9

Efficient Operations

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

There are many available technologies that can be applied to reduce the fuel consumption of trucks, but there are other ways of saving fuel that do not require any changes to vehicle or engine technologies. The overall fuel consumption of a truck fleet can be influenced significantly by the ways in which the vehicles are operated and maintained. Factors such as how close to full payload the trucks operate, whether they run on the most efficient routes, and even driver training can play a role in determining overall fleet fuel consumption. In addition, regulations can directly affect fuel consumption by constraining or promoting technology implementation and efficient operations. The infrastructure in which trucks operate also affects fuel consumption, through factors such as speed fluctuation and congestion. Electronic features can be added to the truck to modify the performance of the engine or vehicle in ways that can save fuel. All of these possibilities fall under the category of “efficient operations.”

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have recently proposed “efficient operations” as a new area for work under the 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP). Although no programs or work as yet have been initiated in the 21CTP in this new area of efficient operations, the committee’s statement of task charges the committee with examining and commenting on issues related to the 21CTP strategy. The 21CTP’s proposal for this new area is laid out in a February 2011 draft white paper, “Reducing Fuel Consumption in U.S. Trucking—A DOE-DOT Joint Study and Whitepaper” (DOE-DOT, 2011). In this draft, the two agencies explore opportunities to improve the efficiency of trucking operations. The paper focuses on two areas:

•   Opportunities for joint research and development (R&D) effort between the DOE and the DOT, and

•   Opportunities for modifying regulations (primarily DOT regulations) in ways that could permit more efficient operations.

This chapter provides the committee’s review of the identified opportunities for joint R&D. Because efficient operations is a new area for the 21CTP, the committee first offers its own review of the opportunities for reducing trucking fuel consumption by increasing the efficiency of operations, based on available literature and its own expertise. This information is provided as input to the DOE and DOT for their consideration as they revise the white paper and decide how to move forward in this area.

The committee notes that addressing freight fuel consumption requires a systems approach. Changes made to improve vehicle efficiency can have a negative impact on other aspects of trucking operations. For example, aerodynamic features may impede access to some loading docks. Also, changes made to vehicle specifications may have an effect on road wear or safety. The complete set of outcomes from a given proposed change must be evaluated in order to make good decisions about whether the change should be implemented.

Although it is beyond the purview of this committee to suggest changes to regulations, the committee offers its perspectives on R&D that would be needed in order to determine whether some of the commonly discussed changes to regulations would permit more efficient operations.

EFFICIENT-OPERATION OPPORTUNITIES

The objective of the draft white paper is as follows: “A key objective of this white paper is to identify specific opportunities and challenges with respect to advancing the state-of-the-art of truck fuel consumption and to highlight particular research needs that are seen as critical to maximizing the overall efficiency of freight movement and of trucks in general. It is proposed to develop a set of specific topics on which DOE, DOT and EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) can—and should—work together to further the goal of improved truck efficiency” (DOE-DOT, 2011, p.4).



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 125
9 Efficient Operations INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND This chapter provides the committee’s review of the iden- tified opportunities for joint R&D. Because efficient opera- There are many available technologies that can be applied tions is a new area for the 21CTP, the committee first offers to reduce the fuel consumption of trucks, but there are other its own review of the opportunities for reducing trucking ways of saving fuel that do not require any changes to vehicle fuel consumption by increasing the efficiency of operations, or engine technologies. The overall fuel consumption of a based on available literature and its own expertise. This truck fleet can be influenced significantly by the ways in information is provided as input to the DOE and DOT for which the vehicles are operated and maintained. Factors such their consideration as they revise the white paper and decide as how close to full payload the trucks operate, whether they how to move forward in this area. run on the most efficient routes, and even driver training can The committee notes that addressing freight fuel con - play a role in determining overall fleet fuel consumption. In sumption requires a systems approach. Changes made to addition, regulations can directly affect fuel consumption improve vehicle efficiency can have a negative impact on by constraining or promoting technology implementation other aspects of trucking operations. For example, aerody- and efficient operations. The infrastructure in which trucks namic features may impede access to some loading docks. operate also affects fuel consumption, through factors such Also, changes made to vehicle specifications may have an as speed fluctuation and congestion. Electronic features can effect on road wear or safety. The complete set of outcomes be added to the truck to modify the performance of the engine from a given proposed change must be evaluated in order to or vehicle in ways that can save fuel. All of these possibilities make good decisions about whether the change should be fall under the category of “efficient operations.” implemented. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Depart- Although it is beyond the purview of this committee to ment of Transportation (DOT) have recently proposed “effi- suggest changes to regulations, the committee offers its per- cient operations” as a new area for work under the 21st Century spectives on R&D that would be needed in order to determine Truck Partnership (21CTP). Although no programs or work as whether some of the commonly discussed changes to regula- yet have been initiated in the 21CTP in this new area of efficient tions would permit more efficient operations. operations, the committee’s statement of task charges the com- mittee with examining and commenting on issues related to the 21CTP strategy. The 21CTP’s proposal for this new area is EFFICIENT-OPERATION OPPORTUNITIES laid out in a February 2011 draft white paper, “Reducing Fuel The objective of the draft white paper is as follows: Consumption in U.S. Trucking—A DOE-DOT Joint Study and “A key objective of this white paper is to identify specific Whitepaper” (DOE-DOT, 2011). In this draft, the two agencies opportunities and challenges with respect to advancing the explore opportunities to improve the efficiency of trucking state-of-the-art of truck fuel consumption and to highlight operations. The paper focuses on two areas: particular research needs that are seen as critical to maximiz- ing the overall efficiency of freight movement and of trucks • Opportunities for joint research and development in general. It is proposed to develop a set of specific topics on (R&D) effort between the DOE and the DOT, and which DOE, DOT and EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection • Opportunities for modifying regulations (primarily Agency) can—and should—work together to further the goal DOT regulations) in ways that could permit more of improved truck efficiency” (DOE-DOT, 2011, p.4). efficient operations. 125

