Electric Trucks


Active Member
"newer trucks are getting close to 9 mpg" - would you care to shed some light on which trucks are close to 9 mpg? Brand? Specs? Last time I checked, we were nowhere near that number with 80000 lbs gross running the east cost at 65-70 mph. 5.9 mpg is low, but it's actually pretty close especially in the winter.
Just curious, that's all....
the 2019 and up freightliners are really fuel efficient, and decent improvement with the volvos. 5.9 is Classic truck, our 2015 and 2016 volvos get about 6.9 to 7.2 MPG. Here's a good comparison done by ET transport who run similar lanes to what your running on the east coast:


Igor Galanter

Well-Known Member
I hope all of you count in same gallons...lol...
I remember back in 98 when I was buying brand new VN , sales person was telling me about 9 mp/g...
When I asked back, what system he is using, the answer was :-"Imperial, we are in Canada. eh"...
And we all know there is quite a difference..


It could be characterized as a battle of the “old sayings”
1) The early bird gets the worm, as in being first to adopt new technologies…..or
2) The problem with being a pioneer is, they were all killed by Indians, as in let someone else blaze a new trail.
Personally, I believe fortune favours the bold.

In the book Crossing the Chasm, about technology adoption, the author said "Pioneers get slaughtered, settlers prosper". Companies that come to market first might get early adoption but many customers and competitors usually wait while the first company/users pay for all the refinements and subsequent companies provide a better version of the product.

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
"newer trucks are getting close to 9 mpg" - would you care to shed some light on which trucks are close to 9 mpg? Brand? Specs? Last time I checked, we were nowhere near that number with 80000 lbs gross running the east cost at 65-70 mph. 5.9 mpg is low, but it's actually pretty close especially in the winter.
Just curious, that's all....
Mine do. 2015 and newer Freightliner Cascadia's with the all-Detroit drive line. DD15's @450 hp. DT-12 auto-shift transmissions w/direct drive. Detroit rear ends with 2.7?:1 ratios. We tried some with the overdrive transmission, but they get a bit worse fuel mileage.
General takeaways ...
Detroit drive lines are the way to go.
Body styles make a difference. Freightliners get better fuel mileage than Western Stars do.
Getting 9 mpg (Imperial) w/80,000 lbs gross or less is pretty easy.
Getting better than 8 mpg (Imperial) w/107,000 lbs gross is tricky, but can be done.
Using a manual transmission, even with the best driver, will cost you 1.0 to 1.25 mpg (Imperial) over the DT12.
There is roughly 1.0 mpg difference between summer fuel and winter fuel.
I have some guys that run super light that get 10.0+ mpg (Imperial).
Over 60 mph sucks fuel no matter what drive train you employ.
DO NOT put an old school manual driver in a new technology truck with a manual transmission unless that driver has a "come-to-Jesus" moment vis-a-vis new technology. Your fuel consumption will be sub 6 mpg (Imperial) even with a Gen 4 or Gen 5 Detroit.
As a testament to the value in Detroit drive lines, I have a 2021 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution (one of the last of that model built), built for heavy haul, with a Detroit DD16 @ 600 HP and 2,050 ft/lbs of torque, and a 13 double over manual transmission, run by a driver very knowledgeable in new engine technology that gets 8.0 mpg steadily.


Active Member
I was referring to US gallons though. So, Michael's numbers have to be converted to adequately answer my question. Here it goes.
1 Imperial gallon = 1.200 US gallon
9 miles per imperial gallon = 7.5 miles per US gallon
10 miles per imperial gallon = 8.3 miles per US gallon
So in conclusion, as I said before: "We are nowhere near 9 mpg yet" - (us gallons) of course.
And, so far no takers yet!
And, the devil is in the detail......


