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New TCP survey shows mixed results on differences in 2007 and 2010 engines

Over half of the carriers indicate that fuel economy has improved with new engines, but almost 40 percent report that there has been no change.

The Trucker News Services

4/4/2013

Results from Transport Capital Partners’ (TCP) first-quarter 2013 Business Expectations Survey show mixed feedback from carriers on the fuel economy and maintenance costs of 2010 engines versus 2007 engines.

Over half of the carriers indicate that fuel economy has improved with new engines, but almost 40 percent report that there has been no change.

The discrepancy is even more pronounced between large carriers (greater than $25 million in revenue) and small carriers. Fifty-seven percent of larger carriers report fuel economy improvement compared to only 32 percent of smaller carriers.

“Carriers differ in their measurement systems and tracking procedures, but the real story here is that very few carriers have seen a decline in fuel economy with the 2010 engines. Most of the carriers we talk to have reported overall improvement in mpg in recent years from a combination of technology and training efforts,” states Steven Dutro, TCP Partner.

 There are also mixed results on maintenance costs. Fifty-three percent of carriers say that there has been no change in engine-related maintenance costs, yet 40 percent indicate that costs have increased.

Larger carriers are evenly split as to whether the 2010 engines cost more to maintain than the 2007 engines (47 percent vs. 48 percent). Almost two-thirds of smaller carriers indicate no change in maintenance costs, while nearly 30 percent say maintenance costs have increased.

It may be that some carriers are viewing  maintenance costs overall rather than by miles generated over the same early portion of the truck life cycle, i.e., older trucks have higher costs than newer trucks. “The differences in these responses may simply represent differences in measurement and tracking,” said Richard Mikes, TCP Partner. “Significantly, very few carriers report lower maintenance costs for the 2010 engines, and the majority of carriers we know say these costs have increased.”

Stay tuned as The Trucker explores the reasons behind some of the findings in subsequent print editions.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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