OCR for page 125
126 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT terms of distance and in terms of maximizing vehicle Below, the committee has assembled a list of opportuni- capacity utilization. Because trucking is a low-margin ties for more efficient truck operations. This list is by no business, competition places intense pressure on truck- means exhaustive, but it is intended to provide a survey of ing companies to improve their load management. The the opportunities available. As noted above, this information difference between profitable operation and bank - may be useful to the DOE and DOT as they revise the white ruptcy can be a few percent difference in average load paper and identify the highest-priority areas for joint R&D. factor. Over time, more companies are implementing It is indicated whether each item is covered in the current ever-more sophisticated load-management systems. draft of the white paper. However, it must be recognized that there are instances in which a truck needs to run empty or with a very 1. Vehicle maintenance. Tire pressure has been shown to small load, or else a given customer cannot be served have a measurable effect on fuel consumption (NRC, at all. This topic is addressed in the draft white paper 2010). This factor can be addressed by frequent, (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 14). scheduled maintenance checks or by automated tire- 4. Routing optimization. Routing determination is nor- pressure-maintenance systems that are mounted on mally done using the same system used for load the vehicle. In addition, factors such as axle alignment management. The goal here is to select the most time- have an effect on rolling resistance and thus on fuel and fuel-efficient route, which may not always be the consumption (NRC, 2010). Axle alignment can be shortest distance. Factors that are considered include checked and adjusted as needed as a part of routine congestion (which varies by time of day), speed lim- maintenance. As the diesel particulate filter (DPF) its, the number of traffic signals or other situations fills with ash, regenerations become more frequent, requiring stops, and hills. Planned routing can also be costing additional fuel consumption. Proper mainte- adapted in real time during operation to take into ac- nance of DPFs can limit fuel consumption. Several count special conditions such as weather or accidents. other maintenance factors can affect fuel consumption. As with load management, this is an area in which the Maintenance practices vary widely, so some operators industry is investing a significant amount of effort, so may have little to gain from improved maintenance there is little if any productive role for agencies to play. practices, whereas others might see a significant ben- One exception may be in the area of providing real- efit. The DOT-DOE white paper addresses the topic of time information on road conditions in order to allow trailer maintenance, noting that research into parasitic continuous optimization of routes, perhaps by the use losses could help determine whether some type of of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. maintenance regulations aimed at reducing fuel con- Such communications for fuel economy purposes are sumption would be useful (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 7). mentioned in the white paper (DOE-DOT, 2011, pp. 2. Packaging optimization. Some goods are shipped in 7-8). Another area of opportunity for the agencies is to bulk or with minimal packaging, but many products develop and maintain a database that includes informa- have extensive packaging. In the case of many con- tion on road restrictions, road construction, hazardous sumer products, the size of the package can be several materials routes, preferred truck routes, and so on, times the size of the actual product. Because trucks so that the route-planning software used by trucking carrying these types of loads are typically filled by vol- companies has up-to-date data to work with. This idea ume before reaching their maximum weight, a change is not mentioned in the DOE-DOT white paper. in packaging can allow a given truck to carry substan- 5. Supply-chain optimization. It is not unusual for a tially more product. This means that fewer loads are re- product to contain many individual components that quired to deliver the same amount of product, directly are shipped from all over the world to a final assem- reducing both the number of trucks in operation and bly point before the final product is shipped to the fuel consumption. Some companies, such as Walmart customer. For example, raw materials or specialized and a range of consumer-product manufacturers, have components may be shipped from the United States put considerable effort into packaging optimization, t o China, combined with other parts from many but there is still scope for improvement. This topic is countries, and then shipped back to the United States addressed briefly in the DOT-DOE white paper (DOE- for sale. Manufacturers consider the cost of shipping DOT, 2011, p. 1). when they set up a supply chain, but shipping is only 3. Load management optimization. This term describes one of many costs that are considered. If the cost of efforts by trucking companies to ensure that trucks run shipping increases significantly (for example, during as close to full payload as possible over the shortest a spike in fuel prices), then companies may reconsider distance needed to make deliveries. “Deadheading” their supply chains, especially if the increase in ship- (running empty on the way to pick up a load) needs to ping cost appears to be permanent. When companies be minimized. Sophisticated software is used by many choose supply chains that involve extensive shipping, fleets to optimize pickup and delivery routes, both in

OCR for page 125
127 EFFICIENT OPERATIONS this results in higher fuel consumption, and more just- curriculum for this kind of training, and many drivers in-time shipping can lead to dramatically higher fuel do not receive any fuel efficiency training at all. Also, it consumption (for example, by favoring shipping by air is unclear how far such training could be standardized, or truck instead of by ship or train). The white paper in view of the many manufacturer-specific features and addresses this topic (DOE-DOT, 2011, pp. 1-2). characteristics that drivers need to understand. Driver 6. Infrastructure improvements. Changes to increase road training is mentioned in the introduction of the white capacity and reduce congestion have a direct effect paper, but is not discussed in any detail. However, the on truck fuel consumption. Congestion leads to more white paper does suggest that research into aspects of frequent speed changes and additional idling, both of driver behavior that might affect the fuel-saving per- which cost fuel. formance of specific driver management features (see 7. Intelligent transportation systems (ITSs). A wide item 9 below) would be useful (DOE-DOT, 2011, pp. range of features and technologies falls under the term 12-13). “ITS.” These include driver information systems that 9. Driver-management features. E ngine and vehicle can provide warning of accidents or congestion and manufacturers have developed a wide range of control suggest alternative routes. They can involve demand- features aimed at encouraging (or forcing) drivers to management features that restrict access to highways operate in a way that reduces fuel consumption. Driver- prone to congestion. ITSs also include optimization management features are not discussed in the white of traffic-signal operation that can increase capacity, paper in any detail, but they offer significant potential reduce congestion, and reduce speed fluctuation, all of for fuel savings. Examples of these features include which reduce fuel consumption. “On demand” traffic- the following: signal switching using vehicle presence detection for a. Progressive shift. This feature reduces the maxi- control is increasingly used to reduce wait times (and mum engine speed available in the lower gears, fuel consumption due to idling) at stops. Changes such which forces the driver to shift to a higher gear as traffic-signal optimization are particularly attractive, earlier than he or she might otherwise choose. because no road construction or change to the vehicle Cummins offers a more sophisticated version of fleet is needed for all vehicles on the route to benefit. progressive shift called load-based speed control. Other ITS applications include ramp metering to re- The control algorithm estimates the vehicle mass duce congestion, electronic on-road toll collection, and the grade and adjusts the engine-speed governor automated electronic screening such NORPASS and to be appropriate for the vehicle load. PrePass for weight and safety inspections, credential b. Gear-down protection. At cruising speed, it is typi- checking and border clearance, among others (NRC, cally possible to operate in more than one gear. For 2010, pp. 168-171). These applications can save fuel example, it may be possible to run at 65 mph in both by reducing congestion and eliminating the need for 9th and 10th gears with a 10-speed transmission. starting and stopping. ITSs can include vehicle-to- The gear-down protection algorithm reduces the vehicle (V2V) communication as well as V2I com- maximum vehicle speed that can be attained in 9th munication. ITS features that require V2V or V2I gear, forcing the driver to shift to the more economi- communication will take time to implement, because cal 10th gear if he or she wants to run at 65 mph. not all vehicles will have the required systems onboard. With gear-down protection, the lower gears are However, in many cases the overall traffic flow will reserved for conditions that require their use, such benefit even if only a portion of the vehicles involved as climbing hills or coming up to cruising speed. are actively using ITS. The white paper addresses ITS c. Road-speed governors. Virtually every truck sold issues (DOE-DOT, 2011, pp. 7-9). today includes a road-speed governor, but the use of 8. Driver training. In order to obtain a commercial the governor and the governor setting are left up to driver’s license (CDL), drivers of commercial vehicles the owner. The road-speed governor limits cruising go through more rigorous training than is required for speed. Because fuel consumption increases with drivers of light-duty vehicles. The primary focus of cruising speed, the use of a governor saves fuel. this training is safety, which misses an opportunity to Note that there are tradeoffs: to the extent that speed train drivers in how to operate their trucks in the most is reduced, trip times will increase. This will lead to fuel-efficient manner. Some truck fleets do have their a need for more trucks to deliver the same quantity own driver-training programs. These programs usually of freight per day. Speed governors also have no go beyond CDL requirements, and often fuel efficiency effect on fuel consumption when other constraints is part of this training. In some cases, engine and truck such as congestion or road conditions limit vehicle manufacturers work directly with fleet operators to speed so that it is at or below the speed-governor help them provide the best possible information to setting (NRC, 2010). Many owners of large fleets drivers. However, at this time, there is no standardized set their road speed governors in the range of 62 to

