The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has announced the results of what has been called the “the most comprehensive study of Class 8 fuel efficiency adoption ever conducted.” NACFE’s updated 2013 Fuel Efficiency Benchmark Study finds increased rate of adoption and improved fuel consumption of more than 41,000 tractors and 125,000 trailers surveyed.

This study offers a report of 10 of the largest, most innovative fleets with respect to use of products and practices to support high levels of fuel efficiency. Its scope included regional and longhaul tractors and trailers in refrigerated cargo and dry goods movement.

The report found these fleets were saving on average $5,700 per year or $22,800 over four years in fuel expense. This is a $1,300 savings per truck per year change from the 2011 Fleet Fuel Efficiency Benchmark Study using the original eight fleets’ data. The study highlights successful applications of new products and practices that provide fuel savings during real-world usage. It analyzed adoption of 60 known technologies and practices available to fleets over the past 10 years.

Average purchased adoption rate of new fuel-saving products increased from 31% to 50% from 2003 through 2012, and average fuel economy performance of trucks improved 0.53 mpg against a business-as-usual prediction for emissions technologies and limited adoption. Fleet operating practices, including technologies such as speed limiting, use of routing software systems, and driver training, were universally adopted at about 90%.

Tires and wheels, including wide-base tires, low-rolling-resistance duals, aluminum wheels, and tire inflation and monitoring systems, have made the most improvement in adoption, moving as a group from 15% to about 35%. Trailer aerodynamics is an emerging area with low adoption, with fleets choosing to add them 20% of the time on new trailers.

A summary of the study is shown at www.nacfe.org.