Rising diesel prices are flashing prominently on the radar screens of fleet managers. No wonder. Today, fuel accounts for around 40 percent of operations costs. Fifteen years ago, it was only about 20 percent.
How do you manage this strain on your cost center? Proven tactics include changing driver behavior and installing fuel-saving devices.
Gaining on them in popularity is a newer option: aerodynamic trailer side skirts. Why? Chiefly because this advanced equipment generates approximately 5 percent fuel cost savings.*
Coming soon: fuel-efficient trailers from XTRA Lease
XTRA Lease has ordered for delivery this year some 6,000 new fuel-efficient trailers equipped with aerodynamic side skirts as well as low-rolling resistance tires. Both features are now required on newer trailers operating in California.
The durable, streamlined skirts reduce drag by blocking wind that would otherwise buffet trailer wheels and axles. The tires boost fuel efficiency as well.
Tire rolling resistance accounts for about one-third of a tractor-trailer's fuel consumption. Having fuel-efficient tires on your trailer produces a greater fuel economy effect than having them on your tractors.
These new trailers—dry vans and reefers—are slated to arrive at XTRA Lease branches starting in February and continuing through August. They will be available for both rent and lease.
Meet regulatory compliance
The California Air Resource Board (CARB) now requires 2011-model-year and newer 53-foot trailers operating in the Golden State to comply with the state’s Heavy-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Regulation.
This measure mandates that heavy-duty tractors and 53-foot trailers in California meet certain efficiency criteria developed by the U.S. EPA SmartWayTM Partnership Program. In particular, the program directs the use of aerodynamic trailer side skirts and low rolling resistance tires.
The take-away point: the side skirts and low-rolling resistance tires on the new XTRA Lease trailers can travel California's highways without penalty, as they comply with SmartWay and the state’s tractor/trailer Greenhouse Gas regulations.
Save today, plan for tomorrow
Even if you don’t drive within or to California, you still stand to benefit from these aerodynamic upgrades. How so?
By driving down your operating costs. Estimated fuel savings, according to EPA verification: 5 percent from the skirts and 1.5 percent from the tires. In other words, if you lease or rent these new XTRA Lease trailers, you could realize combined fuel savings of some 6.5 percent* — while reducing your greenhouse gas emissions.
Tire rolling resistance accounts for about one-third of a tractor-trailer's fuel consumption. Having fuel-efficient tires on your trailer produces a larger fuel economy effect than those on tractors.
By making them available now, XTRA Lease provides you a leadership opportunity to pilot the fuel-efficient features of the near-future in your fleet of today.
XTRA Lease is the first rental and leasing company to make side skirts standard on new rental and lease trailers. As we turn over inventory in the longer term, we plan to feature them on most all new vans and reefers.
But rest assured: We are not retrofitting our rental fleet – many trailers without skirts remain available.
Learn more on our website about the vans and reefers equipped with fuel-saving skirts and tires.
*Based on proven EPA verification testing. Actual results depend on your trucking operations, such as number of miles and rate of speed traveled.