OCR for page 125
128 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT 67 mph. Most owners of smaller fleets and most based systems. This issue is addressed by the white owner-operators do not use road-speed governors. paper (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 6). The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Associa- b. The aerodynamic skirts used on trucks today do tion has registered strong objection to the regula- not extend to cover the drive axles of tractors or tion of road-speed governor settings, citing safety the trailer axles. The reason for this is that if skirts concerns caused by differential car-truck speeds. are built around existing axles, the truck may vio- d. Smart cruise control. Cruise control helps the vehi- late regulations governing maximum width. Other cle maintain a constant speed when road conditions aerodynamic improvement features, such as boat- permit, and reduces driver effort. Cruise controls tails, can run into issues with length regulations at can be developed with features that help save fuel. the local level, even when operators are granted a For example, cruise control can allow small speed federal exemption. This issue is addressed by the fluctuations that permit the engine to operate at its white paper (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 5). most efficient load point a higher percentage of the c. Weight limits discourage the use of heavy fuel- time than would be the case if precise speed control saving features such as auxiliary power units were the goal. There are also cruise-control systems (APUs) or aerodynamic devices, especially on ve- that automatically adjust truck speed to maintain a hicles that frequently run at or near the maximum safe distance from the vehicle ahead. A more recent weight limit. In these cases, the fuel-saving feature example is the introduction by Daimler Trucks of directly reduces the load-carrying capacity of the predictive cruise control. This feature works with truck, which defeats the purpose of the fuel-saving a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to adjust feature. This issue could be addressed by providing cruise speed based on speed limits and terrain. The a weight allowance (i.e., an increase in legal weight) truck may speed up before climbing a hill, for ex- for vehicles with specific fuel-saving features. This ample. Tuning of these algorithms has to balance issue is not mentioned in the white paper. driver acceptance and fuel-savings potential. For d. Federal vehicle-size and -weight regulations have example, drivers might object if large speed fluctua- not changed since 1983. These regulations prevent tions around the set point selected by the driver are the use of high-productivity vehicles, including used by the cruise-control algorithm. long combination vehicles (often called, respective- e. Driver reward systems. Features are available to ly, HPVs and LCVs). HPVs involve greater freight track aspects of driver performance that can affect volume or weight than is allowed under existing safety and fuel consumption. Some of these systems regulations. Current regulations forbid the use of can be programmed to provide the driver with a HPVs in many areas, regardless of whether safety direct financial interest in reducing fuel consump- and road damage considerations are adequately tion by awarding bonuses for fuel-sensitive driving addressed in the vehicle design. Some very large styles. Some of the rewards are determined in real fuel savings are possible if regulatory barriers to the time by algorithms in the engine-control module, appropriate use of HPVs are removed (see the sec- such as access to higher engine power and torque tion “Fuel-Saving Opportunities from Efficient Op- (and possibly even a change in the speed-governor erations” in this chapter, as well as Table 9-2). For setting) when the vehicle is being operated in a example, a bill has been introduced in Congress that fuel-efficient manner. The goal of these systems is would allow weights of up to 97,000 lb, compared to provide drivers with an incentive to operate in a to the current limit of 80,000 lb, for trucks using a 6th axle.1 In addition to saving fuel, the use of HPVs fuel-efficient way, by sharing some of the fuel cost savings with the driver. could reduce truck vehicle miles traveled (VMT), 10. Barriers to the application of fuel-saving technology. congestion, accident rates, shipping costs, driver As the white paper notes, several technologies that shortages, and road damage by combining longer could save fuel run into regulatory constraints. Ex- and heavier vehicles with appropriate operational amples in this category include the following: restrictions and performance requirements. Cer- a. DOT mirror regulations specify the size, number, and tain trailer and dolly configurations are inherently locations of mirrors. Mirrors are a significant source more stable than others, providing opportunities to of vehicle aerodynamic drag, and the replacement upgrade braking and stability-control requirements. of mirrors with a system of cameras and in-cab dis- The white paper has a discussion of some options plays has been proposed. These vision systems could for heavier vehicles (DOE-DOT, 2011, pp. 13-15), not only save fuel but also could improve safety by reducing or eliminating blind spots. However, regula- 1 The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act., S. 747, was introduced on tions would need to change to allow use of camera- April 6, 2011. The proposed legislation is available at http://www.gpo.gov/ fdsys/pkg/BILLS-109s747is/pdf/BILLS-109s747is.pdf.

