Truck productivity, efficiency, energy use, and carbon dioxide output: Benchmarking of international performance
Transportation Research Record
Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan, 2901 Baxter Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2150, United States; Bundesanstalt für Strassenwesen (BASt), Brüderstraße 53, Bergisch Gladbach, D-51427, Germany; CSIR, South Africa, Meiring Naudé Road, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
The Joint Transport Research Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the International Transport Forum recently conducted a benchmarking study of the safety and productivity of typical highway transport trucks from various countries. This paper focuses on vehicle productivity and efficiency in regard to the movement of freight. Forty vehicles from 10 countries were examined. The vehicles were designed for longer-haul applications and were classified in three separate categories: workhorse vehicles, which are the most common and can travel on most roads; high-capacity vehicles, which may be restricted to a certain class of road; and very high-capacity vehicles, which may be restricted to specific highways or routes. The metrics used in the analysis include maximum cargo mass and volume capacity, optimum cargo density, fuel consumption, and carbon dioxide output as a function of the freight task. The study found that size and weight regulations have a significant effect on the productivity and efficiency of heavy vehicles, including fuel consumption and vehicle emissions per unit of cargo transported. Significant variations were found among the vehicles from participating countries as well as within vehicle classes. It was also apparent that, in general, higher-productivity vehicles are correlated more strongly with increased cargo volume than with increased cargo mass and that larger trucks are better suited to lower-density freight than are workhorse vehicles. The study also found that it is important to consider the freight task when evaluating vehicle fuel consumption and emissions.
Cargo volume; Energy use; Heavy vehicle; High-capacity; International transport; Organisation for economic co-operation and development; Per unit; Transport research; Vehicle emission; Volume capacity; Automobiles; Benchmarking; Carbon dioxide; Fuels; International cooperation; Lead acid batteries; Productivity; Roads and streets; Steel metallurgy; Trucks; Vehicles