RFX Blog

Trucking Industry Aims to Improve Use of Fuels

April 30th, 2012

One of the main costs in the trucking industry is fuel. In recent years, truckers have been forced to add a fuel surcharge on top of the regular shipping costs to make up the increasing cost of fuel. Those looking for trucking tips know that reducing the cost or even completely eliminating this fuel surcharge can help to attract and retain more business. Even here at Refrigerated Food Express we have contributed a special type of technology on a portion of our trucks that acts as a side skirt which is capable of reducing fuel costs of up to 7%.

Rising Cost of Fuel

Generally speaking, commercial transport trucks use diesel as their fuel. However, the cost of diesel is ever increasing. The government has reported that the average price of diesel is now at $4.085/gallon (as of April 23, 2012). A staggering 63% of that price is a direct reflection of the price of crude oil. Currently, California has the highest cost of diesel coming in at $4.384/gallon1.

Crude Oil Production

Torque News has reported that:

“For every hundred barrels of crude oil produced or imported into the U.S., about 8 go towards commercial transportation. Diesel fuel equals roughly 10% of each barrel of oil refined and most of that (roughly 80%) is used for commercial transport of one kind or another. One of the largest chunks of that use is in the trucking industry.”2

Green Technologies

Eco-friendly technologies have been increasing in popularity worldwide as people have begun to realize that our planet’s natural resources must be protected for future generations. The commercial trucking industry has received many trucking tips that suggest that emerging green technologies are the way of the future and may even make their company stand out against competitors. Often, this preference for green technologies may be helped along by the decreased cost. Decreasing trucking fuel consumption is the only way to attract more customers by reducing prices.

Fuel Surcharges

Fuel surcharges have been in place since the huge price increase in fuel in the 1980’s and 90’s. During that time, the fuel price rose dramatically and extremely quickly. This huge, sudden increase in costs caused many commercial trucking companies to fold. That left many drivers looking for trucking tips on how to still make a living trucking with new price realities of fuel. The fuel surcharge was born to make trucking a viable business. Many complain customers complain about the added on costs of fuel and think that this is done in a greedy maneuver to drive profits. However, the reality is that these added on costs are merely a pass through, not a money grab.

Natural Gas

Luckily, those looking for trucking tips to decrease trucking fuel consumption don’t have far to look. Many truck manufacturers have already been working on solutions including a natural gas alternative. Natural gas costs approximately $1.50/gallon less than diesel making the price much more affordable. The top manufacturer of US trucks, Paccar which makes Peterbilt and Kenworth, has taken these trucking tips to heart. They already have a few models of natural gas models availabile.

Other Options

Some of the other options to decrease trucking fuel consumption and the related costs include hydrogen fuel cells, biofuel/biodiesel, battery electrics and hybridization. Some of the world’s biggest manufacturers have been listening to trucking tips and providing the solutions. The years to come should offer an ever-increasing variety of alternates to diesel as the main fuel used for commercial trucking companies.

The world of commercial trucking is changing for the better by decreasing trucking fuel consumption rates to make shipping more cost effective, attractive and eco-friendly. Those looking for trucking tips to reduce their costs need to look no further than decreasing their fuel consumption.


  1. EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis, U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update”. Release Date April 23, 2012. http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/
  2. Aaron Turpen. “Trucking Industry to End Reliance on Crude”. Torque News, April 16, 2012. http://www.torquenews.com/1080/trucking-industry-moving-end-reliance-crude

Posted on April 30th, 2012 in Trucking Tips