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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Consumer Reports Pushes For HD Trucks To Get EPA Fuel Mileage Estimates

    Most new cars and trucks sitting on dealer lots have fuel economy estimates on their window sticker. The only group of vehicles that don't are heavy-duty trucks. This is due to the EPA not requiring automakers to publish estimates on trucks with gross weight ratings that exceed 8,500 pounds. This makes it difficult for folks to compare the heavy-duty trucks with one another or comparing the diesel variants with the light-duty gas versions. Consumer Reports doesn't believe it should be this way and is working on an effort to change this.

    Consumer Reports recently tested a Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, Ford F-250 Super Duty, and Ram 2500 equipped with their optional diesel engines to gauge fuel economy and compare it to their light-duty gas counterparts. Their results show the HD trucks were 1 to 2 MPGs lower than their light-duty counterparts. Of course, you might be saying, that's because heavy-duty trucks have more weight to move. Also, most buyers who are going for this type of truck tend to know what they're getting into.

    Heavy-duty trucks begin to show their advantage when it comes to intense workloads, becoming more efficient than a similarly-equipped gas truck.

    Still, we think heavy-duty trucks should have fuel economy estimates to help buyers when it comes time to purchase a heavy-duty truck.

    “Heavy-duty pickup shoppers shouldn't be left in the dark when it comes to fuel economy,” said David Friedman, director of cars and product policy and analysis for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. 

    Source: Consumer Reports, Letter to Congress (PDF)

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    Sounds like a good idea, they should push the limit to 10,000 lbs or even 12,000 lbs so these HD trucks have to be EPA rated.

    I also think for as long as we have a gas guzzler tax, it should be applied to all vehicles.  If they hit a Maserati that gets 14/20 mpg with a $2000 gas guzzler tax, then a Ram HD that gets 14/20 mpg should get a $2000 gas guzzler tax, a Suburban should get one, Toyota Land Cruiser, etc.   Even playing field.  Then you'll see a push for high fuel economy in trucks.  

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    The point the benevolent do-gooders @ CR apparently have no idea of is, full-size truck buyers, ESPECIALLY at the HD range, aren't cross-shopping much at all, and of the mere 3 brands available- are very comparable in a criteria that HD truck buyers just do not care about.

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    Actually, I disagree about HD truck owners not caring...

    Manufacturers of Pick-Up trucks and full sized SUVs have gotten a free ride regarding emissions, gas consumption, gas guzzler tax and the like...

    Manufacturers used those loop holes to continue to produce full sized trucks the way they used to do it with BOF full sized cars....some gas saving technology ended up going into these BOF full sized trucks as the V8s used in them also went into some of their passenger cars which WERE and STILL ARE SUBJECTED to strict gas consumption rules...

    Would-be owners of these BOF full sized trucks were NEVER subjected to lose money DIRECTLY from their pockets...they did when their BOF cars were subjected to these rules...for those that switched from cars to trucks that is...but NOT those that were ALWAYS truck guys...

    But...hit the BOF full sized truck owners in their pockets like how BOF car owners were in the 1970s and I assure you with great confidence and ARROGANCE that these proud owners of  BOF full sized trucks wont be so lovey dovey with their BOF full sized trucks anymore...

    Those Escalade driving soccer moms and cowboy wannabe dudes in their Longhorn Rams and Denali GMCs and King Ranch F Series will think twice before making such an expensive purchase that will now affect them DIRECTLY...

    And then there is the fleet owners...a fleet of these gas guzzling things where 1-2 MPG difference could mean (hundreds of?) thousands of dollars over the course of the life expectancy of the fleets...

    In a land (United States of America) where dollars and cents on the bottom line is ALL that matters and that dollars and cents on the bottom line is ALWAYS calculated and factored in...yeah...I think this matters and WILL make a difference...

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    In olden days, fuel economy and cost of operation were actually taking points in truck advertising.  Came across a 1953 Ford truck ad whilst reading the new Collectible Automobile Magazine, and the ad emphasized economy. 

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    1 hour ago, FAPTurbo said:

    ... and that makes listing mpg a bad idea why?...

    I didn't say it was bad, but that it was inconsequential.

