Skyline Transportation Inc. is an asset-based provider of truckload, dedicated and hazardous materials hauling and expedited services. Founded in 1954 and headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, the third generation, family-owned business operates 115 tractors and a fleet of 53-ft dry van trailers. They joined the PIT Group one year ago to take advantage of test data on a range of fuel saving technologies it was considering for its fleet.
To validate vendor claims on product fuel efficiency performance.
Without the in-house resources or a controlled environment for testing a vendor’s claims about the validity of a technology’s fuel saving capability, Skyline Transportation sought an independent, verified source of data about systems and components that present an opportunity to cut fuel use.
Skyline Transportation joined the PIT Group one year ago to take advantage of test results on a wide range of fuel saving technologies it was considering for its fleet.
Skyline Transportation also plans to access information from the PIT Group on the potential of other fuel saving technologies, specifications and operating practices. In addition, the carrier is interested in the performance of safety solutions, such as air disc brakes, and has already used a PIT Group study on in-cab camera systems to narrow down its choices before adopting that technology.
Realizing at least $125,000 in fuel cost savings.
By accessing PIT Group test information and results, Skyline Transportation is estimating it will save $125,000 annually at today’s fuel prices by implementing two proven technologies. The carrier also says that the savings will generate an almost immediate return on investment in its PIT Group membership fees.
PIT Group test data validated the decision by Skyline Transportation to outfit its 115 tractors with a wheel cover system that consists of aerodynamic wheel covers and tractor tandem fairings. In testing by the PIT Group, the solution generated a 2% return in fuel savings, which will amount to about 40,000 gallons annually once the entire fleet is outfitted.
“We took a chance on our decision before knowing that the PIT Group had already tested the system,” said Jeff Reed, president of Skyline Transportation, Inc. “If we knew beforehand what the PIT Group had found out we would not only have had more confidence in our decision but we also would have accelerated the implementation.”
PIT Group test data also proved to Skyline Transportation that it could realize at least a 1% improvement in fuel economy by retrofitting its entire fleet with aerodynamic splash guards. Although the splash guards cost more than a standard mud flap, the savings of at least 20,000 gallons of fuel annually is expected to help the carrier realize a 16-18 month return on investment at current fuel prices.
Skyline Transportation was also considering investing in a third aerodynamic device but after reviewing PIT Group test results, they learned that this technology had no benefit and a potentially negative impact on fuel economy.
“PIT Group’s success in Canada is easily transferable to U.S. trucking operations. Even if only some of the test data they provide applies to a smaller carrier operating in a few regions of the country, the verification of fuel saving items we’re considering or may not even know about– more than justifies the cost of membership. While larger carriers may have their own engineering staff, smaller operations can’t do this on their own. There is a big benefit to be realized from PIT Group membership for a large part of the U.S. trucking industry.”
Jeff Reed, President
Skyline Transportation, Inc.
“With PIT Group’s ability to validate vendor claims about fuel efficiency, we’re already anticipating $125,000 in savings at today’s fuel prices. We’ve also saved money by not spending on a device that was shown to have no benefit and potentially a negative impact on fuel economy. The membership fees we pay the PIT Group are quickly and easily covered by the almost immediate return on investment in technologies they have proven will lower our fuel costs.”
Jeff Reed, President
Skyline Transportation, Inc.
About PIT Group
Formed in 2008, PIT Group is a division of FPInnovations. The unbiased, neutral testing organization helps manufacturers evaluate and refine prototypes and fleet managers select the best technologies to reduce costs and environmental impact. The group consists of engineers, technicians, eco-driving trainers and fleet management specialists that promote efficient energy use in the commercial transportation, municipal and transit industries across North America.. Its highly qualified team employs stringent processes and state-of-the-art equipment during PIT Group’s Energotest, a fully independent, ISO 17025 certified, road test laboratory with international credibility.