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The trucking industry spend $113 billion on diesel fuel last year, and the way prices are going up, the industry will shell out $135 billion this year. To help restrain that kind of runaway profit-loss, the American Trucking Associations has released a list of ideas on how the federal government can lower fuel prices.
In addition to asking the government to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, open up currently prohibited areas for drilling, and fund the EPA's SmartWay program, the ATA wants two intriguing things: speed limiters set at 68 mph on all new trucks, and a national speed limit of 65 mph.

While many states limit trucks and autos with trailers to 55 mph in any conditions, there are states that allow truckers to drive faster, and we find it interesting that the trucking industry wants the federal government to police its drivers with a 68-mph limit in order to save fuel. As for the 65-mph national limit -- the press release doesn't make a distinction, so it looks like the industry is proposing that measure for all vehicles on the roads. If that's the case, not only do we not know how that would bring fuel prices down at all, we don't know why they think slowing cars down in the states that have 65+ speed limits would help the price of diesel fuel. Thanks for the tip, Dan!

[Source: Truckline]


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  • 44 Comments
      Davey Hiltz
      • 7 Months Ago

      I've heard that the reason they have set the 65 mph speed limit is because it is less fuel efficient to drive at a higher speed. I like the idea initially, but I don't think I would be very good at following it. I'm a bit of a speedster to be honest, but I think it's an excellent idea for truckers. They deserve to have a say in the matter as they are a huge supporter of the economy. http://www.voyagernation.com/owner_operator_jobs.html 

      • 7 Years Ago
      If the truckers are concerned, why not do like Québec is about to do ... electronically limit the speed of trucks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If the truckers association want a 65-mph speed limit, then they are more than welcome to place limiters on the trucks of all of their members, I don't see why they need to involve the government in an action they can take themselves.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Every major truck engine manufacturer already allows their engines to be speed limited by the ECM to a limit that the owner chooses. The only reason any trucking association would want a limit required is to "level the playing field" and prevent the drivers that aren't limited from making more money than they are. Most fleets are already set at 68 or 72 mph.

      That being said, if they want to save 5-10% on fuel, there's a lot they could do with aerodynamics that they aren't already. For a truck owner, saving 5-10% on fuel would make a significant difference in profitability. Nationally though, reducing our consumption by this level won't do anything as there are plenty of other countries willing to take up the slack, especially if fuel prices drop. We really need an order of magnitude reduction (50%+) in fuel consumption to make a difference nationwide.

      I pay for my vehicle. I pay for safety inspections. I pay for the roads. I pay for insurance. I pay for my license. I pay $3.30 for a gallon of gas. I should be able to drive as fast as I please!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is true. My 92 Olds Cutlass Coupe (3.1L V6, 3spd auto) got better mileage at 75mph than it ever did at 60mph....then again, it was about as aerodynamic as a bullet.

      Note: Trucks DO pay taxes..it's called IFTA...and it's a PITA.

      The truck builders have gone a long way in making trucks more efficent. They even have auto-climate sleeper options that start/stop the engine to run the A/C at without idling the truck all night.

      Mike K's example of a 1.1 mpg gain may seem small, but he probably buys diesel about 200-240 gallons at a time, so it adds up quick.

      BTW - If you EVER drive across west Texas, you will quickly rethink a 65mph speed limit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive a 400 mile round trip from East Texas to DFW a couple times a month in my 95 Civic and I find that I actually get worse gas mileage when I drive 60 to 65 as oppose to say my normal pace of 65 to 80. People are going on and on about opening up fuel reserves and worrying about new Cafe limits, when my 13 year old Honda consistently averages between 35 and 40 mpg. Yes it's a manual, I have no power locks or windows, not even power steering but I bet money I have more fun on the road than most. People need to stop being such wusses and make sacrifices if they really want to save money/fuel/The World.
      GONZO76
      • 1 Year Ago
      We need to kep it at least 74..max..that way these freaking four wheelers and snieder trucks who are going way below the speed limit we will be able too pass...dont mess with our speed...and that goes to the sell out organization American trucking..Association..whos side are you on anyway?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Driving a heavy truck in city traffic is enough to make anyone wish they didn't give a shit what they hit. Nippy darters run by and change lanes to sit in front of you, often slowing their vehices at rates which only repeated panic-stop full-emergency slowdowns avoid compacting offenders. The only alternative to save your sanity is to realize that, although others on the road have no concept how slowly a truck can conveniently stop ( running behind the thing for the mile or more it takes to get up to highway speed might give you a clue ), their stupidity and recklessness is not just your problem.
      Speed limits suck. That said, if everyone ran down the road at the same rate without changing lanes, it would cause less variation in flow rate and an actual higher average speed for everyone. In a construction zone the other day, our truck was backstopped by another to prevent the last 2 into 1 cram caused by 'queue jumpers' by blocking their access to the second lane ahead of the diversion. That sounds mean until you realize starting and stopping is a gradual process constantly interrupted by idiots otherwise.
      But - there is a vast difference driving the built-up East and the expanses of the West. Straight roads and less traffic plus extra lanes allow easy passing and "just cruising". Here another factor is the distances which must be traversed and the fatigue adding up with every hour.Keeping more traffic on the road to add to congestion (even station wagons full of cranky kids ) has definite limits as a desirable solution.
      That's why "one size fits all" - doesn't.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Can you imagine driving across North Dakota at 55 mph? It's 300 miles of nothing, on a perfectly straight road. That's one state you wanna get through as fast as you can.
      • 7 Years Ago
      we're just getting over the old 55mph speed limits from the last gas prices, give me a break
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yep... ask for more and more and more from the government. More restriction, more control.

      If truckers want to go 65, they can go 65. the Speed limit is not a minimum, and the minimums are usually around 40mph.

      I agree with LIFTING restrictions on drilling in the north american continent. It is rediculous that our own government prohibits the use of our own resources, forcing much more of our dependence on foreign oil than the driving public possibly could.

      But the strategic oil reserve is not merely a rainy-day fund. It is a dire-emergency plan. As in keeping food available, and keeping the police, fire, and military mobile under the most dire circumstances, it is not a refuge against a tight economy. If fuel prices go up, shipping clients pay more to ship things. that is the way it goes.

      And funding some EPA pet project isn't going to help when the government is the biggest deficit spender in our country. Our government is in more fiscal trouble than the truckers ever could be. Funnelling more taxpayer money into pet projects is not the answer, either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How about NO limits for cars, 65 for trucks! American Autobahn please!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Many Americans are scary enough at 70ish already and you want no speed limits? Maybe if we could have no cell phones, no coffee sipping, no shaving or makeup-applying, etc. Better driver training first please.
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