OCR for page 125
129 EFFICIENT OPERATIONS but the range of options considered is limited, and There may be an opportunity for the agencies to options to increase the allowable volumetric capac- encourage the more widespread use of existing ity of trucks are discussed in a very limited way vehicle-specification tools. These tools are not dis- (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 15). cussed in the white paper. e. As noted in previous chapters, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration As the list above makes clear, a wide variety of tech- (NHTSA) have implemented fuel-consumption nologies, training practices, and regulatory changes falls and greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for trucks. under the umbrella term “efficient operations.” All of the So far, these regulations are aimed only at engines items listed above have some potential for saving fuel, and and at vehicles (tractors in the case of tractor-trailer some of them have potential to save a substantial amount of vehicles). Trailers were left out of the regulations fuel—as much as vehicle technologies that may cost tens of because some trailer manufacturers are small busi- thousands of dollars per truck. The cost of efficient opera- nesses. However, the trailer can have a significant tions technologies can range from several thousand dollars effect on both the aerodynamic drag and the rolling per vehicle to actual cost reductions. For example, HPVs are resistance of a tractor-trailer vehicle. The idea of more expensive on a per truck basis but less expensive on a expanding the EPA/NHTSA regulations to include unit freight capacity basis. trailers is not discussed in the white paper. 11. Vehicle specification. Purchasers of new trucks have FUEL-SAVING OPPORTUNITIES FROM EFFICIENT the opportunity to select a vehicle specification that OPERATIONS is optimized to achieve a good combination of pro- ductivity and low fuel consumption. There are many As noted in the draft white paper as well as in an earlier features that buyers can select from, including engine NRC (2010) report, the data that would be needed to quan- type, power rating, transmission type, wheelbase, tify the possible fuel savings in some of the areas above are axle ratio and number of drive axles, tire type, aero- sparse or do not exist. This is especially an issue when the dynamic improvement features, lightweight features potential savings depend strongly on the details of drive such as aluminum wheels, and so on. Because profit cycles. The white paper proposes R&D and testing to develop margins in trucking are normally very small, there some of the needed data. In this section, the committee uses is intense interest from larger trucking companies in data available in the literature to quantify some of the fuel- choosing the best possible vehicle specification for saving opportunities available for features discussed above. their application. Vehicle specification tools are a key This assessment should be useful to the DOE and DOT as technology for controlling operating costs, including they set R&D priorities for efficient operations. fuel consumption. Much of the data listed below references the NRC (2010) a. Truck-specification tools have been developed by report titled Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the both vehicle and engine manufacturers. These tools Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles , can be quite sophisticated, allowing comparison of which in turn references a wide variety of sources. In this various vehicle specifications on a huge variety of section, the term “fuel savings” means fuel consumption in routes, with any load specified by the customer. A units of gallons per 1,000 ton-miles or per cube-mile. Note wealth of detail is available, such as data to answer that the fuel savings quoted below are typically determined a question like this: “How many times would the for a specific operating condition and are not likely to be driver need to shift gears on a run from Chicago to representative of the savings potential possible for trucks Los Angeles?” The primary use of the specification operating under a wide range of conditions. It is common tools, however, is fuel-consumption optimization. practice to evaluate a fuel-saving technology under the These tools are widely used by larger trucking operating condition for which it provides the largest benefit. companies but are often not used or not fully taken advantage of by smaller fleets and by owner- Tire Underinflation and Axle Misalignment operators. In many cases, this may be a result of a lack of awareness of how the tools can help, but The NRC (2010) report referred to above estimates that in other cases the buyer lacks the information on the effect of running with all tires underinflated by 20 percent loads and routes that is required to feed the tool. is a 2 to 3 percent increase in fuel consumption. Typical infla- There are some limitations to these tools: many tion pressures for tractor-trailer tires are 100 to 120 psi. Thus trucks are used to carry widely varying loads over a tire that is 20 percent underinflated would be 20 to 25 psi their lifetime, so it may not be practical to specify below the recommended inflation pressure. Inflation pres- a truck with a narrow focus on the first use. Truck- sures for medium-duty trucks vary but typically fall between ing companies generally specify trucks with resale those for light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. value as one of the parameters that they consider.

OCR for page 125
130 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT Infrastructure Improvements Axle misalignment caused by suspension maladjustment produces a slip angle, which increases rolling resistance. Infrastructure improvements (road expansion and con- This effect increases with the square of the slip angle. NRC struction) are the subject of intense debate. For a given (2010) estimates the effect as an approximately 0.1 percent volume of traffic, congestion causes increased fuel consump- increase in fuel consumption for an average slip angle of tion, and the increase can be dramatic. A truck may consume 0.1 degree, and 0.4 percent increase for a slip angle of 0.2 twice the fuel in urban traffic that it consumes traveling the degrees. Other studies have assessed the extent of tire under- same distance on an uncongested road. However, congestion inflation in the field, such as a Federal Motor Carrier Safety also affects demand. As congestion becomes intolerable, Administration (FMCSA, 2005) report, but the committee road users find other ways of moving freight (alternative is not aware of studies on the extent of axle misalignment routes, night operations, etc.), or they may simply give up to be found in the field. The FMCSA (2005) report says (which has the effect of limiting economic growth). There- that only 44 percent of all tires checked had inflation pres- fore, there is debate over whether new or expanded roads sures on all tires within 5 psi of the target value, and about save fuel, or whether they lead to increased traffic and thus 7 percent of tires were off by 20 psi or more. There is also higher fuel consumption. a lack of data about other areas, such as the extent to which fuel consumption needed for DPF regeneration increases as Intelligent Transportation Systems miles accumulate. As the draft white paper (DOE-DOT, 2011) notes, ITS Packaging programs have historically been driven largely by safety concerns. There has been limited research to quantify the As noted in item 2 above in the committee’s list in the fuel-saving opportunities available through ITSs, or even to section “Efficient-Operation Opportunities,” packaging can explore all the ways in which ITSs could be used to save fuel. significantly affect the cost of shipping a product, as well as the The white paper discusses the potential fuel savings from fuel consumed in shipping. Some products have packages that ITSs primarily in relation to the avoidance and mitigation of are several times larger than the product itself, which results congestion, because concepts such as route management are in trucks running with the trailer full (capping the number of dealt with elsewhere. The NRC (2010) report estimates the products that can be shipped in a single load), but well below fuel-saving potential of ITSs in the 2015-2020 time frame as the legal weight limit. Walmart has been working for more 8 to 15 percent. This figure includes some technologies that than 10 years now to use sustainable packaging materials by are described elsewhere in this chapter, such as predictive reducing the size and the energy and natural resources needed and adaptive cruise control, as well as other ITS technologies to produce packaging. Its target, as stated in its 2010 Sustain- such as predictive control of hybrid systems, use of electronic ability Report, is to reduce total packaging by 5 percent from tow bars, and real-time route optimization. 2008 to 2013 (Walmart, 2010). The report does not specify The white paper asserts that research on V2V and V2I whether this reduction is in the amount of packaging material communications is the most critical aspect of the ITS pro- or in the volume of packages, or whether some other metric is gram, and that this work is crucial for obtaining significant being used. Although the fuel savings from modified packag- improvements in fuel consumption, not just safety. The paper ing of certain products can be substantial, the committee is not states, “With the magnitude of potential energy savings, it is aware of any published research that quantifies the potential important that DOE and DOT work very closely in this domain overall fuel-consumption opportunity in this area. so that the magnitude of energy savings is not overlooked and research and applications development is sufficiently funded Load Management, Routing Optimization, and for assuring the maximum benefits in fuel savings, in addition Supply-Chain Optimization to safety” (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 8). Given the 8 to 15 percent potential energy savings estimated for ITSs (NRC, 2010), the The benefits of load management and routing optimization committee concurs with the high importance of determining can be substantial. However, this is an area of intense compe- fuel savings as part of any project that involves ITS-related tition among trucking companies as well as among suppliers technologies. Further, the potential for ITS technologies to of logistics software and systems. As far as the committee is reduce fuel consumption would seem to argue for the develop- aware, there is no published research that quantifies the overall ment of one or more goals by the 21CTP. fuel-saving opportunity. The same comments apply to supply- chain optimization, except that in this case, manufacturers and Driver Training and Management distributors are also part of the overall picture. Driver training and driver management features have sig- nificant potential for saving fuel. According to the NRC (2010, p. 175) report, several case studies report fuel savings from 1.9

