The American Trucking Associations announced Thursday that the American Transportation Research Institute and engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. have completed a study of energy and emission impacts of operating commercial vehicles at weights equal to or greater than existing federal limits.
According to the ATA release, the study recorded benefits in both fuel consumption and emissions per ton-mile in five of six vehicle configurations, and four gross vehicle weights, each tested over a representative route.
The decreases in fuel consumption and emissions per ton-mile ranged from four to 19 percent at 100,000 pounds GVW, to 22 percent at 120,000 pounds GVW, to 27 percent at 140,000 pounds GVW. The lone exception was the result of the payload weight being insufficient to offset the fuel consumption demands of the heaviest vehicle. The tests were conducted using engines equipped to meet current emission standards.
“If the U.S. DOT estimates calling for a near doubling in freight over the next decades are correct, we’ve got to find ways to deal with that freight to avoid crippling the economy,” said Douglas G. Duncan, President and CEO of FedEx Freight and ATRI Board member. “This research shows both trucking industry leaders and federal highway regulators that higher productivity vehicles continue to be a sensible option for not only meeting the freight demands of the future but also for easing traffic congestion.”