Medium, Heavy-Duty Trucks Face Tighter Fuel Standards

2007-ford-F-650-front-view II

The Obama administration will order the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to start developing tighter fuel-efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty work trucks (Class 4 to Class 8). The target date for the release of the new standards designed to help save fuel and reduce pollution will be March 31, 2016.

Emphasis on the big-truck segment is the next phase in the administration's plan to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and to help limit the amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. The previous round of fuel standards finalized in 2011 have already impacted the light-duty segment (cars and half-ton, three-quarter ton and one-ton pickup trucks), guiding automakers to invest in higher-mileage powertrain technologies and lightweight materials in order to the meet the more aggressive mileage targets effective in 2025.

According to the USA Today, the medium and heavy-duty truck segment accounts for only 4 percent of vehicles on the road but these trucks use as much as 25 percent of the nation's fuel and produce the same amount of greenhouse gases. Pushing companies and manufacturers here could significantly improve air quality in certain cities and drastically cut overall vehicle emissions.

Improving fleet and individual truck efficiencies will continue to be important topics at trade shows like the National Truck Equipment Association's Work Truck Show, and we'll have more about future technologies when we attend that show March 5-7 in Indianapolis. More to come.

Ford F-650 II



For once, I have nothing to say.

Sounds great on paper....

I once asked BAFO what are people to do to lessen use of fuel, like the guy trimming trees, or school busses, he suggested the tree trimmer get that new Ford Turkish van. Lol, people like him don't get it that you can't mount a bucket that will lift a man and a chainsaw 30-50' to that little van! And be able to hold all the shredded limbs that you just shredded with what you tow behind it.

Lots of folks dont understand, it takes a heavy truck, and it's hard for some folks or business' to just go buy the latest and greatest that's available now, let alone the super high tech ones we will see from this, that fewer can afford.

At the same time I have a friend driving for Wal Mart, and they seriously track mileage of trucks, use apu's, and buy the sleekest trucks they can get (nothing flat nosed!)

We can't all have the new stuff though.

Great, so now we'll have more semis going 10mph up hills.

Fellows: This government believes that America is the PROBLEM, not the solution.

For all of their faults, our previous presidents and Congressmen believed in our way of life, in our country's proud heritage and most importantly in our people.

Obama does not.

His religious pursuit of solar powered and electric powered and wind powered stuff is a disaster. Take good care of the truck you own today because they may not be making them much longer. Look at Cuba! They are still driving old 1950s Chevies and Fords down there. It's all they've got.

We are on a path to be like them, at this rate.

Typical stupid government ideas, from typically stupid people in government without a clue as to how things in the real world work! If obalmer was serious about the cost of fuel in America, he would approve the XL Pipeline from our friendly neighbor to the north, Canada, and let U.S. buy the oil they have been able to harvest, instead of them having to sell it to the ChiComs! Like I said typical stupid people in government, that have no clue in how the real world works! Who else but government would think the only way to make U.S. conserve would be to spend MORE!! so we are forced to use less!?! make absolutely NO sense!

While I hate the BIG GOVERNMENT overtones. I support this.
It nauseates me to get behind a dump truck or semi billowing plumes of stinky blue or black fumes.

I'm ok with prodding manufacturers to make cleaner and more efficient designs. Now if consumers could only get some visibility into 3/4 and 1 ton pickup fuel efficiency numbers and get away from manufacturer's over the top horsepower, torque, and tow limits.


We're all good then!

Does this mean you don't mind paying a LOT more for goods and services delivered via "green" trains and trucks that have a lot less payload and cost more?

They need to switch over to Natrual Gas on the big trucks.


They are already switching over to natural gas.

Saddle Creek, the biggest trucking firm in Central Florida where I live has already done this.

They did it voluntarily, not because the White House wants it.

Better fuel economy above 8500lbs is a great idea- there isn't a downside. However, a government mandate without going through congress is a troubling trend that is the new norm from President Obama. As a Senator he made a lot of noise when President Bush did the same thing.

My suggestion is for the truck makers to devlop a universal set of standards with an implementation date, similar to that adopted for J2807 towing guidelines.

I knew when I read the news about this last night that there was going to be a fight on PUTC.

I am sure for this website I am in the minority in my viewpoints but I don't see this as an overarching problem.

The government isn't stating how to reach the new goals, it is leaving that part up to American ingenuity which is good news.

