Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Where Is MPG Headed?

If you haven't heard about the government's Green House Gas (GHG) initiative, you either haven't been reading trade magazines or been in the industry very long. The GHG program is being rolled out in two phases. Phase 1 is currently being implemented and Phase 2 will be completely phased in by 2027. Phase 2 standards require reduction of 25% in GHG emissions including modifications to both the tractor and trailer to meet this challenge.  The goal of this program is to reduce emissions and other pollutants deemed harmful to the environment. There will be a number of issues addressed to meet the new standards, but a major thrust will be best accomplished by reducing not only the emissions coming out of the engines, but also by reducing the amount of fuel burned by the engines.

Our industry has paid dearly for reducing emissions; changes in the diesel fuel, emission reduction systems, electronic controls and increased downtime for repairs. The GHG program is designed to reduce the amount of emissions discharged into the air we breathe by reducing the fuel we burn. After several years, trucking will finally begin to get some payback for all the costs we have incurred to reduce emissions.

In 2009, tractor trailers were averaging around 6 miles per gallon in line-haul operations. Today, it is not uncommon to see 8 MPG or better. A number of our drivers are averaging over 8 MPG. The truck OEMs are all involved in government funded testing concepts that have test vehicles called super trucks hitting 12 MPG. The question with some of the technology being tested is how practical the price will be to bring the technology to the market. Will fleets like PTL be willing to pay for it?

Much has been accomplished over the last few years. One might ask how we managed to improve our fleet MPG by approximately 2 MPG over the past 10 years. There has been no silver bullet but several small steps that have led to this improvement.

We now use fuel efficient tires in all positions. New fuel efficient tires do not offer the depth of 32s that a standard tire provides, so the rolling resistance is reduced meaning the tire is more fuel efficient. A new tire measuring 30/32s is 6% more fuel efficient at 50% tread wear than when new and 6.6% more efficient at 25% remaining tread. It stands to reason if you start a new tire with less 32s, it will be more fuel efficient than a deeper tread new tire because there is less tread deformation and side wall flex, meaning rolling resistance, as the tire is going down the road.

We have added the most practical aerodynamics to our equipment possible and we maintain those aerodynamic devices when damaged to gain maximum fuel conservation. For every 2% reduction in aerodynamic drag, the truck will gain about 1% in fuel economy. Some OEM super trucks have reduced by factors exceeding 20%. This can be a double-edged sword because if it costs more to repair and maintain the aerodynamic panels, then we did not save money on purchasing the aero devices in the first place. We have to plan carefully to get a return on our investment.

We manage our road speed. It is a proven fact of physics that for every MPH you cruise above 55 MPH, there is an approximate 1/10 reduction in MPG. In your truck, you can gain MPG by dropping below the 65 MPH cruise point.

We have added APU units to all our trucks which have reduced our fleet idle time from around 50% to approximately 15 - 20%. Our APU program is also designed to provide drivers with hotel load comforts when the main engine is off and yet still be able to start the truck on demand. Over the last 8 years, we have dropped our jump-starts from around 150 per months to averaging less than 30 per month.

As few as five years ago, engine cruise RPMs were in the 1450 range. The most current spec in our fleet has the engines cruising at less than 1200 RPMs. In looking at our next generation of trucks, we expect the see the engine cruise range in the 900 - 1000 RPMs. Anytime the engine is turning less RPMs, it is burning less fuel.

Based on conversations with my counterparts from other major fleets, I find we have one of the most aggressive tire pressure management programs in the industry. The goal of our program is to test every tire in the fleet in 60 days or less. If the tire pressures have not be tested in 120 days, that unit goes out of service until it is tested. Another fact of physics, for every 10 PSI that a tire is under inflated, fuel economy will be reduced by 1%.

Looking forward to GHG Phase 2, we will see more integration of engine and transmission joint computer controls, and even hybrid power-trains. We will see power robbing accessories move from engine drive to electrical drives. Other expected changes to reach 10 MPG will include more extensive trailer aerodynamics, more lightweight equipment, GPS feeding engine controls to anticipate upcoming grades, more down speeding of engine RPMs, waste heat recovery, and several innovative engine changes. All of this will further complicate the already complicated truck repair process, but taken together, a truck capable of getting 10 MPG is a definite reality within the next 6 to 8 years.

Our trucks will cost more and fuel will be more expensive than it is today. This brings me back to my earlier question, how much more will this fuel saving technology cost and will we be able to save enough in fuel cost to off-set the increased price in the truck? Stay tuned, time will tell.

Thanks for reading. Our entire maintenance team wishes you a safe and maintenance free trip.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thank You PTL Veterans 2016


It is our privilege to say “thank you” to all of America’s veterans, to let them know that we appreciate them for their service and honor them for their sacrifices. The price of freedom is high. We cannot afford to forget those willing to pay it.



