Thursday, December 13, 2012

Road Haulage Trucks Aim at More Efficiency as Class 8 Under the Spotlight

Volvo and Mack Trucks OK for 2014 but Improvements Will Need to Continue for All Manufacturers
Shipping News Feature

US – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have certified Volvo Trucks’ entire Class 8 vehicle lineup and subsidiary company, Mack Trucks’ full lineup of model year 2014 trucks and tractors in accordance with 2014 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas regulations. Road haulage operators will watch with interest how each manufacturer performs as ever harsher environmental standards are introduced. Dennis Slagle, Executive Vice President Group Trucks Sales & Marketing Americas said:

“The Volvo Group is committed to leading the way in fuel efficiency, and to reducing the carbon footprint of our operations and products. This shows that the Group is at the forefront of technology development and that the development benefits the entire Group and our brands.”

In the United States, commercial truck classification is determined based on the vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The Class 8 truck GVWR is anything above 33,000 pounds 14,969 kgs and includes all tractor trailer trucks. These medium- and heavy-duty standards for tractor-trailers, buses, etc. for fuel consumption and emissions are the first of their kind in the world. The fuel consumption standards for tractor-trailers, which the authorities say are responsible for almost two-thirds of fuel consumption from medium- and heavy-duty trucks, will have to achieve about a 20 percent reduction in fuel consumption by model year 2018, or about 4 gallons of fuel every 100 miles traveled.

The actual calculations for tractor trailers models produced from 2014 to 2016 will allow a consumption between 6.7 and 9.0 gallons of fuel per 1,000 ton–mile. The variation is due to cab design which varies from low roof to full height sleeper cab. Later vehicles manufactured post 2016 will have to be even more efficient with equivalent consumption required to drop into the 6.5 to 8.7 range.

Photo: Courtesy of Volvo Group.