OCR for page 125
131 EFFICIENT OPERATIONS Aerodynamic Features That Exceed Width or to 17 percent for driver-training programs. Generally, there is Length Limits more opportunity for savings in urban and congested environ- ments than there is for savings on the open road. Large fleets A report by the Truck Manufacturers Association (NETL, often develop their own driver-training programs, many of 2007) shows that replacing mirrors with cameras has the which include fuel-efficient driving techniques. Smaller fleets potential to reduce fuel consumption at high-speed cruise and owner-operators typically do not have driver-training pro- by up to 3 percent, depending on the type of mirrors being grams. Driver-management features also vary in their effects replaced. The committee is not aware of any studies estimat- based on operating conditions. Progressive shift algorithms are ing the potential benefit from tractor and trailer skirts that useful in urban driving but make little difference in long-haul extend over the drive axles and trailer bogies, but the value operation. Conversely, cruise control is not used in urban driv- is likely to be a few percent. ing but can contribute to fuel savings on the open road. Studies reviewed in the NRC (2010, p. 126) report show benefits of Size and Weight Limits 1 to 5 percent for predictive cruise control, depending on the vehicle and duty cycle. The NRC (2010, p. 163) report discusses the effects of Road-speed governors are discussed in the NRC (2010, size and weight limits. Fuel savings of up to 13 percent and pp. 166 ff.) report. Vehicles that currently run at 70 mph truck VMT reductions of up to 23 percent are projected, would see fuel savings of 7 to 10 percent by running at depending on the nature of regulatory changes. The Ameri- 60 mph, and vehicles slowing from 65 to 60 mph would can Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) estimated save 3.5 to 5 percent. However, there are disadvantages to potential fuel savings of up to 25 percent for weight-limited lower speeds that must be carefully considered before any trucks (grossed-out) and 28 percent for volume-limited mandatory road-speed governor setting is implemented. trucks (cubed-out) (ATRI, 2008). In Figure 9-1, reproduced Road-speed governors could include the use of GPS devices from the ATRI report, the metric used is ton-miles per gal- or wireless systems that would change the governor setting lon, which is a fuel economy metric. The changes in fuel based on local speed limits and road conditions. consumption are smaller, but still significant. ATRI Estimated Efficiency Improvement Over 60% of long of long haul trucks trucks FIGURE 9-1 High-productivity vehicle descriptions and operational efficiency potentials compared to 5-axle tractor-semitrailer or double base - 9-1.eps lines. Values given are for fuel economy (FE) in ton-miles per gallon. These values can be converted to fuel consumption (FC; gallons per ton- mile) using the following equation: Percentage change in FC = vector elements in FE/(100 bitmaps w some 100 × [percentage changeadded + percentage change in FE)]. For example, a 33 percent increase in FE equals a 25 percent decrease in FC. TM, ton-miles; GVW, gross vehicle weight. SOURCE: Courtesy of ATRI (2008).

OCR for page 125
132 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT The topic of longer and heavier vehicles (called high-pro- weight per axle than do current trucks, which allows these ductivity vehicles or long combination vehicles by different vehicles to provide reduced road surface wear, compared to authors) raises public concern about safety, so it is essential conventional trucks. that discussion and research are based on high-quality data The fuel-saving potential of high-productivity vehicles rather than on emotional arguments. The authors of a study makes the removal of barriers to their use one of the most of Canadian experience with LCVs (Regehr et al., 2009) con- powerful fuel-saving tools available. In addition, the eco- cluded: “An analysis of the safety performance of LCVs rela- nomic benefits obtained by higher-productivity vehicles tive to other types of articulated trucks operating on Alberta’s could be used to support the addition of safety technologies rural LCV network revealed that, from a collision rate that would improve the acceptability of these larger vehicles. perspective, LCVs as a group had better safety performance Currently, the major barriers to HPVs are (1) regulatory lim- than other articulated trucks….” The conclusion is intensified its on vehicle size and weight, and (2) lack of adequate data considering that, for a fixed quantity and density of freight and experience on which to base analyses of benefits and transported by articulated trucks, each LCV replaces 1.5 to drawbacks. Before 1983, states had almost complete freedom 2 standard 5-axle semitrailers, which, over the same period, to regulate truck length and weight. In 1983, Congress passed had higher collision rates than those of LCVs. In this sense, legislation that standardized the trailer length limit at 53 ft LCVs operating in Alberta in this period provided increased and the maximum weight at 80,000 lb. The 1983 legislation freight productivity and reduced the number of collisions “grandfathered” in state regulations that had previously that would have occurred if standard configurations had been allowed vehicles longer or heavier than provided for in the used to haul the same freight. The longest and heaviest LCV 1983 national standard, but no additional states are allowed in the CSC (2003) study, the turnpike double, had the best to set standards above the federal limits. Also, states with safety record of any articulated vehicle. grandfathered length or weight limits (see Table 9-1) cannot A recent report from the Organization for Economic increase these limits. This prevents neighboring states from Cooperation and Development (OECD), Moving Freight standardizing their regulations on anything beyond the fed- with Better Trucks (OECD, 2010), provides an insight into eral limits or the limits that applied in the states in question the good safety performance of LCVs. According to the before 1983. Twenty U.S. states have pre-1983 regulations report, many LCV configurations are more dynamically that allow a wide range of vehicle lengths and weights, while stable than typical truck configurations used on the road the remaining 30 states are denied the option of longer or today. This makes it easier for a driver to control an LCV heavier vehicles by the 1983 law. Table 9-1 shows the regula- in difficult high-speed maneuvers and in strong crosswinds. tions for the states. The diversity of these regulations means In addition, regulations limiting LCV operation to specific that trucks complying with different state standards can only roads and conditions, along with rules requiring additional be used for intrastate commerce, which greatly reduces the driver qualifications, appear to improve LCV safety. The fuel-saving potential of HPVs in the United States. OECD report is the most comprehensive review of the oppor- Canada, Australia, and Scandinavian countries have tunities and challenges of LCV implementation of which the extensive experience in the operation of trucks that are lon- committee is aware. Results from Europe, Australia, Canada, ger and heavier than traditional American trucks, and their and the United States are all considered in this report. experience, in addition to that of some U.S. states, can be Longer, heavier trucks require an increase in power in drawn upon by the DOT and DOE in analyzing the effects order to maintain existing levels of vehicle performance of using these vehicles in the United States (see Appendix H (acceleration rates and speed on grades). This increase in in this report). The European Union (EU) is now consider- power can be accommodated to some extent with existing ing an increase in maximum truck weight and length from truck technology, but large changes in weight, such as with 40 to 60 metric tons (88,000 lb to 132,000 lb) and from 16.5 turnpike doubles, would result in lower vehicle perfor- to 25 meters (54 ft to 82 ft) as a measure to reduce both mance. The impact of lower speeds on other traffic could be greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption (Die Zeit, minimized by restricting or preventing the operation of these 2010). If this change is implemented, it would effectively vehicles on routes where traffic flow becomes an issue. There extend the current Scandinavian regulations across Europe. may also be value in setting minimum power-to-weight There may be opportunities for joint research with European ratio requirements for longer and heavier trucks, to limit the regulators, and perhaps even standardization of some regula- potential for impeding traffic flow. tory requirements. This would allow manufacturers that sell Road wear and damage are known to be controlled by trucks in both the United States and the EU to use a single contact (Hertz) stress. Relative fatigue damage of pave- design for both markets. Current designs of trucks for use in ment is approximately a fourth-power function of axle load, the United States and those for use in the EU diverge widely, which is related to contact stress (FHWA, 2000). As a result, driven primarily by different regulatory requirements. vehicle weight and the distribution of that weight over the Given President Obama’s emphasis on energy security, the tire contact patches are critical factors in determining the DOE and DOT, working with the Congress, should consider durability of road surfaces. LCVs typically have lower the recommendations of the NRC’s Transportation Research