Keith Cole
OTR Breakdown
Army 1986-93
Richard Archambeault
Driver Services
Air Force 1955-59

Daniel Burgdolf
Customer Service
Navy 2009-2013
Anythony Keith Conder 19921
Air Force 1985-05



Achsah Cole
Accounts Receivable
Marines 1992-98
Marlin Bates
Recruiting
Army 1987-92
Leon "David" Coyner 19985
Army

Gene Fielder
Driver Services
Air Force 1972-95
 
Lee Hodsdon 64180
Army 1978-92

Danny Lane
West Memphis Terminal Manager
Navy 1989-93

Michael Graham
Sr. VP of Sales
Army

Alex Lacey
Customer Service
Navy 2007-2012
 
Bobby Dale Lemoine 66042
Army

Dennis Green 19971
Air Force 1977-81

David Moore 19860
Navy 1985-89

Martin Tolver 20031
Army 1972-83

Don Urquhart
Driver Services
Coast Guard 1953-1995

Kevin Sprinkles
Sr. Recruiter
Army 1992-13

James Tuttle 16382
Air Force 1972-78

Tim Walls (right)
Murray Maintenance
Army 1979-96

Gordon Fraser 19630
Navy 1979-90

Mike Wright
Operations
Army 1984-92

Brent Melton
Driver Services
Marine Corps 1995-2010

Gene Steven Berry 66922
Navy 1989-93

Mike Alexander
Director of Driver Services
Army 1972-74
LEE ADAMS ALVERSON • 19603
Army
EMMANUEL AMBRIZ • 16573
Navy
DEQUAN LEBERT ANTHONY • 19668
Army
ERIC JAMAR BAILEY • 19799
Navy
STEVEN ARNOLD BAKER JR. • 20047
Army
CHARLES MICHAEL BARKLEY • 20113
Air Force
ALEJANDRO ENRIQUE BASSIM • 19698
Army
SCOTT DAREN BAXTER • 19898
Air Force
JEFFREY ALLEN BECKER • 20176
Army
ROBERT BECKWORTH • 19817
Navy
MARVIN RAY BENNETT • 20020
Army
ROBERTO BERNAL • 20120
Army
STEPHEN R. BLACKWELL • 20008
Army
FARROW CHRISTOPHER BOWMAN • 20229
Army
COREY DWAYNE BROOKS • 16632
Navy
GEORGE ALDEN BROWN • 15161
Army
ANTHONY RAY BROWN JR • 20101
Army
WARREN LEE BROWN • 19992
Army
JOHN EDWARD BROWN III • 19997
Army
GARRY WAYNE BURDGE • 67271
Navy
 HENDERSON BUTLER • 20201
Marines
MICHAEL EUGENE CALHOUN • 19942
Army
ANDREW SCOTT CAPPER • 20214
Navy
EDGAR W. CARRIGAN • 16560
Army
ANTHONY Q. CARTER • 64124
Army
LARRY EUGENE CARTWRIGHT • 19683
Marines
EARL HEINRICH CASH • 20107
Army
JUAN CASTRO • 20046
Navy
JERREL MARTINUS CEDERBOOM • 19763
Army
ALFRED L. CHEEKS • 66809
Army
CASEY JAMES CHURCH • 19789
Army
LESTER COBLE • 19713
Army
ALBERT LEROY COLLIER • 19711
Army
KEITH WAYNE COLLINS • 16445
Army
JAMES LINTON COLLINS • 16476
Army
KENDALL NICOLE CONERLY • 16494
Army
ALEX ARNAZ COX • 19808
Air Force
ALLEN A COX • 20050
Army
JOSHUA STEPHEN CROWE • 20105
Army
DENNIS WAYNE CULPEPPER • 19825
Navy
OKEY CLARENCE DELANEY • 19686
Navy
JUAN DE LOS REYES • 20099
Army
MICHAEL EUGENE DIBARTOLO • 20215
Air Force
MICHAEL RAY DINGLER • 20005
Army
MIKE DUFFIE • Murray Maintenance
Army 1975-95
JAMES RICKEY DUNN • 20058
Marines
SAMUEL R ECHOLS • 20051
Army
TERRANCE DERRELL ELDER SR • 20216
Navy
BILLY CHAZ ELY • 20021
Army
DAVID WILLIAM EWERS • 16421
Army
MARVIN WAYNE EYE • 19662
Army
JOHN KEMP FALESKI • 16469
Army
JON MICHAEL FARMER • 20248
Navy
GORDON BISSET FRASER JR • 19630
