Michael Roeth

Executive Director,
North American Council for Freight Efficiency
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Mike has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as the Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.   Mike is also leading the Trucking Efficiency Operations for the Carbon War Room.  Mike’s specialty is brokering green truck collaborative technologies into the real world at scale.  He has a BS in Engineering from the Ohio State University and a Masters in Organizational Leadership from the Indiana Institute of Technology.  Mike served as Chairman of the Board for the Truck Manufacturers Association, Board member of the Automotive Industry Action Group and currently serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

Great at their craft

Last week, we announced the drivers and showcased the equipment that will participate in RunonLess, a first-of-its kind fuel efficiency roadshow sponsored by Shell and PepsiCo, and hosted by NACFE and Carbon War Room.  It gave us a chance to share the amazing equipment and talented drivers that will demonstrate what can be done with currently available tractors and trailers to save fuel and emissions.

The challenges of measuring fuel economy 1

With Run on Less in the works, I’ve spent a fair amount of time working with our team on MPG lately.  We’ve looked at questions such as:

Let the sun shine

When most people think of solar power they think of it as a renewable energy solution for homes, office buildings or airports.  We see these panels springing up all over our country.

But solar also has a place in the trucking industry. Solar panels added to trucks can capture energy from the sun — free energy I might add — and convert it into usable power.

6x2 axles still deserve consideration

If you haven’t at least considered the possibility of switching to 6x2 axles, now is a good time to take a look.

Our recently updated Confidence Report confirms the 2.5% fuel economy savings we first predicted in our 2014 Confidence Report on 6x2s.

Sometimes less really is more

By now we hope you have heard about our cross-country roadshow showcasing real fleets, hauling real freight on real routes.

We are looking forward to the September kick off of Run on Less so that we can demonstrate that with a combination of technology investments and good driving practices trucks can achieve fuel economy above 6.4 MPG (the national average). During the Run we are hoping average MPGs of all seven drivers will reach 9.

The right technology plus the right driver: A winning combination 1

In order for a fleet to achieve its fuel economy goals it needs the right combination of technologies and driver engagement.

And while some technology — like automated transmissions — lessens the impact of the driver on the fuel economy equation, the actions of the drivers still matter. Things like hard braking, time at idle, time in cruise control, operating speed (if speed is not governed by the fleet) and “jack rabbit” starts are all under the driver’s control.

Fleets and OEMs continue to work toward more miles per gallon

I am heartened by things I am hearing out in the field.

Earlier this year at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, a panel of OEM representatives responded to questions about what they would do if Phase 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) rules were altered or eliminated.

Basically, it sounds like they are going to stay the course. In part they cited fleets’ continuing demands for greater fuel economy even with diesel fuel prices at relatively low levels.

Better things to do with our money than ‘spend’ it on traffic delays

I’ve talked about how traffic congestion decreases the efficiency of the trucking industry before. But I want to do so again because the American Transportation Research Institute recently came out with the 2017 Update to its Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry report.

Tire safety matters every day

Last week was National Tire Safety Week, a time when a spotlight shined on the importance of tires to the safe operation of vehicles. Largely aimed at the motoring public, the week seeks to get vehicle owners to do things like inspect the tread, check alignment and check tire pressure.

The marvels of technology

I was there and saw it with my own eyes. It was amazing and inspiring.

As some of you know I have spent the month of May in the Indianapolis area which is why I was lucky enough to see Sam Schmidt and Mario Andretti race across the finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last week.

While two race cars crossing the finish line is not usually cause for awe, this was a special moment as one of the cars, a Corvette Z206, was being driven by Schmidt, who is paralyzed from the neck down as a result of a 2000 crash at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Speedway.

Even with disruptive technologies, energy efficiency matters

There has been a lot of talk about electrification and autonomous trucks in the news lately. This coverage made me think about whether the focus on energy efficiency increases or decreases when those so-called disruptive technologies come into widespread use.

OEMs are focused on efficiency

Of course fleet owners and managers play a big role in the fuel efficiency of their operations. The way they spec a vehicle, the add-on devices they select, the way they train drivers all can increase the number of miles a truck gets out of a gallon of diesel.

But the design of the truck itself and the options offered by the truck makers also are key to just how efficient a truck can be.

Dealing with traffic congestion

Increasing traffic congestion is a big problem. In fact Beyond Traffic 2045, a report released by the former Secretary of Transportation, indicates that the annual cost of congestion delays and lost fuel is $160 billion.

Fixing traffic congestion is beyond the scope of fleet owners, but there are things you can do to help lesson the impact of that congestion on your operation.

When it comes to fuel economy it’s time to stop waiting for the next big thing

I was preparing to make a presentation to folks from the Rocky Mountain Institute. As you know we are associated with them because of our affiliate with Carbon War Room. RMI has started a series of monthly meetings in which each of its operations shares what they are doing. The ultimate goal is to learn best practices and find synergies that can help each operation achieve its goal.

Trucking and the environment

The three Rs — recycle, reuse, reduce — are the rallying cry of conservationists. It seems fitting on the heels of Earth Day (April 22) and during Environmental Awareness Month (April) to focus on some of the things the trucking industry is doing to help the environment.

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