Much like a taller swing offers greater range of movement, so does my fuel mileage as I attain higher mpg numbers.

In speaking with drivers, I find many of them have very consistent fuel mileage numbers of 6 to 6.5 no matter what their operating conditions may be. Why is this? When my truck is in town, traffic jams or making delivery maneuvers, the fuel mileage is consistently low. Aerodynamics doesn’t come into play at these low speeds.

The Cascadia Evolution offers many advantages even at low operating speeds. Many of these features include the following: the Detroit DD15 engine, which has a variable speed water pump, 10W/30 engine oil, next generation ACRS (Amplified Common Rail Fuel System), patented asymmetric turbo charger and optimized piston design. This is followed by the Detroit DT12 Transmission which will automatically skip gears when possible. Finally, my drive train is rounded out with a Meritor FUELite tandem axle. This is a 6x2 axle configuration which means only the lead axle of the tandem is powered. By only having power going to one axle on the tandem, it reduces parasitic frictional losses by not sending power through a inter axle differential, two U joints and the rear ring and pinion.

The advantages above become amplified when traveling on the open highway. When combining the benefits above with the aerodynamic features of the Cascadia Evolution, each feature makes a big impact on fuel efficiency. Some new features which have been added to the Cascadia with the Evolution package are as follows: bumper air dam, bumper closure, hood to bumper fill, cooling enhancements, windshield seal improvements, elliptical-shape mirrors, integrated antennae, chassis side fairing enhancements, 20-inch side extender filler piece and rear wheel covers.

My trailer aerodynamics has also evolved over the years. I’ve added a Nose Cone, side skirts, wheel covers, relocation of license plate, covered cross members from side skirts to rear of trailer, plated rain gutter at the rear of the trailer, trailer tail and trimmed mud flaps to width of wide based single tires on the truck and trailer.

By combining all the features and added benefits above, I’ve been able to attain fuel mileage as high as 12.88 mpg for one day. Let’s not get too excited about that record, as it was just for one day and not a full tank. The driving conditions were obviously very favorable when I hit 12.88 mpg. This is where I have a massive advantage over my peers with less aerodynamic qualities as I’m able to cash in when the conditions are just right. In comparison, when driving the open highway, the lesser aerodynamic truck is fighting the air itself, not allowing it to take advantage of ideal conditions. This allows me to have a greater swing in fuel mileage numbers vs. many of my fellow drivers. This is due to our efficiency being nearly identical in less than optimal conditions and allows me to capitalize when operating under favorable circumstances.

                   At the shipping yard, my fuel mileage is the same as anyone elses

Comment (1)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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Van and reefer very much either a good wind sail or a bad wind catcher. I have found that many aerodynamic add on's don't help nearly as much as simply slowing down. Spec you truck for what you really drive in speed and have it favor MPG (lower RPM's) . Many like myself realized long ago and every engine has a sweet spot and the optimum MPG's are obtain by staying in that range. It does little good to add a bunch of aero parts to the trailer and truck. Only to run the truck over 65 MPH. Your losing more MPG on speed then gaining back with those add on's.

November 14, 2014 3:57:28 AM