When it comes to figuring out how to benefit from the fuel economy improvements purportedly being offered by greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations, fleets are finding that a lot of hard-to-calculate factors are involved, especially in terms of driver behavior.

Consider all costs

Consulting firm Fleet Advantage takes all of that a step further with a new data index resource it has compiled. John Rickette, vice president of transaction management, notes the resource compares “all-in” costs of older model-year Class 8 trucks and calculates the savings of new model replacements to help fleets identify the sweet spot for replacement and which specs may add the most cost savings.

That all-in approach means taking into account operating costs related to fuel, finance, maintenance and repair, and tires, he explains.

“When you do that, you are looking for the point in time when a truck becomes economically obsolete,” Rickette says. “There’s always an inflection point, but that also depends on miles driven, type of duty cycle, etc. Roughly between 400,000 and 500,000 mi. is the sweet spot. That is when maintenance and repair costs spike; there’s degradation in fuel economy; resale value spikes; and warranty coverage begins to expire.”

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