Diesel is the workhorse of the US economy, and right now retail diesel prices are surging to all-time highs - over $5 per gallon in some areas -- surpassing the peak set in 2008.The dreadful diesel supply situation predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Global diesel consumption surged to a fresh all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2021, caused by spiking demand from the lopsided Covid economic recovery.
It's no surprise that we are getting questions on social media about tires and fuel efficiency, like this one -- To achieve fuel savings from my tires, should I start with fuel efficient steer, drive or trailer tires?
On a tractor-trailer combination, the steer tires contribute 15-20% to fuel economy, drive tires 30-40% and trailer tires about 40-50%.
Considering that trailer tires have the biggest impact on fuel economy and that trailer tires represent the biggest population in the average fleet in America, selecting the proper trailer tires will have the biggest impact on miles-per-gallon consumed than any other wheel position.
Therefore, the first priority for a fleet interested in saving on fuel is to start moving into fuel efficient trailer tires (SmartWay® verified) and then continuing with steer and drives.
For example, the Double Coin FT105 (pictured to the right) is an EPA SmartWay®-verified, low rolling resistance trailer-position tire built for multiple applications. Its fuel-efficient technology utilizes extensive siping to encourage even wear and its advanced casing extends tire life, making it the adept choice for long-term ownership.
In addition to several fuel-efficient trailer axle tread patterns, including the FT105, Double Coin offers a full range of low rolling resistant tires for the drive and steer axles. These fuel-efficient Double Coin tires stack up extremely well against any brand in the industry.
Double Coin, Michelin and Continental were invited to participate in fuel efficiency tests by FPInnovations’ PIT Group, a neutral third-party research organization. The results among all three brands were close, with Continental coming out on top and Double Coin a close second. Maybe it's time to redefine the tiers?
In relation to the vehicles themselves, modern trailer aerodynamic technologies can minimize aerodynamic drag and maintain smoother air flow over the entire tractor-trailer vehicle. Trailer aerodynamic devices include gap fairings that reduce the gap between the tractor and the trailer to reduce turbulence, trailer side skirts that minimize wind under the trailer, and trailer rear fairings that reduce turbulence and pressure drop at the rear of the trailer.
The EPA has determined that by using trailer aerodynamic devices in combination with one another (or alone) have the potential to provide an estimated 5% or greater reduction in fuel use relative to the truck's baseline, when used in conjunction with an aerodynamic tractor on long haul class 8 trucks in a highway type operation.
Utilizing a combination of aerodynamic technologies and SmartWay-verified tires will, without question, reduce operating costs for long haul fleet operations. Click on the banner below to be contacted regarding our OptiGreen line of fuel-efficient tires.