OCR for page 125
133 EFFICIENT OPERATIONS TABLE 9-1 Maximum Truck Size and Weight Limits for 13 of 20 States Subject to the ISTEA Freeze Othera Truck Tractor and Two Trailing Units Truck Tractor and Three Trailing Units State Length (ft) Weight (lb) Length (ft) Weight (lb) Length Colorado 111 110,000 115.5 110,000 78 Idaho 95 105,500 95 105,500 78-98 Kansas 109 120,000 109 120,000 No Montana 93 137,800 100 131,060 88-103 noteb Nebraska 95 95,000 95 See 68 Nevada 95 129,000 95 129,000 98 North Dakota 103 105,500 100 105,500 103 Oklahoma 110 90,000 95 90,000 No Oregon 68 105,500 96 105,500 70 ft 5 in South Dakota 100 129,000 100 129,000 73-78 Utah 95 129,000 95 129,000 88-105 Washington 68 105,500 No -- 68 Wyoming 81 117,000 No -- 78-85 a A commercial motor vehicle combination with two or more cargo-carrying units not included in descriptions “truck tractor and two trailer units” or “truck tractor and three trailer units.” b No maximum weight is established because this vehicle combination is not considered an “LCV” per the ISTEA definition because it is only allowed up to 80,000 lb. SOURCE: FHWA (2010). Board (TRB) in TRB Special Report 267 (TRB, 2002). The notes, there are also rolling resistance benefits that could be TRB proposed a way forward for high-productivity vehicles obtained if regulations were extended to cover trailer tires. in the United States that would deal responsibly with the For tractor-trailer combination vehicles, a significant poten- issues raised by different stakeholders. Fundamental to the tial fuel-savings has been neglected by leaving trailers out TRB’s proposed process is the creation of a Commercial of the EPA and NHTSA regulations. Traffic Effects Institute (CTEI) by Congress that would man- age all issues related to high-productivity vehicles. Extensive Summary of Fuel-Saving Opportunities pilot studies would be used to evaluate the consequences of increased truck size and weight, following accepted practices The values of the fuel saving opportunities discussed for test design and for analysis. In addition, all states would above are summarized in Table 9-2. Note that these fuel be authorized to begin permitting for heavier, 6-axle com- savings are often estimated for a specific operating condi- bination trucks and various other HPVs. Because having a tion of a specific vehicle type, not for the average operation range of permitted vehicle sizes and weights that varies from of all trucks. Thus the fuel savings opportunities in the table state to state effectively restricts the use of HPVs across state are not valid for the entire truck population. There are many lines, the DOE and DOT should consider assigning high other fuel-saving opportunities not shown in Table 9-2, priority to further research and analysis on the potential such as improved engine and driveline efficiency, reduced for fuel savings from uniform, nation-wide size and weight aerodynamic drag of the tractor, and others. This list only regulations. includes items related to efficient operations or to removal of regulatory barriers. The trucking industry normally oper- ates on very narrow profit margins, so efficient operation is Trailers an area of intense interest and competition among trucking firms. Larger fleets invest significantly in finding ways to The benefit of trailer aerodynamics is estimated NRC improve their operational efficiency. As a result, the industry (2010, p. 100) as 9 percent today, growing to 12 percent by can supply a wealth of ideas and data to help improve its 2020. These savings were based on a baseline tractor-trailer own efficiency. The industry is also in a position to point out coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.625, which is lower than the potential drawbacks and unintended consequences of regula- baseline of 0.69 used in the EPA and NHTSA GHG and fuel- tory changes that are intended to save fuel by improving the consumption regulations. As the earlier NRC (2010) report efficiency of trucking. The DOE, DOT, and other government

OCR for page 125
134 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT be involved. This section considers some of the opportunities TABLE 9-2 Summary of Fuel Saving Opportunities that are available. Fuel Savings Source Opportunity of Savings (%) Notes Research and Development Prevent tire 2-3 For a truck with 20% One large set of opportunities for collaboration involves underinflation underinflation of all tires. research, development, and information dissemination. In Prevention of axle 0.1 to 0.4 For 0.1 to 0.2 degree many cases, the potential benefits of fuel-saving technologies misalignment misalignment. are not well understood across a wide range of operations. As Packaging reduction Unknown Research needed. noted at the beginning of the section above on “Fuel-Saving Load management, Unknown Areas of competition Opportunities from Efficient Operations,” for most of the routing optimization, among trucking technologies and approaches discussed above, the range of and supply chain companies. potential fuel savings possible in actual field use is very wide. management It is very difficult to estimate even an approximate fuel sav- Infrastructure Varies with ings for the implementation of a given technology across a improvements severity of wide range of truck applications, even in a relatively narrow congestion segment such as long haul. There is considerable scope for Intelligent transportation 8 to 15 Primarily in urban further research to evaluate options under real-world operat- systems conditions. ing conditions, to provide both regulators and the industry Driver training 1.9 to 17 Higher potential in urban with data of better quality. In particular, research and devel- driving. opment efforts are needed to identify, develop, and quantify Predictive cruise control 1 to 5 Useful only in rural driving. the performance of items such as ITS features that can save Road-speed governors 3.5 to 5 For trucks slowed from 65 fuel, and to assess the effects of removing regulatory barriers to 60 mph. Only effective that prevent the application of some fuel-saving technology. where other factors do not Before new regulations are implemented, however, research limit speed. is needed to help define potential benefits and avoid possible Replacement mirrors 1.5 to 3 Only a factor at higher negative side effects, including effects on trucking company with cameras speeds. operations and on other concerns such as safety and road Remove regulatory 0 to 28 Depends on what new damage. barriers to increased size configurations are allowed and weight and where they can operate. Based on the discussion above in the sections “Efficient- Operation Opportunities” and “Fuel-Saving Opportunities Trailer aerodynamic Up to 12 Only effective at highway improvements speeds. from Efficient Operations,” the committee believes that the DOE and DOT could usefully work together on research in the following areas: 1. Assessing the effects of vehicle maintenance practices agencies interested in reducing fuel consumption by improv- on fuel consumption and the effects of potential main- ing the efficiency of trucking will also need to work closely tenance standards aimed at reducing fuel consumption. with members of the industry to gain the advantage of the 2. Evaluating the effects of infrastructure improvements ideas, data, and practical experience that are available. There (increased road capacity) on fuel consumption, traffic may also be advantages in working with large customers of growth, and economic growth. the trucking industry (shippers), to see if there is potential 3. Analyzing the potential for ITSs to reduce fuel con- for shippers to make changes in their operations that would sumption and for the development of new ITS features improve the overall freight system efficiency. The existing specifically intended to save fuel. white paper (DOE-DOT, 2011) does not discuss industry 4. Identifying what constitutes “best practice” driving involvement, and the committee would like to see this over- techniques from the point of view of fuel consumption, sight remedied. as limited by other issues such as the possibility of delaying traffic. Developing driver-training curricula, OPPORTUNITIES FOR COLLABORATION allowing for flexibility to adapt to various technologies BY DEPARTMENTS OF ENERGY AND OF and the differing characteristics of vehicles in the field. TRANSPORTATION 5. Determining the magnitude of fuel savings available from modifications to regulations, such as mirror The DOE and DOT have opportunities to collaborate in requirements, size limitations that inhibit the use of facilitating the development and use of efficient operations aerodynamic features, and weight limits that prevent for trucking. There are also some areas in which other agen- or constrain the use of features such as APUs or aero- cies, such as the EPA and NHTSA (a part of DOT), need to dynamic improvements that add weight to the vehicle.

