Out to prove they can 'Run on Less'

By Sandi Soendker, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Seven U.S. fleets have signed on to have one of their trucks and drivers participate in a first-of-its-kind cross-country roadshow called “Run on Less” to showcase advancements in fuel efficiency. Sizes range from US Xpress with 7,000 trucks to three fleets with approximately 1,000 tractors to two midsize fleets and one owner-operator.

That owner-operator is OOIDA Senior Member Henry Albert, Mooresville, N.C. – a trucker well known for fuel economy accomplishments.

He’ll be driving his regular 2018 Cascadia Aero X Detroit DD15 400-hp engine, Detroit DT 12 AMT transmission. The Cascadia’s Detroit rear axles are equipped with active lube management, and a 223-inch wheelbase. Albert will be pulling his 2008 Utility 53-foot 4000DX dry van equipped with Fitzgerald NoseCone, Fleet Engineers Aero Classic sideskirts, Aero flats. Flow Below wheel covers, Trailer Tail, Michelin fuel-efficient wide-base single tires join many other small enhancements, such as moving the trailer license plate out of the airstream.

Albert won’t give away all of his secrets for now, but says, “It should be interesting.”

Albert Transport, along with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, Hirschbach, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Nussbaum Transportation, Ploger Transportation, and US Xpress will demonstrate how Class 8 trucks can use different technologies to achieve the best fuel economy possible.

The fleets represent myriad companies hauling goods across North America, running dedicated routes, some running only for-hire irregular routes and others with a combination of both.

These seven fleets haul a variety of loads from light and heavy to dry and refrigerated, and operate across most of the U.S. and Canada. Each fleet will fit its participating truck with its own combination of commercially available fuel-saving technologies, proving that there is more than one way to operate efficiently. They are also selecting drivers who have proven that their driving habits contribute to high fuel efficiency.

According to Brent Nussbaum, CEO of Nussbaum Transportation, “We are most excited to join Run on Less because we want to demonstrate the success that can be achieved when pairing a trained and educated driver with the latest technologies in fuel efficiency.”

Together these fleets reveal a road map for others to lower fuel costs and emissions from their equipment. “Regardless of the price of a gallon of diesel, fuel is one of our largest expenses,” said Royal Jones, CEO and president of Mesilla Valley Transportation. “We have made the investment in fuel-efficiency technologies to bring our fuel costs down as much as possible. Every dollar we save in fuel costs goes right to our bottom line.”

Geotab will be installing its devices in all the trucks participating in Run on Less to measure fuel usage, idle time, cruise control usage, and more. Results, including fuel economy, freight efficiency, and dollars and carbon saved, will be tracked and reported via RunOnLess.com.

“By participating in Run on Less, we look forward to demonstrating how investments in fuel-efficient technologies pay off in our day-to-day operations,” said Gerry Mead, senior vice president of maintenance for US Xpress. “We are also eager to share the results of our investments with the rest of the industry.”

Run on Less is led by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Carbon War Room’s Trucking Efficiency Operation, with Shell and PepsiCo as the title sponsors. The group also announced that Pilot Flying J is donating $1,000 in fuel to each participating fleet.

The three-week experience will kick off from multiple locations across the U.S., culminating at the North American Commercial Vehicle inaugural show in Atlanta on Sept. 25-28. Final results will be announced, and drivers will showcase their equipment and share fuel economy learnings and best practices with attendees. LL