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.

Oh the places we have gone!

When I look back on 2016, I am reminded of the Dr. Seuss book Oh The Places You’ll Go “with your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet.”

Reflections on the trucking industry

The end of the year seems like a good time to reflect, so I will take this opportunity to talk about why I am so proud of the trucking industry.

Those of us in the trucking industry already know how vital we are to the economy, but I think we all need to do a better job of reminding the general public about our place. All you have to do is tell to someone to look around their home or office at all the things in it and then ask them how those things got there. Of course the answer is on a truck.

The auto industry can learn from trucking

In a recent blog I talked about what the trucking industry can learn from the automotive industry. This time I would like to turn the tables and talk about what we in the trucking industry can teach our compatriots on the auto side.

Low viscosity lubes - Just do it 1

On December 1, 2016, new diesel engine oils — API CK-4 and FA-4 — became available for purchase.

The new oils were developed in response to changes in engines necessitated by engine emissions regulations. Engine oils will play a role in meeting those emissions regulations because of their lower viscosity.

Why an unbiased approach matters

In the trucking industry, like most other industries, bias and conflicts of interest sometimes contribute to a disparity between performance claims and real world experiences.

The sky may not be falling

We are already hearing from some industry analysts that the sky is falling.  What am I talking about?  I am referring to their predictions of a pre-buy in 2019 and 2020 ahead of Greenhouse Gas 2 (GHG2) emissions regulations. And of course they are also forecasting a sharp drop in truck sales in 2021 following the pre-buy activity.

These kinds of large swings in the truck purchasing cycle seem to plague our industry and historically have proven to be a very bad thing, requiring hiring and capital swings that require much effort.

Right out of the factory

My colleague Dave Schaller recently presented a paper (16CV-0298) that he and I co-authored called Confidence in Freight Efficiency Technologies at the SAE 2016 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress as part of the conference’s GHG Symposium.  The paper talked about the fact that there are now lots of fuel efficiency technologies on the market for fleets to choose from, but there are barriers that get in the way of them making those investments.

Barriers included:

Teamwork and transparency get things done

I recently had the opportunity to witness over a long period of time what happens when people pull together and share the information they have. While it was not in the context of the trucking industry, the results I saw from a team of people who had the customer’s best interest in mind were pretty amazing.

I think the trucking industry could learn some lessons from what I saw:

We’ve been at this a long time

Mike Weaver, a member of the Facebook Group 9+ MPG Club, had an interesting post the other day. It was a picture of a truck from 1986 called The Phantom, an aerodynamic concept vehicle.

Seeing the photo got me to wondering how long the trucking industry has been working on improving the aerodynamics of over-the-road trucks. Mike pointed me to some background information that I found interesting.

Fleets See Big Savings

I am very excited about the results of our latest Fleet Fuel Study. With data from the first full year with low diesel prices — $2.71 compared to $3.89 — the fleets in our study saw a 3% fuel economy improvement in 2015 compared to 2014. This is a big win because it means that they understand the importance of investing in the more than 70 technologies we have identified even if low fuel prices make payback periods longer.

100 trucking efficiency tips 2

This is the 100th blog I have written since Jim Mele first asked me to be one of the “experts” in Fleet Owner’s IdeaXchange.  So, I have compiled a list of 100 fuel efficiency facts, tips and best practices.  Here we go!


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