    My buddy has a brand new Sierra ext cab/standard bed 4x4, 5.3 AFM V8. Says he's getting great MPG, 24 on the highway (rated @ 18/24). But there's a clear delineation between half ton & 3/4T & above buyers. This article addresses 3/4T & 1T trucks- a segment that perhaps has the highest per capita product awareness in the industry. People who buy these either absolutely need them, or know going in what to expect. Also keep in mind this class of vehicle changes the least out of all segments of vehicles because of function dictates, which brings stability in awareness.

    Self-appointed 'advocacy' entities such as CR here market their cause as protective, IE: in this case a theoretical 2500HD GMC buyer will end up regretting their purchase because a F-250 Super Duty is rated to get 1 MPG better on the highway. While no one will refuse better MPG on the face of it, the Big 3 are so close that it's not going to drive any sales shifts.

    Edited by balthazar
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    If you say so. ;) I don't trust anything coming out of the Far East- lots of shaky stuff there. ;););)

    - - - - -

    Here's an '81 F-150 half ton ad. 300 CI I6, touting  a thoroughly unbelievable 21/29 MPG.

    I had the same truck in a '94 (300 I6 but w/ FI, 4-spd auto, 2WD, 3.08 gears). Still have the window sticker- it was rated at 15/20. I charted every tank of gas from 6 miles to 146,xxx, and it only averaged 15.

    81f150.jpg

    23 years later the 'same' truck ('17 Sierra 1/2-ton EC/standard bed, but with 5.3L AFM V8 & 6-spd auto) is rated at 18 vs. my '94's 15. Again: this is the most unchanged vehicle segment...

    Edited by balthazar
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    I failed to acknowledge this was a report from CR...

    Although I wont change my stance on what I wrote....I agree with this totally...

    14 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Self-appointed 'advocacy' entities such as CR here market their cause as protective

    I HATE CR...:Toyota:    (that emoticon will have to do as there are none for CR...and because while Toyota was recalling their garbage...oil sludged Camrys, cracked and rusted pick-up truck frames, unintended accleration Lexus...CR STILL kept on recommending shytty Toyotas!)

    Crappy reporting on ANYTHING they test...not only cars...Just utter bullshyte!

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    No reason not to provide the MPG figures...would think those numbers would be of value esp. to fleet buyers who do buy some of the HD trucks.  

    Right, what does the manufacturer have to hide?

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    I don't think it's "hiding" anything- it doesn't seem to hurt MB that they list 51 individual models that are rated between 11 and 18 MPG. HD truck owners spend huge coin on trucks; they know what they like and what to expect. Duramax, Powerstroke & Cummins have all been around for going on 2 decades, and while they've gotten better, it's been incrementally.

    Duramax has gone from the Allison 5 gear auto... to 6 gears. In 17 years.
    In the same time frame the 1/2T has gone from 4 gears to 10 (2018 Escalade).

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    36 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    I don't think it's "hiding" anything- it doesn't seem to hurt MB that they list 51 individual models that are rated between 11 and 18 MPG. HD truck owners spend huge coin on trucks; they know what they like and what to expect. Duramax, Powerstroke & Cummins have all been around for going on 2 decades, and while they've gotten better, it's been incrementally.

    Duramax has gone from the Allison 5 gear auto... to 6 gears. In 17 years.
    In the same time frame the 1/2T has gone from 4 gears to 10 (2018 Escalade).

    MB is making a shift to electric in a hurry, so no fear on the gas mileage.  

    An electric truck could make more torque than any of those Cummins or Powerstroke motors.  And emissions standards need to be tightened on those too, they should have the same standard as a gas car.   Those HD trucks emit a ton of black smoke and exhaust, and they should have to pay the same gas guzzler tax that a car has.

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    • MB makes no money on EVs, and they are grossly late to the party. Some might say they should have foreseen and beaten Tesla to the punch, or at least answered a 6 yr old product by now.
    • Their reputation -as you claim it- is built on excess and V-12s, not 84-mile 2-ton compacts.
    • Are consumers currently rejecting MB EVs suddenly going to go 'Hell Yeah America!' and buy them because they're built here? MB has no EV cred; actually its the opposite.

    Right now, Ford offers far more TRQ than any Tesla (792 vs. 925). Tho it's possible to exceed that in an EV, it's easier to turn up the TRQ wick in a TD. Also, what penalties any EV truck would encounter under load is unknown, but given those EV cars see with HVA/C useage... it's likely to be a major factor (moreso than 1 or 2 MPG differences focused on here).

