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.

Bad driving and autonomous vehicles

I do a lot of driving. A very lot. And I’ll admit maybe I am getting old and impatient but I think driver skills and behaviors are much worse than they used to be. Speeding, abrupt lane changes, passing on the right, driving way too slow in the left lane, texting while driving, poor on ramp merging. Need I go on? Those of you who spend hours and hours behind the wheel have seen these behaviors and much more from drivers of both passenger cars and trucks.

Mitigate tire price increases

You knew it would happen at some point, you just weren’t sure when. Well it looks like the day of reckoning is nearly here. Tire manufacturers have announced price increases in some cases as high at 8%.

Golf handicaps and fuel efficiency 1

We were talking with Vnomics the other day, and they brought to our attention the idea of Potential mpg.  They compared it to the United States Golf Association handicapping system, which allows golfers of different ability to play in tournaments on equal terms.  

Looking at the alternatives

There has been a fair amount coverage in the news about natural gas powered vehicles and electric trucks. ACT Research recently said that, “the natural gas and alternative fuel industries in the U.S. are very much alive and kicking.”

A bit of caution for autonomous vehicles 2

There has been lots of talk about autonomous vehicles. Driverless cars if you prefer that term. Even the general public is interested in the subject.

But I wonder if we are willing autonomous trucks into existence because of pressure by regulators to reduce accident rates, drivers less interested in driving cars, let alone trucks, companies wanting to make money off the sale of the systems needed to make autonomous vehicles a reality and the vested interest of researchers and NGOs.

NOx reductions and fuel economy

Looks like NOx reduction may once again be the target of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agency is responding to petitions from state and local governmental agencies and other organizations that want to see further reductions in NOx in commercial vehicles.

NOx standards for trucks were last set 16 years ago and agencies such as the California Air Resources Board say there are new technologies available to reduce NOx emissions further.

I’m from the government and I am here to help

There’s an old joke about how hearing that phrase makes folks very afraid because they think something really bad is going to happen.

But I recently read about something that the government is doing that I think actually will help.

The Energy Department recently announced $19.7 million for research and development of advanced vehicle technologies. This would include things like lightweighting, batteries and advanced combustion engines.

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.

The Chinese Manufactured Tires Are Here, Maybe It’s Not So Bad
November 22, 2015

Competition is a good thing and sometimes having good, better or best choices is also helpful and important. When we did our study on LRR tires, we found that with fuel...

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