Freightliner has introduced their newest highway Class 8 truck, that can regularly achieve 10 mpg or better.….. incredibly impressive … the new face of the future of trucking.
How have they achieved these fuel mileage numbers?…..through a variety of clever innovations. One of the most noteworthy of them is the elimination of the power divider and rear differential, in favour of a rear tag axle.
Rolling efficiency is greatly improved and weight is reduced, so are the odds of mechanical drive line failure.
Yes, there are drawbacks and such a vehicle will not fare very well on an icy incline or in deep snow. A lot of Class 8 trucks have to operate in these conditions. If you travel I-10 between Florida and California for a living, or run south of the Mason Dixon line, chances are you’ll never need to lock in a power divider anyway.
Changes in equipment design such as this, or super singles or whatever they may be, are changing what a truck is, how it works and what it’s worth…. not only at the purchase point, but also down the road, at the time of resale.
Resale was once an essential part of the financial equation in making a living as owner operator. Retained value in your used truck at trade-in time was essential. It was paramount toward your next truck purchase.
However, in the past few years, for a number of reason, decent resale value has become an elusive number. But does that really matter as much as it once did?
The industry and the economy are such that the practical trend is to keep your equipment longer, … perhaps 10 years, repairing and rebuilding instead of trading.
If trade in value after 3 or 4 years isn’t worth your while, don’t trade! Keep your truck repair it and keep on trucking! That’s the smart trend now.
So do you really need to worry so much about resale now? Probably not so much. Spec for your needs accordingly and drive it till it’s no longer profitable to do so.
A spec that might be considered too radical to build 6 years ago is now worth more of your consideration because you’re not going to trade it in 4 years, you’re going to work it for 10 years instead.
Spec and buy what’s going to be the most profitable for you in your application.
While this 10 mpg Freightliner seems to have some radical specs, if the equipment can do the job for you and get 10mpg for the next 10 yrs, I say ‘go for it’.
The rules, the times and the fuel prices are changing. It’s time to re-write what were once the tried and true rules for spec’ing and buying because at the end of the day, it’s all about the profit… and nothing else.