Today's Trucking

Fuel economy, electric trucks, and the race to slash CO2

November 14, 2019 by John Smith

BRYAN, Texas — Shell recognizes that trucks account for a significant share of transportation-related CO2 emissions. But it sees answers in a wide array of technologies.


Video: Regional fleets average 8.3 mpg in Run on Less challenge

October 27, 2019 by John Smith

ATLANTA, Ga. — Ten regional fleets averaged 8.3 mpg in the latest challenge run by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) known as Run on Less.

Joel Morrow, Ploger Transportation

Ploger pushing the limits of fuel economy

July 24, 2019 by John Smith

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — Joel Morrow of Ploger Transportation isn’t satisfied with 9.8 mpg. The fleet’s head of research and development and senior driver continues to push the envelope in the search for better fuel economy without sacrificing comfort.


EPA adds day cabs to SmartWay program

July 10, 2019 by John Smith

TORRANCE, Calif. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making some changes to its SmartWay program that offers information on verified fuel-efficient technologies. Day cabs are now eligible for the SmartWay designation, and research into fuel-efficient retreads will result in changes to how those products are classified.


Breaking 11 mpg on an ‘Epiq’ test drive

May 24, 2019 by John Smith

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s easy to get excited and stay excited about fuel economy when you can see positive change coming from your efforts. When I saw the numbers creeping up into the 10s on a recent test drive in a Peterbilt 579 EPIQ, I started pushing for 11. And it worked.


Boost driver performance with in-cab coaching systems

May 14, 2019 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Truck driver actions play a significant role when it comes to boosting fuel economy, and today’s in-truck coaching tools can ensure they make the best decisions. The insights also go well beyond MPG alone.


UPDATED: Diesel prices rise, carbon tax questions remain

March 28, 2019 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — Federal carbon taxes were tacked onto fuel prices in four provinces April 1 – and they came with the threat of a $2,000 fine for affected carriers who failed to register with the Canada Revenue Agency.


Volvo Xceed delivers fuel-economy boost

October 29, 2018 by John Smith

Volvo’s new Xceed fuel efficiency package for VNL 760 and 860 models has been specifically designed for those who haul dry vans or reefers – promising to boost fuel economy by 11% when compared to the existing Fuel Efficiency Plus […]


Fuel economy package available from Kenworth

October 27, 2018 by John Smith

Kenworths are now available with a Paccar powertrain fuel economy package – combining the Paccar MX-13 engine with 405 hp at 1,650 lb-ft of torque, 12-speed automated transmission, 40K tandem rear axle, and enhanced Kenworth predictive cruise control. The MX-13 […]


Pushing 10: Mack test drive shows role of tech in fuel economy

October 11, 2018 by John Smith

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Equipment editor Jim Park has developed a new appreciation for drivers who post consistently high fuel economy numbers, especially those who push every day to crack 10 mpg (23.5 L/100km). But the trucks also deserve a good chunk of the credit.


Video: Fuel for thought, and action

April 25, 2018 by John Smith

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Some of the most important factors behind spec’ing decisions are those that promise better fuel economy. A panel of experts at the Canadian Fleet Maintenance Summit (CFMS) discussed how claims should be weighed, and steps that will deliver a return on investments.


CFMS ’18: Fuel For Thought…And Action

April 23, 2018 by John Smith

Here Comes the Sun: Does solar have a role as an alternative fuel?

April 13, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. — In some corners of North America, the idea of adding solar power to a truck or trailer is a no-brainer. You’d be forgiven for thinking that none of those corners are in Canada. That’s mostly true, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that solar has no place here. Just that you must be careful in assessing manufacturer claims about what their solar gizmo can actually do.

Almost all of Canada gets an average of 4.2 hours of solar sunlight a day. Two areas — a small stretch of the southern prairies and a little ribbon of central B.C. — crank that number up to 4.5 hours. Compare that to as many six hours in Arizona, New Mexico, and a patch of southeast California. Doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it’s a big deal. A 300-watt solar setup that can help to run a tractor’s electric APU in that part of the U.S. would probably have to be a 600- or 800-watt setup for a rig running, say, a Toronto-Montreal-Halifax route.

It also means that manufacturer claims can be rather idealistic if calculations were based on experience in warm and sunny parts of our world. There’s no subterfuge involved here, but “your mileage may vary,” as they say.


Feeling Disconnected: Platooning has promise, but barriers remain

March 13, 2018 John G. Smith

The idea of platooning trucks has been released to great fanfare, and for good reason. Double-digit fuel economy gains can be realized by allowing one tractor-trailer to tuck closely behind the next, drafting much like race cars as long as […]


Expect more Run on Less from NACFE

March 4, 2018 by John Smith

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency has unveiled a new look and redesigned website ( as it widens its focus beyond the fuel-saving equipment and components on the road today.

The organization’s original goal was to promote the doubling of freight-moving efficiency. And the recent Run on Less event proved that target is “pretty practical”, said executive director Mike Roeth, during a briefing at the Technology and Maintenance Council’s annual meeting.

Seven trucks participating in Run on Less proved an average of 10.1 mpg (23.3 L/100 km) is possible with existing technologies, and under real-world operating conditions. This compares to a national average of 6.4 mpg (36.75 L/100 km), and U.S. Department of Energy super trucks achieving 11-13 mpg (21.38-18.09 L/100km).