According to a 2007 Rocky Mountain Institute study only 11% of fuel used in long-haul trucking actually moves a tractor-trailer and its cargo from point A to point B. The rest is “lost” to thermodynamic effects in the engine, aerodynamic forces, idling, tire rolling resistance and driveline and transmission drag. The question is: What can be done?
After-market technologies are now readily available for heavy-duty trucks and trailers to reduce fuel consumption, improve performance, reduce emissions and improve a fleet's bottom line. These include:
British Columbia Rolls Out enviroTruck
Several after-market technologies were recently tested on modern heavy-duty trucks and trailers, part of an “enviroTruck” initiative of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). In British Columbia the Fraser Basin Council and the BC Trucking Association introduced the BC enviroTruck program, working with several fleets between 2007 and 2009.
After-Market Technologies – Recent Results
In 2010 a report on the experience of two BC fleets piloting after-market technologies was issued by the FERIC Division of FPInnovations, for the Canadian Trucking Alliance. A report synopsis is available on the Transport Canada website.
The study examined three technologies – low rolling resistance dual and single wide-base tires, trailer sideskirts and speed limiters.
The report found that the technologies aimed at reducing aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance offer great potential for increasing fuel efficiency. The pilot projects showed an average 5.69% fuel improvement. These technologies could reduce annual GHG emissions by 9 tonnes per vehicle for the vehicles equipped with the combination of low-rolling resistance tires, trailer skirts and speed limiters, and by 13 tonnes per vehicle for the vehicles equipped with wide-base tires. Payback periods ranged from 0 to 21 months. The full study is available to members of FP Innovations and Canadian Trucking Alliance.
Fleets considering after-market technologies for their trucks and trailers are encouraged to review all performance claims made by the original equipment manufacturers and after-market technology providers and to confirm the claims prior to purchasing any product.
Also check out these reports: