Fleet Executives Offer Insights to Improve Truck Spec’ing Process
Truck spec’ing will continue to evolve, but a couple of fleet executives had some suggestions for truck makers on ways to improve the process.
Paul Rosa, senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning with Penske Truck Leasing, said their challenge as a multibrand fleet is to keep from being overwhelmed with all of the updates and changes from the truck makers resulting in a new databook for each model.
“Things are happening so fast in [the OEMs’] world that one of the transitions we’ve made over the past five years is learning and educating ourselves about all the components and technologies in order that we can explain [them] to customers or prospects,” Rosa said.
While Rosa said it was a challenge to assimilate and understand all of the changes, he said he credited the truck makers for adding resources to manage the process. “They’ve added people to talk about integrated power trains, to have experts that are more versed in those specialty areas. They didn’t have those resources in the past,” he said.
Joel Morrow, director of research & development for Ploger Transportation, said he would like to see more of the component and vehicle testing that was exhibited in the North American Council for Freight Efficiency’s Run on Less demonstration completed earlier this year.
Run on Less was a program among seven fleets, Ploger included, using trucks with commercially available technologies running cross-country to demonstrate how to achieve the best fuel economy in today’s highway tractors. The program’s drivers ran more than 50,000 miles and averaged 10.1 mpg, surpassing the demonstration’s 9-mpg target.
Doing more of these demonstrations would be an opportunity “to get the technology in front of people in real-world situations,” Morrow said. “It would show customers ‘this is what our truck does in the real world.’ I think that would be critical.”