If we never raised the bar once in a while then little progress would ever be made. It may upset the apple cart for a year or two but this likely will have minimal impact to us as consumers but could relieve pressure on diesel prices as well as cut some pollution. That doesn't sound so bad to me.

I watched Obama praise how much this was going to save American's $$ on oil however he failed to inform America how much these new standards are going to drive up the cost of these new trucks, and how that cost will ultimately get pushed down to the consumer level. He only tells half the story.

This administration fails to realize time and time again that nothing comes for free...


While I share your concern lets not exaggerate the situation. For most of the trucks a redesign of the fascia to be more aerodynamic won't actually have any net increase in cost of very little. That is probably the single largest change that is going to be coming. There may be some additional cost to the drive train but even a $2000 increase in R&D costs going into the next generation of trucks is fractions of a penny per mile and would be made up for in fuel savings anyway. Even if the cost was $10k that is only 2 cents per mile if one figures a life of 500k miles on the truck.

Odds are the net change is going to be so close to zero that it won't matter. Very few of us would feel the impact of a few extra cents of cost at the store under worst case scenarios. I'd argue that monetary changes that directly affect the price of fuel are more impactful than this mandatory increase in fuel economy will be.

I am willing to pay a little extra for my kids and myself to breathe a little easier. I'm tired of seeing rust bucket, clunker cars, trucks, dump trucks, and tractor trailers spewing unburned hydrocarbons and particulate matter into the air and water. Do you know that 90% of ALL cancers are caused by environmental pollutants? Air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution accounts for 90% of all cancers. Look it up.

All the government needs to do is introduce EPA fuel economy testing for big trucks and allow competition to take care of the improvements.

J2708 worked great in theory until one or more decide they don't want to do it. By the very nature of business there needs to be mandate as each company wants to march to their own profits, ideas, designs, and standards. Look at it this way. The industry has had plenty of time to do it on their own but chose not to.

There's always residence in China and Mexico for those that place little value with living in a healthy environment.

I don't like excess regulation but as @howam00 has pointed out, government needs to set the rules and then let industry figure out how best to meet those rules.

That is ultimately why many of the regulations set by governmment make things worse, they set rules and then force the way they want those rules met. Government meddles and interferes with everything.
Don't force us to use windmills or battery cars - set the rules and let industry/public decide which is the best.
Don't say we need to reduce "foreign dependancy" but fund billions to grow corn which isn't very good for converting to alcohol.
i can go on and on with examples.

Government's job is to set the laws that ensures a safe and orderly society where its residents are protected from exploitation/harm.
The only other responsibility of government is to have the means to inforce those rules and protect its citizens.

Set a level playing field and referee the game.

Nothing more... nothing less.

When you talk about Keystone you show you are not informed, the oil is for export period it will be built with Canadian pipe and can be built with canadian labour. The Republicans put in a clause to save the Koch brothers some money.
Also all the talk about Obama holding it up maybe you should check with Nebraska, they still have a hold on it and did for all but 1 month.
The standards are to promote the use of better aerodynamics and low resistant tires. More efficient engines, transmissions, gears. maybe putting solar cells on the roof to cut down on the alternator load, on the trailer to cut down on the reefers load. use of wheel motors and regenerative braking. If they can figure how to make it cost effective, why not?
Then maybe the Koch brothers would allow the Republicans to cut out the oil subsidy.
Just a thought!

nlp: I would say the biggest reason you do see rust buckets, and oil burning trucks on the road still, is because of the high cost of every thing to do with the cost of business and that is a direct result of big government! as no one has the MONEY to replace their fleet as often as needed, from unnecessary mandates on almost everything to do now a days with manufacturing, that at one time was absolutely necessary, but is no longer, and if given the chance, market forces would drive the cost down, and clean, without any mandates from the government!

I do support this regulation more than the CAFE method.

This allow vehicles to maintain any size whilst achieving goals.

This allows for more flexibility in design.

This regulation is quite similar to the way the Europeans regulate.

Funny that a business approach is being used in Europe rather than the US for daily drivers.

You must ask yourself why?


"If we never raised the bar once in a while then little progress would ever be made"

Well stated. For once, we have a decent discussion at PUTC.

The standards he wants are fuel efficiency, nothing to do with pollution.
It just amazes me that the people that wrote the last pollution regulations never seem to be proud of what they did in 2004, when there was a Republican president, congress and house. I am sure they just forgot to mention it.
The future of trucking will be set by those that are efficient, you can make thousands of dollars trucking, BUT if you pay it all out you made nothing. The days of driving a brick down the road will be over soon.
Just a thought!

