Regional haul trucks now account for 45% of Class 8 truck sales in North America, which prompted NACE's upcoming Run on Less Regional fuel economy challenge.
 - Photo: Volvo Trucks North America

Regional haul trucks now account for 45% of Class 8 truck sales in North America, which prompted NACE's upcoming Run on Less Regional fuel economy challenge.

Photo: Volvo Trucks North America

With less than a month to go before the trucks start rolling, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has released the names of the fleets and drivers that will be participating in its first-ever Run on Less Regional fuel efficiency challenge. NACFE also released basic specs regarding the equipment each driver will use during the event.

Run on Less Regional will kick off on Oct. 7, 2019 and run until Oct. 25, 2019, with a follow-on finale taking place in Atlanta ahead of the 2019 North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV). NAFCE will release the results from Run on Less Regional at a press conference in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

Ten drivers have been selected to participate in Run on Less Regional, a fuel efficiency roadshow sponsored by Shell, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), and Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The drivers — working for C&S Wholesale Grocers, Hirschbach, Hogan Transportation, J.B. Hunt, Meijer, PepsiCo, Ploger Transportation, Schneider, Southeastern Freight Lines and UPS — will drive trucks equipped with a variety of technologies that improve fuel efficiency.

The 10 fleets participating, the drivers and the equipment they will be running during the Run on Less Regional Challenge include:

C&S Wholesale Grocers

Louis Scaruffi, 42 years driving

2019 Volvo VNR day cab with Volvo D13 engine

Hirschbach

Mark Casey, 1 year driving

2019 Freightliner Cascadia sleeper with Detroit DD15 engine

Hogan Transportation

Glen Williams, 30 years driving

2020 International LT day cab with Cummins X15 engine

J.B. Hunt

Dustin Whitener, 11 years driving

2019 International LT sleeper with Cummins X15 engine

Meijer

Rita Bare, 20 years driving

2019 Freightliner Cascadia with Detroit DD13 engine

PepsiCo

Lou Martinez, 14 years driving

2019 Peterbilt 579 day cab with PACCAR MX-11 engine

Ploger Transportation

Travis Lauer, 4 years driving

2018 Volvo VNR sleeper with Volvo D11 engine

Schneider

Michael Tam, 2 years driving

2019 Freightliner Cascadia sleeper with Detroit DD15 engine

Southeastern Freight Lines

Beau White, 36 years driving

2019 Kenworth T680 day cab with Cummins X15 engine

UPS

Darin Salgado, 32 years driving

2019 Kenworth T680 day cab with Westport 12G engine

“The 10 drivers who are participating in Run on Less Regional have shown that fuel efficiency is as important in regional operations as it is in long-haul, over-the-road trucking,” says Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director. “We are pleased that these drivers have agreed to participate in the Run to show all of us how they can get great fuel economy despite some of the challenges of regional haul including traffic, multiple stops, construction, etc.”

The trucks will be equipped with a variety of different technologies and, as each fleet selects its own combination of technologies to achieve its fuel efficiency goals, no two trucks will be the same. Check out the Meet the Fleet videos on the Run on Less Regional website to learn more about the trucks and drivers.

Roeth said that 45% of all new Class 8 trucks sold today are spec’d for regional haul, highlighting the importance of this market segment. “And while we will be focusing on technology and practices in use today,” he added, “regional haul is where we will likely see early adoption of cutting-edge technologies such as electric trucks or hydrogen fuel cells.”

One aspect of this challenge, compared to the 2017 Run on Less Highway Challenge, is the nature of regional haul applications and the wide array of specs that reflect them, Roeth added. “Because of their need for enhanced maneuverability, regional haul trucks have much wider trailer gaps than long-haul tractor-trailers,” he said. “So we’ll see how a new gap closure system on the UPS truck helps overcome that disadvantage. And we have another driver in the competition who has to change trailers six times a day, every day they run. So issues like those can make fuel efficiency challenging.”

On the other hand, Roeth noted, regional haul has a significant tailwind in that many regional haul routes are consistent on a day-to-day or weekly basis. “All of these 10 drivers tell us they appreciate the commonality and predictability of their routes,” he said. “So that helps them quite a bit because they don’t have to deal with the unknowns and endless variety like long-haul fleets and drivers do.”

During the Run, Roeth announced, NACFE will be hosting three technology days during which experts will share thought leadership on the following subjects in webinars:

  • Hydrogen — October 8
  • Connectivity— October 15
  • Commercial battery electric vehicles — October 23

Information on the dates and times of each webinar can be found here.

“We are honored to be the title sponsor for Run on Less Regional,” says Oliver Bishop, general manager of Shell Hydrogen. “NACFE is helping us better understand regional movement of freight, demonstrating the technologies and practices of the best fleets, and providing insights into future game-changing opportunities with technology days.”

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