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Volvo, Michelin Study Reveals Simple Tricks for Truck Fuel Savings

Minor adjustments to haulage vehicles can have a surprisingly large effect on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, according to a study by Volvo Trucks and Michelin.

A study carried out by the truck maker and tire manufacturer shows that having the right tires, tire pressure and wheel alignment can reduce fuel consumption – and therefore CO2 emissions – by up to 15 percent. In financial terms that could be a saving up to €8,000 ($10,444) per vehicle per year.

During a two-week long, 1,000km (621 mile) test, a rig with optimal tires, tire pressures and wheel alignment was compared with a vehicle featuring different wheel alignments and tire parameters.

Analysis of the test results reveals that there can be a difference of as much as 14.5 percent in fuel consumption depending on how the wheels are aligned and equipped. Choice of tire can cut consumption by as much as 11 percent; correct tire inflation brings a reduction of 1 percent, while proper wheel alignment can cut fuel consumption by 2.5 percent.

The companies say that there is a lack of awareness in the transport industry about the importance of checking tires and wheel alignment.

At the tail-end of last year American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy called for regulations on haulage trailer efficiency. Efficiency improvements to trailers can deliver large fuel savings quickly, according to the body.

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