We'll find out come March 31st 2016, but if you think only a front fascia re-design will be needed to meet these new standards I think you are going to be in for a surprise. History tells us that these types of tighter fuel efficiency standards will require much more than a simple front end re-design.

My Euro-centric pal, Big Al,

Actually, we have a representative constitutional form of government here--which means that the executive branch has powers "under" the law (repeat--subordinated by the law!) and the law is made by the Legislative Branch aka Congress.

EPA is a Cabinet Agency under the executive. But it does not MAKE the law. Congress does. There's nothing Euro about it.

Is it possible that the White House would rather issue orders than submit to the will of the People? From the sound of it, I'd say YES.

@ Sandman

No doubt that more will have to be done to meet the standards, no arguement here. I just think that improving the aerodynamics is likely to be the lowest hanging fruit, cheapest to implement and have the largest contribution to the improvements overall.

I do see a lot more of the trailer tails or whatever they are called. I hear that they do pay for themselves in short order so there has to be an OEM integrated design that could address the ability to cut through the air.

A semi will never be like the Mercedes F-cell concept but even a 0.025 decrease in the drag coefficient would amount to real savings. It is the same problem we see with the current class 1-3 trucks we all drive. The peak thus far is the Ram diesel at 28 mpg, hardly the whopping 30% improvement in fuel economy diesel is known for over gas. If the truck was more aerodynamic then 30 mpg is within reach.

@John Pringle - When I was working on my Forestry degree in the early 80's experts were looking at aerodynamics on trucks. Many said it was a dumb idea. We then started seeing 'aero" trucks. Some of my trucker buddies nicknamed them "anteaters" due to the nose down look. They are all over the place now.

Pushing for tighter standards will help move a conservative industry to be more inovative. You are correct that this is about MPG but emissions are also part of the picture.

" the medium and heavy-duty truck segment accounts for only 4 percent of vehicles on the road but these trucks use as much as 25 percent of the nation's fuel and produce the same amount of greenhouse gases"

Unlike the 1970's, you can reduce emissions and increase mpg at the same time.

I thought the Dodge diesel was a great idea, but when you look at the numbers it has a payload of less than 500 lbs, the tow numbers are high but if you figure 10% tongue weight you get a maximum 5,500 lbs. as I stated before a waist of space
Just for thought, a Nebraska court just threw out the Keystone pipeline thru the state. I am sure FOX, and the Republicans, will be all over this tomorrow when they get their instructions

Obummer has nothing better to do today. Guess no one is unemployed and the economy is thriving.

If POTUS wants to make a difference, mandate antilock brakes on these monsters.

Why should any vehicle be exempt from Café mandates? It's really simple use less fuel and the price goes down.

John Pringle. You can get the 1500 3.0 with a CCC as high as 1308 in an SLT. Those low payload 1500's are decked out Laramie Longhorns. It's apples to apples when figuring payload with trim packages. I've seen F250's with the 6.7 diesel in King Ranch trim with only 1972lbs of payload. That's more of a waste than the 1500 that will likely never tow much anyway. When you have 400hp and 800lbs of tg and can't tow half you tow rating cause of payload that's the real shame.

Cannot believe that no one mentioned this simple bit of common sense--not once in all of these comments!

1. If you have one big strong truck that gets 8 mpg hauling the entire load from point A to point B...

2. Or if you are required to use TWO wimpy eco-greenie trucks to carry the same total load to point B and each of the two green trucks gets 12 mpg, which is the more economical and the greenest approach?

It would take 2 (or more?) Honda Ridgelines to haul the same load that a HD truck from any of the Big 3 from A to B.

The HD would use less fuel, get the job done more safely, emit less exhaust, use less labor.

Politicians and buerocrtas have never let the laws of physics,economics or unitended consequences get in their way.

What a complete 4sshole th!s pres¡dent is. Somebody needs to put severe limitaions on the greenhouse gasses emitting from his face.

@PapaJim, @Chief - true.
There is a point of diminishing returns.

The MDT - HDT market can't be directly compared to the pickup truck market. Operators in the industrial market try to maximize the use of the truck. The more time the truck spends carrying a load the more money it is making. They purchase trucks based on maximized capacity.

