Lightweighting

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Over the last decade, trucks are heavier than ever before. The Trucking Efficiency Confidence Report, has found that “due to emissions regulations, fuel economy features, and driver amenities, tractors have gained about 1,000 pounds of weight over the last decade.” 1,000 pounds?! That’s a lot of extra weight when drivers are requesting denser freight trips for higher payloads. So while it is great that rigs are equipped with new technology and driver amenities; it is not so great to the bottom line.

 

Benefits of Lightweighting

Increased Fuel Efficiency

Lightweighting allows a truck to have a lower rolling resistance (meaning a truck can cruise down the road easier because of less friction) which means a truck will require less fuel. Additionally found in the Trucking Efficiency Confidence Report, was that companies that bought into the idea of lightweighting in 2015 ended up with a “savings of about $9,000 per tractor per year compared to a fleet that has not invested in any efficiency technologies.”

Improved Freight Efficiency

Think of it this way: for every pound you are able to shave off your truck, you will essential recoup in a heavier load. Because your truck weighs less, you are able to add more freight to each shipment. This will reduce trips which will reduce the amount of trucks out on the road.

 

Lightweighting Solutions

You can easily shed the extra pounds in your rig with the following lightweighting solutions:

 

Aerodynamics  

All trucks should be equipped with aerodynamic solutions if they want to see a positive impact on fuel efficiency. While aerodynamic solutions may add weight to your rig, the cost savings will be significant enough to justify the extra pounds.  

Exhaust

Replacing your vertical stack with a horizontal exhaust system will save you in extra weight from all the brackets and piping that come with vertical stacks.

Fuel Tank

Yes, it’s great to not have to stop to fuel up; especially if you’re on a time crunch to deliver. However, it is not necessary to have the ability to have nearly 300 gallons of diesel on your rig. Get rid of the extra tanks or slim down your tank to hold 100 to 150 gallons.

Passenger Seat

If you travel alone, then there really is no need for that passenger seat. Removing the passenger seat is an easy way to get rid of 40 pounds.

Switch from Steel to Aluminum

Replacing steel items such as clutch covers, frames, hubs and wheels from steel to aluminum will shed some major weight. Another benefit to using aluminum materials is that they wear better by resisting corrosion.

 

Lightweighting your rig can easily shave 2,000 – 4,000 pounds. This is a great step to make for fuel efficiency, freight efficiency and cost savings; all of which will have a positive impact to your bottom line.

 

Sources: http://fleetowner.com/site-files/fleetowner.com/files/uploads/2015/08/CWR_trucking_full_report_Lightweighting_FINAL_0.pdf

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