OCR for page 125
135 EFFICIENT OPERATIONS Investigating potential concerns that could be raised The draft white paper emphasizes the importance of by changes in regulations and ways of attaining the implementing the systematic validation of technologies benefits of the modified regulations while minimizing stating: “Developing drive cycles that are relevant for the negative effects. many different types of trucks in use will allow much more 6. Evaluating alternatives for modifying size and weight accurate estimates of the fuel savings that are possible with restrictions in ways that would allow for the use of specific technologies, and understanding the variations in high-productivity vehicles while improving safety and drive cycles will allow an accurate assessment of how robust avoiding road-damage issues. For example, certain a technology will be in actual use” (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 12). trailer and dolly configurations are inherently more The paper also notes: “Component testing of heavy duty stable than others, providing opportunities to upgrade truck technologies is currently being performed in Canada braking and stability-control requirements. In addition, under the EnergoTest campaign (McCormick, 2009), and training requirements for drivers of high-productivity experience from this testing could be used as guidance for vehicles need to be addressed. This research could be similar testing in the U.S.” (DOE-DOT, 2011, p. 12). The done by the DOE and DOT or by the Commercial Traf- committee notes that it agrees with these principles and fic Effects Institute proposed by the TRB. The commit- believes that it would be helpful for all involved agencies tee suggests that this research consider the Canadian to collaborate among themselves as well as with industry. experience with management of LCVs, where certain Should the work in the draft (and later, modified) white equipment requirements and restrictions in use result paper go forward, an appropriate set of improvement targets in major improvements in safety compared with more (goals) should be set. traditional tractor-trailer operations (NRC, 2010).2 The committee believes that regulatory intervention in the following two areas could prove counterproductive: (1) Packaging—It is difficult to imagine how packaging Regulatory Matters regulations might work, or how they could properly cover Another area for possible cooperation among the DOT the vast range of products that are shipped every day; and and DOE is regulatory matters, as they are informed by the (2) Load management, routing optimization, and supply- R&D described above. The committee believes that if the chain management. These are areas of fierce competition DOT and DOE decide to work on such regulatory matters, among manufacturers, trucking companies, and their logis- they should consider cooperating in the following areas: tics solutions suppliers. Although there is a useful role for the DOT and DOE in doing research and development on • Vehicle maintenance practices that affect fuel con- driver-management features, the committee believes that sumption; the proposed regulation for road-speed governing will save • Road design specifications that affect fuel con ump- s fuel. There is substantial competition among engine and tion; truck manufacturers on other driver-management features • Implementation of ITS features designed specifically such as progressive shift, gear-down protection, and bonuses to reduce fuel consumption (some features are likely or power increases for fuel-sensitive driving. The situation to require changes in regulation); today is that truck owners are free to select the features • Driver-training requirements related to fuel con ump- s that work best for their operation and to adjust the param- tion; eters that these features use. Large fleets tend to be fairly • Modification and standardization of regulations that sophisticated in terms of figuring out what features work constrain the use of fuel-saving features, such as regu- in their operations and how to set the parameters. For any lations related to mirrors and limitations on maximum given driver-management feature there will be situations in vehicle width and weight that inhibit the use of APUs which its use is not appropriate or in which a given set of and certain aerodynamic improvement features; parameters will lead to inefficient, or even unsafe, operation. • Implementation of aerodynamic and rolling resistance There is an opportunity to provide training to small fleets requirements for trailers (requires the involvement of and owner-operators so that they can see how using these the NHTSA and EPA); and features can make their operations more fuel-efficient and • Modification of vehicle size and weight restrictions on thus more profitable. a national basis, to allow for the use of high-produc- tivity vehicle configurations on a national scale. FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The following findings and recommendations are the result of the committee’s review of the draft DOE-DOT 2 Government of British Columbia requirements for LCV operation are (2011) white paper on efficient operations. They describe listed at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/LCV/faqs.htm; Ontario requirements what the committee believes should be added to or changed for operating 53-ft doubles are listed at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/ trucks/lcv/program-conditions/index.shtml.

