. When we get a truck we are always adding more to it to get a gallon here and a gallon there.”
Adding to that, Pinchuk announced that all the trailers and trucks in their fleet had automatic transmissions whereas Eggleton and Leonard also joined in saying that their fleet too followed suite and got themselves spec’ed. He also presented his opinion arguing that most companies believe that in order to become fuel-efficient, they have to spend thousands of dollars or speed up, thus inviting road-related accidents, but that was not the case.
Eggleton stated, “We buy two brands – either Freightliner, their Evolution is really good, or Volvos – and you can spec your own if you want to but if you buy their XE package, they’ll get you in the ballpark of where you want to be”.
All the panelists also seemed to be progressive towards the opinion that if they were to choose only one fuel-saving product, they would all choose automatic transmission and a skirt for their fleets.
Pinchuk seemed inclined towards using automatic transmission as he believed it was the key that made all the difference. He backed up opinion with evidence saying that ever-since they started implementing automatic transmissions in their trucks, drivers were put on a much even keel.
“We used to see a massive variance between our worst performing drivers and our best performing drivers and the difference when we got the automated transmissions has really tightened that gap up,” he said. “So we really see that as a great product for us,” he concluded.
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