This week, I picked up a shipment in the Detroit area. This particular load was heavier than what I normally transport. The gross weight was 79,560 lbs and I needed to travel through the mountains of West Virginia. While on I-75, I stopped to fuel at the Petro in North Baltimore, Ohio. During the stop, I reset the fuel mileage indicator on the dash of the Cascadia. I was curious to see what my fuel outcome would be on this particular run through the mountains with such a heavy load. The routes I took were I-75, US 33, 270 around Columbus, US 23 to Ravenswood, WV and I-77 through West Virginia, Virginia and into North Carolina where I delivered in Troutman. Upon arriving to my delivery point, the dashboard mpg indicator registered 7.25. I remember back when 7 mpg was a big deal and with this particular reading at 7.25, my mileage figured by pen and paper would most likely have been right at 7 mpg. I’ve found that on average my pen and paper figures are .25 less than my dashboard figures. But wait… the story doesn’t end here…..
My next shipment picked up 32 miles south in Charlotte, NC and upon being loaded, my gross vehicle weight came in at approx. 72,000 lbs. This shipment was scheduled to deliver in Laredo, TX. The route chosen for this leg of the trip was I-85, I 285 around Atlanta, I-20 to I-459 around Birmingham, AL to I-59, I-12, and I-10 (stopped to fuel at the TA in Lafayette, LA.) I had traveled 1,493 miles since Baltimore, OH and pumped 179.271 gallons of fuel into the tanks. I did some figuring on my calculator and the miles per gallon for both legs of this trip came in at 8.328. I checked the dashboard display and it was proudly beaming 8.5 mpg. The variance between the dashboard display and my calculated figures were well within the range I expected. My cruise speed for both legs were 63 to 65 mph. I caught rush hour traffic in Atlanta, GA and experienced mountains during the first leg and rolling hills for the majority and remainder of the trip.
Again, not long ago, a driver would be lucky to get 6.5 mpg on a route such as this. Today, here I am with the 2011 Freightliner Cascadia powered by the Detroit DD-15 reaching well above the 8 mpg mark. Wow! we sure have come a long way. Till next time… be safe,