How Henry got to 10 MPG

It has been Henry's quest to get to 10 MPG lifetime on a truck. A few weeks ago Henry's new Cascadia hit that goal. It was a proud moment. Henry wrote a blog about it.It was posted on the Team Run Smart Face Book page. It received mixed reactions. There were some congratulary comments. Most of the comments were negative. I have been writing about the industry for about a decade. Negative comments used to bother me. They don't get to me anymore. I was however disappointed about the comments on this piece.

I know how Henry go to 10 MPG. He is obsessed.He tries everything. It something doesn't work, he dumps it, and tries something else. Check out his trailer. Right away you will notice that it has skirts and tails. Look closer.Check out his mudflaps. They are cut precisely to size. The bottoms are cut to an angle. He runs tire pressure monitors on ALL of his tires - tractor and trailer. Check out the back of his trailer where the lifetime MPG number is. His license plate is on the trailer, not hanging in the air beneathe it. Those items are just a start of what he has done to the trailer. 

Henry drives me a little nuts. I can let some of the little thigs go. Henry can't. He dials in his truck and trailer. I pull company trailers. Paper Transport keeps its trailers as well maintained as any company that I have ever seen. We don't do it as well as Henry, not even close. If Henry notices something is not perfect, he notices it and fixes it.

When Henry and I do events together we are constantly learning. After the shows we go out to eat and keep talking trucking, We are like a couple of old baseball players who are always talking about hitting and ways to get better. We share what we learn. That is the point of our group. We figure out ways to do better and then we share them.

Yes, Henry does not run many 80,000 pound loads. He points that out himself. Doing what I do 10 seems like an impossible number.Henry is costantly pointing out that what I do with shorter runs and mixed freight is more representative of the industry. Length of haul makes a difference, Just a few weeks ago I was legally frossing 80,160 pounds on a run from Ohio to near St. Louis abd got about 9.1 MPG. Meanwhile Henry was pulling a 44,000 pund net load from North Carolina to the Detroit area. He averaged 9.2 for the load. So - no Henry would not average 10 hauling heavy through the mountains. 

We study engine reports. I am "only" getting about 9 MPG. Getting to 9 MPG takes a lot of work. Getting to 10 takes total dedication, not just from Henry. It starts with an engineering team at Freighliner who listen and teach. The people who make tires have consistently improved their products. Not only have they improved durability, they have decreased rolling resistance. It took a lot of people to flip that number to 10. Me - I keep soaking up knowledge from all of them, hoping to get to 9.1. If you want to improve your mileage numbers, do what I do. Pay attention to what Henry does.

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Nice article Jeff.
It's sad that it seems there is more negative in this world than positive. For some reason people find it much easier to cut someone down than lift them up. Like you said, the bulk of the industry may not operate the way Henry does, but everyone can learn from what Henry has done and accomplished. Even the operations running 80,000 lbs through mountains all day can learn and increase their fuel mileage a little, and a little adds up over time. Being open minded is the key. Close your mouth and open your brain and ears and you might be surprised what flows through your ears. I know I've learned many many things from all of the contributors on this web site and a lot of it also can be applied to my personal vehicle which also benefits me.

July 27, 2017 10:38:44 AM

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About Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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