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    Sorry; here, back on topic:

    12 hours ago, balthazar said:

    I don't think it's "hiding" anything- it doesn't seem to hurt MB that they list 51 individual models that are rated between 11 and 18 MPG. HD truck owners spend huge coin on trucks; they know what they like and what to expect. Duramax, Powerstroke & Cummins have all been around for going on 2 decades, and while they've gotten better, it's been incrementally.

    Duramax has gone from the Allison 5 gear auto... to 6 gears. In 17 years.
    In the same time frame the 1/2T has gone from 4 gears to 10 (2018 Escalade).

    Wouldn't a far greater service be rendered by listing MPG ratings for semi-trucks? These drive FAR more miles per vehicle and far quicker than any 3/4T / 1T trucks do, and their fuel costs are tied into the product they deliver. Even 0.1 MPG better would add up and effect more people than an individual getting 1.0 MPG better in a Brand X 3/4T / 1T personal truck over Brand Y. I'm reading that the 'holy grail' of loaded truck MPG is 10 MPG and they are currently around 5.5-6.5 MPG. No 3/4T-1T gets MPG that poor.

    No Super Duty buyer is going to jump ship to Chevy because of 1 MPG better rating, so it serves no purpose. I'll bet under strictly level testing parameters, the Big 3 are within a MPG of each other- it's certainly not going to be, say; a 4 MPG difference. And even if it were, it's not going to sway brand allegiance.

     

    Edited by balthazar
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    I would assume fleet buyers of semi trucks compare brands with some sort of TCO calculation to determine which are the most cost-effective?   Individual owner-operators would be a different use case, of course.

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    The Freightliner Supertruck gets 12.2 mpg thanks to aero, hybrid system with waste heat recovery and solar panels and downsized diesel engine.  Another great innovation from Daimler, double the gas mileage of a typical semi truck.

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    Freightliner's Supertruck was a 2015 concept vehicle, it's not in production.
    Peterbilt's Supertruck from 2014 posted very similar gains in MPG, but I don't think it's in production either.
     

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    that ad from 94, mpg ratings were calculated in an inflated fashion.  was is 2008 when they made the EPA standards more realistic and everything dropped like 15-20%?

    HD truck buyers use trucks in so many more difficult conditions than the EPA test for normal cars.  Not sure the test outcome would even be relevant.  How do you address towing?  How much towing?  What is your load?  etc.

    This is just people who love regulations just dying to regulate the shith out of something that is not, and by doing so create more taxes and penalty fines.  This is a money and power grab.  

    If there were an agreement to rate fuel consumption on these beasts, then it would need a test specific to the uses of these vehicles.  And like i said they get used in so many different ways outside the realms of the usual comparative test.

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    10 hours ago, regfootball said:

    This is just people who love regulations just dying to regulate the shith out of something that is not, and by doing so create more taxes and penalty fines.  This is a money and power grab.

    Ten Million times 'YES'.

    HD / Class 2 vehicle buyers know what they want, know about the vehicles moreso than any other buyer class, have never raised consumer complaints about MPG (which is very tightly comparable)... yet bureaucrats are sure they need 'saving'.

    With American society now regulated up, down & sideways, lawmakers must justify their jobs by doing something. Anything non or underegulated 'must' become so, to 'move forward' and 'protect the people' [and generate a revenue stream].

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    Seems like a good way to piss money away having these trucks rated. I can't imagine this is a cheap process. 

    The gas guzzler tax is for people who are buying a vehicle for fun and are taxed on it getting poor fuel economy. A truck owner who uses their truck for work or work related duties shouldn't be taxed additionally as he is contributing to the economy by using it for work or work related duties, unlike Joe Schmo in his Maserati. 

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    On 9/23/2017 at 7:52 PM, smk4565 said:

    Those HD trucks emit a ton of black smoke and exhaust,

    That's the owners' fault for modifying said vehicle. They do not do that when they're stock. I would have thought an enthusiast would have known that. 

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    Having many friends that have HD trucks, when gas prices hit north of $4, they quickly bought a 2nd auto for general purpose use. I am sure that does not happen as much in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and the midwest states where farms use these trucks.

    I do agree that MPG should be rated and these trucks do put more wear and tear on the roads due to increased weight so the added tax should go to support the road system. Plenty of poor uses in people buying HD trucks, full size SUV's when they do not need them but that is the freedom of America. 

    Post MPG, Tax fairly and equally and let those that can afford the gas to drive what they want. No reason to hide what HD auto's do with MPG.

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