Study finds truck maintenance leads to better mpg

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Truck maintenance can increase fuel efficiency up to 10 percent, according to a report issued today by a prominent trucking coalition.

Trucking Efficiency, a joint operation of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) and Carbon War Room, has identified 70 different technologies that can improve fuel efficiency.

The group’s latest Confidence Report reveals that regular maintenance also plays an important role in helping to lower fuel costs.

Fleets that implemented rigorous preventive maintenance programs saw fuel consumption improvements in the 5 to 10 percent range, the 29-page report reveals.

“Of course, the reason you do maintenance is to keep trucks up and running,” Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE, said during a press conference Tuesday.

“Our major finding here is that there’s an extra benefit, or a secondary benefit, with respect to fuel economy.”

Roeth said it was common for fleets to report a 5 to 10 percent drop in fuel economy if maintenance was overlooked.

In a video posted on, Eric Ireland, marketing operations manager of Michelin North America explains the importance of not only keeping up with truck tires, but also electronically recording tire measurements.

“Everybody knows how important it is to maintain your tires and how important it is to check tread depth, the air pressure,” Ireland explains.

“One thing that’s very important though is to maintain a record of those. And one of the things that we’re advocating strongly now is to maintain those digitally.”

NACFE Communications Director Denise Rondini also advocates for strong record keeping in the one-minute long video.

“Whether you have five trucks or 500 trucks you need to keep track on whether that maintenance was completed on a particular truck,” she said. asked Roeth if he foresaw truck maintenance becoming a legislative issue.

“No, we don’t see anything, I mean there could be, but again, we don’t really get into the regulatory advocacy world,” Roeth explained. “But the greenhouse gas regulations…NHTSA and the EPA are very focused and can really only regulate new trucks that are speced and built.

“Of course there’s language in the rule that states that you have to maintain your trucks but there’s not any in-use piece of this regulation yet, or I don’t know if there’ll ever will be. It’s a very good question. But I don’t see anything on the horizon.”

HWT Related: DOT requiring electronic driving records in two years 

Trucking Efficiency: Preventive Maintenance from Carbon War Room on Vimeo.