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.

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.

Always something going on in trucking

Wow, lots of news last week in the trucking industry. We, of course, announced the launch of Run on Less, our three-week one-of-a-kind cross-country roadshow to measure fuel economy in real trucks carrying actual loads.

It’s on: Fuel efficiency roadshow now a reality

It’s been a long time in the making and the scope and plan have changed from when we originally came up with the idea, but Run on Less is now a reality.

If you haven’t heard about it, the Run is a three-week one-of-a-kind cross-country roadshow. Real truckers from real fleets will be hauling real freight to showcase the advancements the trucking industry has made in fuel efficiency.

An early look at variable engine-driven accessories 2

For only the second time in our history we have we focused our resources on a technology — or in this case a family of technologies — that are not commercially available.

We released our Confidence Report on Variable Engine-Driven Accessories because manufacturers are working hard on a making improvements in this area and we wanted to make sure you had some basic information. All of the items we studied put a load on the engine but do not help propel the vehicle down the road. Basically they rob the engine of power without helping move the vehicle.

Autonomous trucks redux

It’s always a thrill to discover that someone actually reads what you write. So I was happy to see comments on my recent blog on autonomous trucks. And I want to offer some additional thoughts on the subject.

Innovation stems in part from an almost absolute faith that anything is possible.  Engineered products for commercial use owe their origins to this faith. As do most other amazing things that get developed. If we didn’t have people who thought the impossible was possible new things would never get invented.

Taxes and fuel economy

Most people don’t normally think of taxes and fuel economy in the same sentence. But Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research, offered an interesting connection when speaking at a recent NACFE workshop during the Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis.

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%.

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