NACFE issues updated Confidence Report on effectiveness of low rolling resistance tires

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According to the North American Council for Freight Efficiency, rolling resistance accounts for as much as 35% of a truck’s total fuel consumption. Low rolling resistance can help drivers achieve greater efficiency on the road.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) has released updates to its Confidence Report on low rolling resistance tires. NACFE’s initial report was published in 2015.

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The Confidence Report provides fleets with best practices regarding low rolling resistance tires, noting that diligent maintenance is essential to get the best life and performance from low rolling resistance tires. In addition to the confidence matrix, which indicates the study team’s confidence in the investment case for low rolling resistance tires, the report also includes a decision guide and a payback calculator.

According to NACFE, rolling resistance accounts for 30% to 33% of a truck’s total fuel consumption. Fleets have increased the adoption of low rolling resistance tires, both duals and wide base. Low rolling resistance tires are now used on more than 80% of new truck and trailers.

In addition, Greenhouse Gas Phase 2 regulations are now in effect. Tires are one of the technologies fleets recognized as helping manufacturers achieve goals set forth in the regulation. One consequence of this regulation for the truck buyer may be that manufacturers will encourage buyers to continue to spec low rolling resistance tires even when fuel prices are low and to switch to even lower rolling resistance tires as they become available.

Tire manufactures continue to work on balancing initial purchase price and tire life, NACFE notes.

“Even though the upfront costs of low rolling resistance tires may be higher, the cost of the fuel that a tire consumes due to its rolling resistance is five times greater than the initial purchase price of the tire,” according to Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE.

When fuel prices were higher, there was more interest in wide-base tires, but as dual tires with equivalent low rolling resistance were engineered, the interest in wide-base tires has decreased. However, fleets still are interested in low rolling resistance tires as a way to reduce operating costs and wide-base tires are a great solution for many fleets.

To review NACFE’s updated report, click here.

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