Add-ons: Dynamic Dozen

By Todd Dills | September 01, 2009

Using Michelin’s online fuel and weight savings calculator (michelintruck.com) to estimate payback, with a fuel-efficiency gain of close to 4 percent due to the reduced rolling resistance singles offer, the $1,800 yearly fuel savings will pay for the new wheels and tires in just under two and a half years. If you’re in a payload-sensitive application, that time period could dwindle dramatically.

An independent test measuring real-world efficiency gains, with Michelin’s X One as the test tire, found between 6 percent and 10 percent fuel-efficiency improvements. The study was conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy.

• If you own a dry van or reefer trailer, gap fairings and trailer side skirts may improve your fuel efficiency by 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. Using default prices of around $900per trailer for gap fairings and $1,800 for side skirts, the EPA estimates a payback of about a year for each device in fuel savings alone. n

 

The Air-Weigh scale

Air-weighAir-Weigh makes an onboard scale with the potential to integrate seamlessly into a fleet’s drop-and-hook operation if the trailers are outfitted with the system. Per tractor, the drop-and-hook-capable system costs $925 for the tractor, and the in-dash monitor digitally displays steer, drive and trailer axle weights. For the owner-operator running his own dedicated trailer, units range between $625 and $1,040. “At the higher end, you can connect a printer through the data BUS,” says Product Manager Jim Morton.

Use the return on investment calculator at Air-WeighScales.com to run the numbers for your operation. With a single check-weigh and avoiding six out-of-route miles a week and one $200 fine per year, the average owner-operator will be in the black in just under a year.

 

Guaranteeing the system

Cleantechnics’ President and CEO Bruce Thomas says he’ll offer a refund to owner-operators who don’t see a full payback on the cost of his company’s bypass system within a year. The Cleantechnics (ctifilters.com) system utilizes what Thomas calls a “true one-micron bypass filter” in a rugged “cold-rolled, hot-dipped galvanized steel housing” that he guarantees for 10 years. Start-up costs run below $750 with self-installation.

Oil Purification Systems (oilpursys.com) offers its Eco-Pur update of its previous-generation OPS-1 system on a $126 monthly no-interest payment plan that company CEO Greg Slawson says pays for itself in savings on oil changes. “The $126 a month is going to be less than what they would do in an oil change,” he says. “In five months you pay for the system, with no out-of-pocket costs.” Total startup costs: $630.


Rigmaster back in action

When Rigmaster Power Corp. (rigmasterpower.com), one of the pioneers in the truck APU industry, began to go under late last year, Mike Dolmaya, then head of two of Rigmaster’s primary supplier companies, saw opportunity. Today, Dolmaya also heads a reconstituted Rigmaster Power, which maintained its dealer network, introduced a new emissions-compliant unit and kept its price stable at around $7,500 installed. “We are not an assembly plant,” Dolmaya says. “We can customize to the specific fleet or operator.”