Channel 19

Todd Dills

How to save fuel: ‘Fix the roads!’ researchers say

| August 01, 2011

We all know the tire makers have done their due in improving truck-tire rolling resistance in recent years to help operators save fuel with tire choices. Two Auburn University researchers say it’s time for the paving industry and the governments that allocate funds for roads to step up to the plate. They located a holy grail of sorts in fuel savings via the analytical report they presented at the midyear meeting of the National Asphalt Pavement Association. Smoothing the pavement on the road under your tractor’s drives and steers, it turns out, could save a national cumulative $12.5 billion yearly in fuel. That’s 3.7 billion gallons of gas and 1.3 of diesel, said Richard Willis and Rob Jackson. Now if we could just squeeze the cash for the job out of the state governments…

And who better than the nation’s owner-operators and truck drivers to identify the trouble spots in need of the most attention? Though keeping up with construction performance is a moving target, and one where a single jarring muscle memory can persist for decades, from Overdrive‘s many years covering state-to-state highway construction performance via our formerly annual highway report card, we know of a couple of the most common washboard-like scofflaws. At the same time, it’s been a couple years since our last report card: who’s doing the best job today? The worst? Tell us and the world your thoughts in the comments here.

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