ATRI Finds Fuel, Emissions Savings on Longer Routes

November 19, 2009

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The American Transportation Research Institute has found that a truck can use less fuel and emit fewer emission traveling a slightly longer route with higher average speeds, compared to traveling on a route with lower speeds, numerous speed limit changes
and traffic signals.

he findings came out of a simulation modeling study and an analysis on the potential energy and emissions impacts of expanding the federal gross vehicle weight exemption to additional portions of the Maine Interstate system.

ATRI, which is the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, compared the operation of a vehicle weighing 100,000 pounds over two different routes, including an Interstate route and a state highway route. According to the analysis, ATRI reported trip-specific fuel efficiency improvements of 14 to 21 percent when traveling over the Interstate route. Emissions were also cut by 6 to 11 percent for carbon dioxide and 3 to 8 percent for particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and NMHC.

"This research quantifies how the mutual goals of resource conservation and emission reductions could be advanced by allowing Maine to apply state weight laws to its Interstate highways," said Mike Card, president of Combined Transport, Inc. and a member of ATRI's Board of Directors.

A link to the full report, which was prepared for the Maine Department of Transportation, can be found at

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