Active Member
Ok. I see. You actually get 10.8 mpg!!! And, yes, that is indeed 9 US mpg. I have taken a note of your specs too. I am hovering around 8 mpg US on average, so obviously, I have some learning to do as you proved it can be done.
But, I guess these are the super light loads you mentioned?
Nevertheless, thank you.
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Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
I realized you might have thought that as soon as I hit the "Post reply" button.
As a regular every day mileage all across the fleet, no. Absolutely not.
However, last month's top performer was 10.52 mpg (Imperial). Others ...
August ... 10.41, 10.12, 9.73, 9.53, 9.15
July ... 10.91, 10.82, 10.06, 9.87, 9.51
June ... 10.97, 10.78, 10.39, 10.34, 10.23
So, we're not truly there yet, but boy we are awfully darned close :)

Jim L

Well-Known Member
Our six month rolling average to Sept 30 is 7.11 mpg.
I calculate it over the whole fleet, old trucks and new trucks, no APU, no in cab AC units, only Webasto but should have no effect for this period. I take the odometer reading on Sept 30 minus Apr 1. Number of US gallons paid in the truck. 1 Gal = 3.785 L, 1 mile = 1.60934km. 53 dry vans, average 33500lbs loads, single company drivers, ON/PQ to south midwest.
Our worst truck is a 2012 Peterbilt - 5.7 mpg - we only have one non-Freightliner
Our best is a 2020 Cascadia - 8.21 mpg

I use a rolling 6 month average which will blend out anomalies such as a heavy load, a truck with a batch of bad fuel, or a few loads to a short lane or to the Carolinas. We top set our engine every other annual, we perform an alignment on the opposite annual. We only use Michelin X-Line Energy dual tires and all trailers have skirts.

I don't know how Michael does it but using this methodology for my calculations has never surprised me and a couple times we have seen a decline in one truck that led to my mechanic finding an issue before it caused serious issues.

Michael Ludwig

Well-Known Member
Jim, I do it by the month using "real" miles (odometer miles) as opposed to computer miles whether they are from a program, an ELD, or the truck's ECM, and using real fuel put in the tanks instead of the numbers the ECM spits out. Not perfect but about as close as you're going to get without being super scientific.
We chunk all that information in a database so we can extract information however we want to look at it.
My best trucks are 2015/2016 Freightliner Cascadias.
The best advice I can give anyone is to reach out to your Detroit rep, not your salesman (although s/he can get your Detroit rep for you) and ask him/her if the spec you are thinking of is fuel efficient, then build your truck around that drive line. I would expect the same goes for Volvo, Mack, and Navistar.
Unfortunately there is no real roadmap to success when buying Paccar product, although you are likely better to buy Kenworth than you are Peterbilt if Paccar is a must have.
Jim's right about the X-Line Energy tires. We've tried several other brands, and they just don't do as well as the Michelins.
As for trailer skirts, we have found that they cost us fuel, but here's why ... we run mostly north and south, and quite often lighter one way. Prevailing winds are from the west so we are always being pushed sideways with the skirts on. If we were running long distance east and west, I would definitely have them on because they do make a difference by about 1/2 mpg (Imperial).
My worst are two shit-ass old Peterbilts.
Best thing you can do with old Peterbilts is burn them. Forego the insurance recovery, and pay the environmental clean up fee. Honestly, you'll be money ahead at the end of the day ... LOL

I do have a poignant story to relay ...
I have a younger brother. It's not my fault. I had no say in the matter. We are somewhat competitive.
Over the years he has always been the one around here to spec and order the trucks. That was until he ordered some '07 and '12 Peterbilts. That was the last time I let him order trucks. They were junk. Unfortunately no research went into what we were buying by either the Peterbilt salesperson, or my brother. What we ended up with was 1980's Billy Big Riggin' trucks, and that shit doesn't sit well with new tech.
Fast forward to the next round of buy-ins. I did literally months of research myself. Spoke to dozens of people whether they were owners, techs, engineers, and so on. What I ended up with were Freightliner Cascadias. All my sales facility really did was add up the numbers, and send me a bill.
The Freightliners performed flawlessly. Better than expected actually. Eventually it's my brothers time to buy new trucks, as he has his own fleet on with the company, and there is no denying the value of the Detroit drive line. However, he won't buy Freightliner because I do. So he buys Western Star, but insists on spec'ing them himself. What he ends up with are 1980's Billy Big Riggin' trucks with a shit load of modern tech in them. Anyone care to guess what they get for fuel mileage ???
If you guessed between 6.0 and 7.25 mpg (Imperial) you win a gold star.
It gets even better though ... or worse depending on your point of view ... the drivers he has in two of these trucks are Old School - Old School, as in they are way smarter than any computer, and no way is any machine going to tell them how to drive. One of them can manage 6.5 mpg (Imperial) when he is light, and the other has yet to break 6.0 mpg (Imperial), and that truck has 800k on it !!!
Times are changing quickly boys, girls, and them ... very quickly.