Fuel Efficiency Faceoff: The new driver challenge

Fuel Efficiency Faceoff: The new driver challenge

How hard can it be? I quickly find out that fuel efficiency is the last thing on a new driver's mind.

It started with a question: How fuel efficient could a new truck driver be? I found out that fuel efficiency is the last thing on a new truck driver’s mind … because I tried to become one. I’m Jason Morgan, content director for Fleet Equipment, and as a journalist covering the trucking industry for more than 10 years, I’ve been behind the wheel of the latest Class 8 tractors, dump trucks, plow trucks, cement trucks, even trucks that drive themselves, but always on a closed course; never on the open road.

Volvo Trucks North American issued the challenge:

  • Spend five weeks at CDL school receiving more than 140 hours of classroom, maneuvering yard and on-road instruction.
  • Pass three written tests and the four phases of the on-road test to earn my Class A Commercial Driver’s License.
  • Then challenge truck super spec’er Joel Morrow, a driver with more than five million miles in his rear-view mirror and who has spec’d some of the most fuel-efficient trucks the road has ever seen, to a fuel efficiency face off, driving the same route with the same load to see who gets better fuel economy.

To level the playing field, I get to drive Joel’s super fuel-efficient Volvo VNL Class 8 Truck spec’d with the latest fuel efficiency advancements and Joel has to drive a 27-year-old Volvo VN truck with a manual transmission.

This is the Fuel Efficiency Faceoff: The new driver challenge.

In the first episode, I ask: How hard can it be? Watch the video to find out.

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