Navy
DAVID MICHAEL GAMBLE •16692
Marines
PINKNEY LEE GAMBLE JR • 20205
Army
BRIAN MATTHEW GEISER • 16501
Coast Guard
LOUIS OALAUJUAN GILBERT • 67234
Army
MICHAEL ANTHONY GLENN • 19769
Army
FELISIA ANITA GLOVER • 19833
Army
ARCHIE DEAN GREENE JR • 16685
Army
JAMES HAROLD GREENGRASS • 16486
Navy
RANDALL GENE GRIMES • 16561
Army
NATHANAEL PHILLIP HALBY • 16680
Army
ROBERT ALEXANDRIA HALL SR • 19657
Army
RORY A HAMM • 19761
Marines
CHRISTOPHER D HAMRYKA •19904
Marines
LITIA SHANEAN HAND • 19843
Army
EDWARD ALBERT HANEY • 19707
Navy
JAMES EARL HANSEN • 19933
Navy
TIMOTHY EARL HARDY • 66661
Marines
MATHIAS ALEXANDER HARDY • 19920
Army
JOHNNY BOB HARP • 20014
Air Force
DAVID CHRISTOPHER HARRIS • 19929
Army
WESLEY GENE HART • 19670
Army
JOHN EDWARD HASTINGS JR • 16556
Army
TERENCE LEE HAYNES • 19634
Navy
JOHN HAYMAN • VP of Safety
Army 1969-71
CHRISTOPHER RAY HENRY • 66961
Marines
JOHNNY RAY HENSON • 16581
Army
DEVIOUS S HIPP • 60218
Army
KEVIN DOMINIQUE HOLDEN • 20195
Army
GARY DUANE HOLMAN • 16442
Marines
DAMON ROMEL HOSLEY • 19803
Navy
JAYDEE HUGHES • 19647
Army
DANTE CARLO HUMMEL • 19999
Marines
BLAKE EDWARD HUNTER • 260
Army
ROBERT FORD HUNTER JR • 19850
Marines
TOMMIE E JACKSON JR • 20096
Army
JOHN RAYMOND JENKINS • 19619
Army
RONALD MARK JONES • 20118
Army
RODERICK LEE JONES • 66252
Army
ANDREW JERMAINE JONES SR • 20216
Army
DEXTER MAXWELL JONES • 19786
Air Force
GERALD LAMAR JONES • 19917
Army
JVIEN MAURICE KARAS • 20131
Army
MARCUS KENNEY • 16636
Army
TERRY PATRICK KERSEY • 20112
Navy
LORENZO JOHNNIE KING • 19798
Navy
JASON DANIEL KNAPP • 19782
Navy
KELSEY ROBERT KREIS • 19809
Army
WILLIAM RANDAL LAPOINT • 19695
Army
CLIFFORD RAY LATHAM • 20102
Army
GARY ABDUL LAWSON • 16579
Army
ROBERT LEE • 67153
Army
RICKY LEWIS • 20132
Army
RONALD CLAY LINDSEY • 66967
Army
JAMES K LLOYD • 16681
Air Force
GARY A LONGANECKER • 16550
Army
STOPHER LEE MADDEN • 20224
Army
HAYDEN ANDREW MANASCO • 20244
Army
JUSTIN ALLEN MARTIN • 20120
Army
KENT DAVID MARTIN • 16653
Marines
JOHNATHAN PAUL MATHIS • 67155
Army
WALTER H MAXEY • 16509
Marines
DAMARIS PAJACOB MCCANT • 19972
Army
TIMOTHY L MCCARTHY •20090
Army
GREGORY MCCARTY • 16422
Army
WILLIAM MARK MCCAULEY • 20074
Marines
WILLIAM DARNELL MCCREARY • 16572
Army
MICHAEL JOSEPH MCNALLY • 16620
Marines
ARTURO ANTONIO MENA • 16555
Marines
ANTHONY CHARLES MERKA • 16454
Army
JOSEPH VINCENT MERKLER • 20086
Marines
TYRONE J MERRITT • 16463
Army
RONALD DEAN MERRITT JR • 20222
Army
BOBBY MIDDLEBROOK • 16691
Army
 CHRISTOPHER W MILLER • 19748
Navy
JOHN HENRY MILLS • 16540
Army
LEONARD LAURICE MILLSAP • 16627
Army
CEDRIC JOSEPH MITCHELL • 20214
Navy
ARNOLD MONROE • 16689
Navy
TERRY RUSSELL MONTGOMERY • 19956
Army
JOSHUA EARL MOTEN • 16587
Marines
TERRENCE JOSEPH MULICH JR • 20111
Marines
NICHOLAS MBUGUA MUNENE • 19913
Navy
MARK TRACY MUNFORD • 19667
Navy
JOSEPH LOWELL MUSE III • 19974
