Freight efficiency group calls for participation

| 11/13/2009

Fresh from its inaugural meeting earlier this month in Chicago, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency is hoping for participation from all corners of the trucking industry.

While the concept of greater efficiency is a good one, OOIDA is also aware of the challenges involved in trying to get more industry players to the table.

OOIDA Foundation Director Tom Weakley participated in a panel discussion Nov. 3 during the launch of the council by the Rocky Mountain Institute. The group would like to see third-party testing that would lead to the development of standards for retrofits, add-ons, and other products that claim to reduce rolling resistance and/or increase fuel efficiency.

“The concept is very good,” Weakley told Land Line. “We like the idea that there would be a third-party testing of lots of new equipment or technology that they may want to put on trucks. However, the difficulty becomes in selecting those third parties and finding the funding to hire third parties.”

On Friday, Nov. 13, three members of the council held a conference call with trucking media. The council members said they would like to see OOIDA and small-business truckers get on board.

With new technology such as aerodynamic add-ons, it’s the owner-operators who are the first to either accept or reject a product based on practicality, cost and experience, said council member Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of AT Dynamics.

Weakley likes the concept of achieving greater efficiency, but says it must involve more players coming to the table.

“There needs to be participation from more people than who attended the meetings,” he said. “You need the OEMs, the shippers and the receivers involved. … To talk about truck efficiency you need a buy-in from the whole industry.”

– By David Tanner, staff writer