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Old 08-29-2008, 04:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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KickmeintheJimmy - '96 GMC Jimmy 4 Door 4WD
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Class 8 Trucks

Anyone out there that's made and tested fuel savings on class 8 trucks by way of aerodynamic and/or powertrain changes?

I'll try to throw up some pictures of our different tractors and list some changes I'd like to do to improve them. Most of them would be pretty simple and obvious changes. Currently I might as well be taping plastic bags to the sides because that's how obviously stupid things were designed all in the efforts of style.

The stacks on most of our trucks are currently just behind the doors and I think the benefit would be quite huge if I was to move them behind the sleeper. I have no idea what kind of mileage improvement I could expect on the first obvious fixes but I'm looking forward to finding out now if I can only get the boss to agree!

Looking forward to hearing any ideas or knowledge people have on the subject

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Old 08-29-2008, 05:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Evil Pumpkin - '08 Scion xD RS 1.0 #1633
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I would love to tackle this project head on. I know there is room for improvement on these large trucks. However, the first change has to be with your drivers attitude towards saving you guys diesel.

Have to started keeping fuel logs? I would start there. Establish a before baseline with each individual truck and get the cooperation of the drivers. Explain what you are going to do and why. Heck if possible try implementing an incentive program for participation and improvement.

After that there are many tweaks that can be done before you get into altering the trucks. Driving techniques and driver attitude may get you the svings the company needs.

I would be more than happy to help you pro bono of course, so drop me a pm if you like and we can get a more technical plan going. Because if we can make this work then we have a blueprint any of us can market to fleets in need.
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey trikk thanks for showing your support.

Yes I forgot to mention we did put a fuel saving incentive program together and implemented it 2 months ago as well as a dwms (don't wreck my *&#) bonus.
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Evil Pumpkin - '08 Scion xD RS 1.0 #1633
90 day: 35.45 mpg (US)

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So when you get a chance, post up a picture of these bad boys, having a solid background with tractor trailers it would definately be cool to try and apply some ideas to these beasts.
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Thx NoCO2; "The biggest FE mod you can make is to adjust the nut behind the wheel"

I am a precisional instrument of speed and aeromatics
If your knees bent in the opposite direction......what would a chair look like???





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Old 08-29-2008, 05:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's some stuff I'm currently running by the boss. I'm thinking of running one truck as more of a prototype for possible fleet wide changes.

2 of our older trucks are Columbia model freightliners with Mercedes engines that are perhaps a bit underpowered for the job but are lightweight and aren't as bad aerodynamically as our more classic styled trucks. There also the trucks most likely that the boss would let me make any changes too however unlikely he is to period.

1) move the 2 exhaust stacks from the side of the trucks to a single stack behind the sleeper

2) the air breather is currently under the hood which is better then the outside but I think we are pulling in warm air from beside the engine. With what could be a small bit of fibreglass work I think we can pull that air from the outside instead which should give us a power boost.

From there I'm not sure except some other smaller projects like possibly moving antennas/horns/covering up some holes in the bumpers that serve no existing purpose and perhaps shedding some unneeded weight.

We currently have regular tire service that is supposed to be on top of keeping tire pressure up but I sometimes suspect this isn't happening as well all our newer trailers have a psi system that in theory should be keeping are tires at the proper inflation.
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Also I have to be roughly sure that there is going to be a positive return on investment it is a business after all it's not like the truck has an unlimited life span to endlessly recoup money.

any ideas are welcome though throw them out there please.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Evil Pumpkin - '08 Scion xD RS 1.0 #1633
90 day: 35.45 mpg (US)

Silent Silver Killer - '10 Honda Insight EX
90 day: 51.5 mpg (US)
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I'm sure you have weight restriction to deal with too ...

What techniques do your drivers use now? Do any of them coast to stops @ idle? Do you have to downshift to brake or are the air brake setups enough to stop the truck? How much unnecessary idling do they do? I don't mean shut them off at lights or anything, but do they unload with the truck running? leave them on during lunch breaks, etc?

The tires could be your first focal point, now keeping them @ max psi to sidewall may be the safest way to go, around here truckers use re-treaded tires and I would never trust those at any psi.

I agree removing the stacks will help. Simply pipe or dump the exhaust under the truck or out the side and away from the main air stream will save weight and start giving small benefits.

How about wheel discs? Switching your lighting to LED's. The less the alternator has to work the better ...

oh and pics pics pics ... stop teasing us and making us guess in the dark ... LOL
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Thx NoCO2; "The biggest FE mod you can make is to adjust the nut behind the wheel"

I am a precisional instrument of speed and aeromatics
If your knees bent in the opposite direction......what would a chair look like???





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Old 08-29-2008, 06:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Unfortunately we don't have tracking units at this point to watch there driving habits. Once inawhile we get them hooked up at the shop and get a readout telling us there breaking habits, idle time etc.

With the new performance system a few of them are really trying to make the goals so I don't imagine they're idling like they used to do.

I should send out a common sense driving habit newsletter with some fuel saving ideas as well. I've already told them what slowing down by 10mph would do for them.

Also we haven't ran recaps on our company trucks for a few years we don't trust them either.

I'm working on the photos I know we have some on one of our computers
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh and yes we are rocking LED's
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Evil Pumpkin - '08 Scion xD RS 1.0 #1633
90 day: 35.45 mpg (US)

Silent Silver Killer - '10 Honda Insight EX
90 day: 51.5 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2
Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts
Are any of them over night sleepers?

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Thx NoCO2; "The biggest FE mod you can make is to adjust the nut behind the wheel"

I am a precisional instrument of speed and aeromatics
If your knees bent in the opposite direction......what would a chair look like???





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