OCR for page 125
136 REVIEW OF THE 21ST CENTURY TRUCK PARTNERSHIP, SECOND REPORT in the white paper to help the 21CTP promote and enable average load factors. As a result, they are making significant more efficient trucking operations. investment in logistics technology. In addition, shippers have an economic incentive to reduce the size and weight Finding 9-1. The DOE-DOT draft white paper proposes of packaging materials. The trucking industry is a valuable “efficient operations” as a new direction for the 21CTP. The source of ideas, data, and experience regarding efficiency, committee agrees that this is an important area for R&D and the industry can help agencies avoid unintended negative under the umbrella of the 21CTP. It also agrees that coop- consequences of efforts to improve efficiency. Recommendation 9-4. The DOE and DOT should work eration among the DOE and DOT and other agencies would be beneficial, particularly for assessing the possible effects with the trucking industry to take advantage of the ideas, of removing regulatory barriers to the use of fuel-saving data, and experience that the industry can provide to acceler- measures. ate efficiency improvements and to avoid unintended nega- tive outcomes of efforts to improve trucking efficiency. Recommendation 9-1. As suggested in the draft white Finding 9-6. High-productivity vehicles, known as HPVs or paper on efficient operations, the DOE and DOT, in coop- eration with the EPA and other agencies, should conduct LCVs, as currently configured and using current technology, joint research on efficient operations and should cooperate can reduce fuel consumption by up to 28 percent. In addition, as appropriate on any regulations that affect fuel use and HPVs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, truck vehicle safety. miles traveled, congestion, shipper costs, truck highway accidents, road damage, and truck driver shortages. Finding 9-2. Extensive information is available regarding Finding 9-7. High-productivity vehicles have proven to the importance of trailer aerodynamics and rolling resistance. The data show that trailer aerodynamic-improvement fea- be a highly controversial and emotional topic. Some U.S. tures and rolling resistance contribute significantly to overall states, as well as countries including Canada, Australia, and vehicle fuel consumption. the Scandinavian countries, have extensive experience with HPV operations and safety performance. Operational limita- Recommendation 9-2. The available data show that trailer tions and equipment policy used for decades in Canada have aerodynamic-improvement features and rolling resistance significantly increased safety for HPVs compared with that contribute significantly to overall vehicle fuel consumption. of more conventional tractor-trailers. In 2002, the NRC’s Therefore, the DOE and DOT should look in detail at options Transportation Research Board proposed a process, to be led for trailer improvement. by a congressionally chartered Commercial Traffic Effects Institute, to make decisions regarding a number of critical Finding 9-3. The application of intelligent transportation and historically controversial issues that effectively have systems has the potential to reduce fuel consumption sub- prevented the growth of HPV use for nearly three decades. stantially, particularly in urban areas. Certain elements of As far as the committee can determine, no action on the CTEI ITSs, such as adaptive traffic signals, do not require new recommendation has been considered by Congress. vehicle technology, so they can be rolled out much faster Finding 9-8. The draft white paper on efficient operations than other elements. brings up the topic of high-productivity vehicles and the Recommendation 9-3. Traditionally, ITSs have been possibility of raising weight and size limits to accommodate viewed as a way of improving safety. As suggested in the them. However, the white paper focuses narrowly on 6-axle draft white paper on efficient operations, the DOT and DOE tractor-trailer combinations with weights up to 100,000 lb should conduct additional research and development devoted (45.5 metric tons) and does not address other options that to exploiting the potential for reduced fuel consumption. increase volumetric freight capacity or that allow weights beyond 100,000 lb . Finding 9-4. Driver-management features must be care- Finding 9-9. The committee finds the case for fuel savings fully researched and developed in cooperation with vehicle manufacturers and operators. There are important concerns of HPVs compelling, and the case for improved safety of with driver-management features that need to be addressed, HPVs compared to that of standard 5-axle semitractor trucks regarding unintended consequences stemming from allowing is also strong. the vehicle (or its controller) to ignore or modify driver input. Recommendation 9-5. The DOT and DOE should look at Consideration must also be given to identifying the types of intervention that drivers would accept. the full range of high productivity vehicles in use in some U.S. states and around the world and review the literature Finding 9-5. Trucking companies already have very strong available on the safety and fuel-saving performance of economic incentives to improve operational efficiency and these vehicles. The assessment should take into consider-

OCR for page 125
137 EFFICIENT OPERATIONS tions should be established. Programs should then be devel- ation that the higher productivity of these vehicles can also oped and implemented to realize the available fuel savings. be used to justify the implementation of additional safety technologies. REFERENCES Recommendation 9-6. The DOT and DOE, in discussion ATRI (American Transportation Research Institute). 2008. Energy and with the Congress, should consider the recommendations of Emissions Impact of Operating Higher Productivity Vehicles. Revised the Transportation Research Board regarding the establish- Edition. American Transportation Research Institute. ment of a Commercial Traffic Effects Institute or a similar CSC (Canada Safety Council). 2003. Literature Review of the Safety of approach. Long Combination Vehicles and Their Operation in Canada. Available at http://archive.safety-council.org/info/traffic/LCVs.pdf. Accessed Finding 9-10. The DOE-DOT draft white paper on efficient May 18, 2011. Die Zeit. 2010. Die Giga-Brummis. Die Zeit Newspaper (Germany), No. operations in its current form does not include any goals that 43, October 21, 2010, pp. 39-40. could be used to prioritize and drive R&D efforts on efficient DOE-DOT (Department of Energy and Department of Transportation). operations. 2011. Reducing Fuel Consumption in U.S. Trucking—A DOE-DOT Joint Study and White Paper. 21st Century Truck Partnership Efficient Recommendation 9-7. Specific goals for efficient opera- Operations White Paper. Draft. February 15. Washington, D.C. FHWA (Federal Highway Administration). 2010. Federal Size Regulations tions should be developed, with strong consideration given to for Commercial Motor Vehicles. FHWA-MC-96-03. exploiting the potential for intelligent transportation systems FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). 2005. Motor Car- to reduce fuel consumption. In addition, priorities should rier Safety Progress Report. Available at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ be set for the R&D, testing, and data collection needed to facts-research/research-technology/tech/tired-pressure-sensors.htm. Accessed September 23, 2011. analyze the benefits, drawbacks, and potential unintended McCormick, C. 2009. Proof Positive. Motortruck. September-October. consequences of removing barriers, including regulatory NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory). 2007. Test, Evaluation, barriers, to the application of fuel-saving features. The draft and Demonstration of Practical Devices/Systems to Reduce Aerody- white paper on efficient operations should be rewritten to namic Drag of Tractor/Semitrailer Combination Unit Trucks. Prepared take the findings and recommendations of the committee for NETL by the Truck Manufacturers Association, Contract DE-FC26- 04NT42117. April. Washington, D.C. into account. The 21CTP partners, trucking fleets, and major NRC (National Research Council). 2010. Technologies and Approaches to suppliers should be involved in setting goals and research Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. priorities. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). 2011. Finding 9-11. There is a need for a more detailed evaluation Moving Freight with Better Trucks: Improving Safety, Productivity and Sustainability (Summary). Paris: International Transport Forum. Avail - of the large potential for fuel savings from efficient opera- able at http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/infrastructure/ tions than is provided in the existing DOE-DOT draft white heavyveh/TrucksSum.pdf. paper of February 25, 2011. This more detailed study can Regehr, J., J. Montufar, and G. Rempel. 2009. Safety Performance of Longer be used to set goals, targets, and timetables for fuel savings Combination Vehicles Relative to Other Articulated Trucks. Canadian from efficient operations. Journal of Civil Engineering 36:40-49. Available at http://www.nrcre - searchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/L08-109. TRB (Transportation Research Board). 2002. Regulation of Weights, Recommendation 9-8. The DOE and DOT should study Lengths and Widths of Commercial Motor Vehicles. Special Report the potential fuel savings from efficient operations in more 267. Washington, D.C. detail, including a review of cost-effectiveness and ease of Walmart. 2010. Walmart 2010 Sustainability Report. Available at http:// implementation. Once this information is available, goals, walmartstores.com/sites/sustainabilityreport/2010/environment_waste. aspx. Accessed April 10, 2011. targets, and timetables for fuel savings from efficient opera-

OCR for page 125