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Carriers Spilt on Fuel Economy, Maintenance of 2010 Engines

CHATTANOOGA, TN. — Transport Capital Partner' (TCP) First Quarter 2013 Business Expectations Survey is showing some mixed results from carriers on the fuel economy and maintenance costs of 2010 engines versus 2007 engines.

Over half of carriers surveyed reported improved fuel economy from new engines, yet 40 percent of carriers reported no change.

That discrepancy, TCP said, "is even more pronounced between large carriers and small carriers." Fifty-seven percent of larger carriers reported improved fuel economy, while only 32 percent of small carriers said they've seen improvements.

Steven Dutro, TCP Partner, noted that carriers differ in their measurement and tracking procedures, “but the real story here is that very few carriers have seen a decline in fuel economy with the 2010 engines. Most of the carriers we talk to have reported overall improvement in MPG in recent years from a combination of technology and training efforts."

Results were also mixed on maintenance costs: 53 percent said there has been no change in engine-related maintenance costs, while 40 percent said costs have increased.

Two-thirds of smaller carriers reported no change in costs, with 30 percent reported an increase. Large carriers were evenly split on the maintenance issue.

TCP said that some carriers may be "viewing maintenance costs overall rather than by miles generated over the same early portion of the truck life cycle, i.e. older trucks have higher costs than newer trucks."

While the varying responses may represent differences in measurement and tracking, "very few carriers report lower maintenance costs for the 2010 engines," said Richard Mikes, TCP Partner. "The majority of carriers we know say these costs have increased."

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