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Fuel Consumption Track Tests for Tractor-Trailer Fuel Saving Technologies

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-391X, e-ISSN: 1946-3928
Published October 06, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Fuel Consumption Track Tests for Tractor-Trailer Fuel Saving Technologies
Citation: Surcel, M., Provencher, Y., and Michaelsen, J., "Fuel Consumption Track Tests for Tractor-Trailer Fuel Saving Technologies," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 2(2):191-202, 2010,
Language: English


The objective of the project was to conduct controlled test-track studies of solutions for achieving higher fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions in the trucking industry. Using vehicles from five Canadian fleets, technologies from 12 suppliers were chosen for testing, including aerodynamic devices and low rolling resistance tires. The participating fleets also decided to conduct tests for evaluating the impact on fuel consumption of vehicle speed, close-following between vehicles, and lifting trailer axles on unloaded B-trains. Other tests targeted comparisons between trans-container road-trains and van semi-trailers road-trains, between curtain-sided semi-trailers, trans-containers and van semi-trailers, and between tractors pulling logging semi-trailers loaded with tree-length wood and short wood. The impact of a heavy-duty bumper on fuel consumption and the influence of B5 biodiesel blend on fuel consumption were also assessed. The test procedure followed the SAE J1321 Joint TMC/SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure - Type II.
With payback periods as short as 0 to 9 months, some technologies and approaches represent viable measures for reducing fuel consumption. Conservative estimations show that these technologies could bring annual Greenhouse Gases Emissions reductions of 6.7 tonnes per vehicle.