Loading and fuel efficiency considerations

Discussion in 'LTL and Local Delivery Trucking Forum' started by whiskey06, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. whiskey06

    whiskey06 Bobtail Member

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    Apr 14, 2015
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    I was hoping someone could help me out. I'm an engineering student and we are looking at loading methods to increase fuel efficiency (or any other benefits) with loading.

    Specifically we are focusing on FedEx/UPS style package loaded semi trucks (the big ones that go from hub to hub not out for delivery).

    Are there any benefits to loading heavy in the nose or tail / high or low that would affect fuel economy? I am aware of the need to distribute over the axles for safety and wear but I was curious if there is a general rule for optimizing fuel consumption.

    Sorry if this has been addressed and/or I am posting in the wrong thread. I've tried searching but I'm not able to find anything exactly what I'm looking for.


    Thanks!
    Joe
     
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  3. Starboyjim

    Starboyjim Road Train Member

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    I've given this some thought. Other than the axle weight and bridge law requirements, it's hard to see a lot of fuel up or down in cargo location. Maybe some sidewall flex differentiation. If I have a 25,000lb cargo, and place half on drivers/tandems, I'll still be around 11,500 steers, with the balance split on the drives/tandems. Wind resistance, torque requirements, road conditions will remain unaffected. In other words, I don't see the fuel impact. I can say, 1/2 or 1 ton heavier on the drive axles makes for a much smoother ride, noticably smoother. Maybe that would impact sidewall flex, thus fuel use, I don't know that. If you have a perfect driver, 100lbs psi every tire, progressive shifting, green driving with moderate braking, employing all the driving methods that make a great difference one truck to another, maybe it would be possible to measure load placement within the axle weight requirements. Really, I guess the sidewall flex factor would be the only real distinction for a study. Note: I think driver skills and the condition of the truck are still the central issues with fuel consumption.
     
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  4. CenutryClass

    CenutryClass Road Train Member

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    weight is weight is weight, So I cant see how loading would affect the fuel economy. The gross weight is what it is, coupled with the coefficient of static friction, both of which are fixed. So shifting the weight around wouldnt do much, just quickly looking at it. I'll give it further thought, but cant see, off hand how it would.
     
  5. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    I'm no scientist, but it seems if a rolling object rolls easier from the get go, then the less resistance is beneficial to fuel economy. So I would say (and I could be wrong) loading heavy closer to the ground is more beneficial than loading heavy up top.
     
  6. marineman227

    marineman227 Dock Waterer

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    I think the biggest difference you will see between different loadings is a different ride quality, improved ride quality could smooth out the driving some which may equate to fuel savings but it would probably be so minimal that it's not even worth looking at.
     
  7. Starboyjim

    Starboyjim Road Train Member

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    Allow me, what is wrong with you? You load cargo on the floor of the trailer, right? So batteries are lower center of gravity than beverages, right? I don't know how I'd pick my loads for that. Heavier takes more fuel than light loads, I think we can all agree on that.
     
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