They will not buy a class 8 for a route that would see capacity running at 10% with the ocassional 100% load.
Pickup buyers purchase based on that inefficient formula. They buy based on 100% capacity for that 10% incident. In reality most buy based on 100% capacity for what may never occur.

This rat administration needs to butt the F out of the auto industry with its BS regulations, which are most likely based on the BS idea of global warming, oh wait, since this winter is one of the coldest EVER, these vermin changed the name to "climate change."

Mr chow, there you go blaming everything on someone else when you are the ones that brought in the regulations that are killing milage on class eights. You should try real hard to know what you are talking about instead of repeating what the Koch brothers pedal. Independant thought is a great thing, try it.
Shell is making a new engine oil that is suppose to get a 3% increase in fuel economy. acording to pit power.
Congress has to pass every bill that involves money yet they complain it is the presidents fault.

I can see them making panels that latch onto the frame like a skid plate, from the front to the past the steady bearing. that would cut down on drag.
I know of people that spend time and money getting everything posible to cut down on drag. Moon covers on the tires, ducts on the trailer light boxes, little things can make a little difference, added up they will make a difference in your bottom line.
Just a thought!

There you go again, blaming everything on the Koch brothers, If the Koch brothers happen to have similar ideas then so what?, these ideas have been around long before the Koch brothers. Independent thought IS a great thing, especially when it's not influenced by the "rat left". When you say, "you are the ones" are you referring to john bonehead and all the other rinos? If you are, you're wrong, I'm not on their side either, they seem to be too complicit with the traitor that's squatting in the People's House.

One thing Barry Soetoro doesn't understand is that trucking companies are already doing everything they can about fuel economy. It's part of the PROFIT motive, something he doesn't understand.

People loved bitching and moaning about the CAFE requirements regarding light duty trucks and passenger vehicles.

I don't see anyone complaining when the trucks are getting 28 mpg highway, or the cars making 30 and 40 mpg highway.

If someone hadn't stepped in and said "Look-push the envelope. There are solutions to this problem of poor fuel economy and you need to get creative in dealing with them because we're through with this 'new skin, same old fuel economy' bs year after year"...we'd still be stuck with the fuel economy of yesteryear.

Yes, I understand physics can only be fought so much. There's only so much power one can get from a gallon of gas...which is why diesel is probably going to catch least, if the government could get away from being biased against it and ease some of the taxes on it. Regardless...give it time. The companies will get creative and find a way to meet the regulation. It's been a long time coming. Customers have a right to know how far they can go on a tank of gas or diesel in one of these heavy duty vehicles.

@Jeff - agreed.......... but politics can be so much fun as a spectator sport :)

@Jeff, they didn't need CAFE to get that going. Diesels are popular around the world, many other countries don't have CAFE. Though some countries have other dumb regulations like higher taxes on engines above 2.0L, 206 kw (Japan) or 3.0L and that sort of thing.

I don't know why there's bitching.

In the end the consumer is the winner here. It means goods can be delivered to a store cheaper.

This will decrease prices.

It's not a hard concept.

How much horse power and torque do you need in a vehicle to move a load that a HD can carry on the bed?

120hp diesel will move a 5 000lb load on the back of a truck at above freeway speeds and get 25mpg.

A 10 000lb load on the bed of a truck can be moved at highway speeds with a 150hp diesel and get over 20mpg.

This is occurring right now.

You guys are fear for the sake of fearing.

The world isn't coming to an end.

@Big Al, at the risk of repeating myself I care about our president faithfully fulfilling the oath he took in January last year. He promised to respect the law.

His administration has refused to cooperate with his political opponents, so his advisers has counseled him to reject the constitutional requirements of his office and simply issue pronouncements and edicts.

Every new rule he proposes requires the rest of us to comply. That is a cost. If you never owned a business you won't understand, but in many fields, the cost of compliance is higher than any other single expense.

When Obama orders the manufacturers to change their plans for product development it increases the cost of running their businesses--or they have to close their doors. Or move offshore. Or outsource production.

These changes DO have a cost.

I'm all for it... Every time the government requires tighter fuel standards that cost more for equipment and maintenance costs the more I am able to raise my shipping costs. The public wants it... so they must have money to burn. :-) bring it baby!

Only way to increase mpg is using hybrid electric drivetrain
like so

Ford Commercial Trucks are leading the way world-wide in every area. And this particular area WILL be a good one to watch and see just what a difference Ford will make . . .

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