The North American Council for Freight Efficiency is following up on its Fleet Fuel Benchmarking Study with three new research projects, on 6x2 tractor configurations, alternatives for maintaining correct tire pressure, and anti-idling products and strategies for sleeper tractors.
Nussbaum Transportation is one fleet using 6x2 tractor configurations to save fuel.
Nussbaum Transportation is one fleet using 6x2 tractor configurations to save fuel.

These projects are designed to take a closer look at some of the technologies and strategies in last year's landmark benchmarking study. That study looked at 75,000 OTR tractors and 130,000 53-foot trailers from eight fleets. It highlighted successful applications of products and practices that provide fuel savings during real-world usage. It analyzed the adoption of 60 known technologies and practices available to fleets over the past eight years.

Time for 6x2s?

One project is designed to determine the fuel consumption reduction of a package of features ("6x2" package) that is being implemented by a few Class 8 tractor trailer fleets. The package includes a "dead" axle tandem set up, a direct drive transmission and wide-base tires with lower rolling resistance trailer tires on the dead axle.

NACFE will measure and report the results of on truck testing of various combinations of a dead axle, direct drive transmission, wide-base tires and lowering rolling resistance tires on the dead axle. The result will be an industry report describing the package and showing the SAE Type 2 test results of the 6x2 package versus a similarly spec'd truck without these features.

NACFE is seeking fleets to supply data, trucks, personnel, etc., for the study.

More info: 2012 6x2 Axle Fuel Economy Testing

Inflation, Idle Reduction

Another project in the works is a "deep dive on technologies and practices being used to ensure the appropriate tire pressure for Class 8 tractors and trailers." These include such items as tire pressure inflation and tire pressure monitoring systems for use on vehicles, drive-over tire pressure measurement mats, drivers checking pressure, etc.

More info: 2012 Tire Pressure Study

The third follow-up study is an investigation into anti-idling products and strategies for sleeper tractors. These include such items as diesel auxiliary power units, battery APUs, automatic engine shutdown, diesel-fired heaters, driver training, truckstop electrification, etc.

More info: 2012 Anti-Idling Study

The goal for the second two studies are industry reports describing all known technologies and practices, examples of the best use of these items at specific fleets and a tool to assist fleets in choosing an appropriate strategy for each of them.

For more information, contact Mike Roeth at

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