Army
ANTHONY D NEALY • 20060
Army
CHRISTOPHER W NENISH • 16450
Army
HEATH PATRICK OBRIEN •16449
Army
GORDON DAVID OLSON • 16482
Navy
EDWIN OSVALDO OTERO-CRUZ •20197
Army
CHARLES STEPHEN OWENS II • 19736
Army
KEVIN JAMES PALMER • 19750
Navy
MIKEL RICHARD PARKER • 19970
Navy
NORMAN PATTERSON • 19959
Army
RALPH PATTILLO • 65838
Navy
CHRISTOPHER A PECK • 20117
Army
BRUCE PETTIS • 20131
Marines
STEVEN ISAIAH PETTY • 16466
Army
CATE ANNE PLAUCHE • 19627
Air Force
MICHAEL ALBERT POWELL • 20059
Army
ANTHONY LEONARD RANDALL • 19653
Army
REGINALD LYNN RANDLE • 16697
Navy
PERRY LEANDERS REDD • 16452
Marines
 EMMITT REEVES • 20151
Army
LOYD REYNOLDS • 16453
Air Force
JACOB MICHAEL RHODES • 16420
Army
LAWRENCE R RICE • 67232
Marines
ADOLPH RAY RIGGINS • 16569
Army
BENTON EARL ROBERTS • 19948
Army
LEON ROBINSON • 19813
Army
ALTARO ROBINSON • 19842
Air Force
JAMES ROBERT ROELL • 20169
Marines
REX RANDALL ROLLO • 16489
Army
JAMES EMANUEL ROSSETTI • 19882
Army
MICHAEL JOSEPH ROY • 19789
Marines
MUHAMMAD ABDUL RUFAI • 20125
Navy
DANIEL LEE SANDERS • 20004
Army
ANDRE JOSEPH SAVOIE • 19944
Army
RANDALL KEVIN SCHARMEN • 19636
Army
JACOB ELI SCHROCK • 20086
Army
ERIC LEROY SCOTT • 19624
Army
WAYNE ALDIN SEALY • 20156
Navy
JACOB DAVID SENSAT • 19805
Army
MATT SHAHAN • Driver Support
Air Force/Air National Guard
RONALD DEAN SHEARN JR • 19625
Army
BRUCE WAYNE SHELBY • 20003
Army
FREDERICK M SHEPHERD • 19749
Navy
JAMES PATRICK SHOTWELL • 20175
Air Force
TIMOTHY LYNN SHREVE • 19733
Army
ROBERT HAZLEHURST SMALL • 20168
Marines
THOMAS DEE SMITH • 16461
Army
LEROY DONNELL SMITH • 19801
Marines
DAVID WAYNE SMITH • 20047
Army
JOSEPH D SPIVEY • 20035
Army
BYRON ANTOINE STALLINGS • 20245
Marines
DWAYNE DOMICHIA STEPHENS • 16631
Army
ALFRED EMANUEL STEPHENS • 20100
Marines
MARCUS JAMES STEVENSON • 16624
Army
RICKY LEE STOKES • 16611
Marines
ISRAEL TAGUILAS • 19685
Air Force
TERRANCE LORENZO TEAL • 16578
Army
MICHAEL JACOB TERRY • 19961
Army
DAVID E THOMPSON • 16429
Marines
ULYSSES TINSLEY • 16519
Air Force
ROBERT DOUGLAS TOMERA • 66751
Army
FRANK DONNELL TURNER II • 20179
Army
SALVADOR VILLAREAL • 16595
Army
TIMOTHY JEWELL WALKER •16625
Army
DREW ALLEN WALTON • 16460
Navy
DONALD LYNN WARD • 19847
Army
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN WARREN • 16530
Army
JAMES LESTER WHEELER • 20115
Army
RONALD WHITE • 16699
Army
JOSHUA MICHAEL WIERZBICKI • 20183
Army
TERRY LEE WILCOX JR • 16487
Navy
GARLAND WILLIAMS •19875
Navy
CAREY DENZEL WILLIAMS • 16649
Marines J
EFFERSON L WILSON • 19710
Marines
ANGELA L WOOD • 19641
Army
MICHAEL A WOOLRIDGE JR • 19920
Army
MARK DANIEL WRHEL • 16622
Army
TOMMY WRIGHT •16588
Army
JUSTIN JAMES WYMAN • 20223
Army
MICHAEL WAYNE YORK • 19850
Navy
TRAVIS LAMAR YOUNG • 19896
Navy
KASUI ANNUGA YOUNG • 20031
Army
 
“Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier.”

– Zell Miller