The influence of weight
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The Influence of Weight. Freight-ton miles per heavy-duty diesel truck Average model weight of light-duty gas vehicles and trucks By Natalie Zaczek. Freight-Ton Miles. Amount of freight being transported has increased steadily every year

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The influence of weight l.jpg

The Influence of Weight

Freight-ton miles per heavy-duty diesel truck

Average model weight of light-duty gas vehicles and trucks

By Natalie Zaczek

Freight ton miles l.jpg
Freight-Ton Miles

  • Amount of freight being transported has increased steadily every year

  • There is an increasing demand for freight transportation

  • The plateau in total freight, but increase in freight-miles means that less freight per haul. (There is a steady increase of length of haul, so there is not a decrease in the distance freight travels)

Freight person l.jpg


  • There was a rapid decrease until 1980 (when the freight/person was flat)

  • Peak mid-1990s

  • Decreases from mid-1990’s-2001

  • There was a dramatic increase from 1980-mid1990s

  • Peak in mid-1990’s

  • Decreases from mid-1990’s-2001

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Light-Duty Gas Weight Trends for the Model Year

-Vehicles and trucks weighed the same in 1975

-Rapid decline in weight from 1975-1980

-Weights constant from 1980-1990s

-Weight increase from the 1990s to current

  • 1975-1980 a rapid increase in fuel economy and a rapid decline in weight

  • 1980-2002 a slight decrease in fuel economy and a large increase in weight

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Weight Increase and Decrease

  • Influence on weight decrease(1975-late 1980’s)

    • CAFÉ

      • Govt. policy to increase fuel efficiency in 1975

    • FMVSS

      • no safety changes from 1974 -1986

  • Influence on weight increase(late 1980’s – 2004)

    • FMVSS

      • Increase in weight of safety equipment

    • Technology

      • Used to increase weight and acceleration

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FMVSSFederal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS)

    • Reverse engineering to find out how much weight was going towards safety

    • Safety includes avoiding crashes, fires, and other hazards, and regulating crashes.

    • Weight in passenger cars changed little from 1974-1986 because no new FMVSS changes

    • Many safety technologies in cars later than in light trucks

    • There is an increase in safety weight from 1990-2000 and there is also an increase in the average weight per model year during the same time

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Technology Change = Weight Gain

Technology goes to increase weight and acceleration, not fuel economy

Weight increased 21%

Horsepower increased 79%

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Ton-Gallons per Mile

  • Ton-Gallons is the gallons per mile times the weight in tons (fuel economy)

  • Tells ability to move weight

  • Graph shows an initial sharp decrease, then a plateau from about 1980 to 2002

Why did the ton gallons per mile plateau while the weight increased l.jpg
Why did the ton-gallons per mile plateau while the weight increased?

  • There are many factors that affect fuel economy:

    • Weight

    • Technology

If the 2000 model year light vehicle had the same performance and weight as the 1981 model year, there would have been a 25% higher fuel efficiency.

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Conclusions on Weight increased?

  • Weight affects fuel economy

  • More freight is being circulated via trucks in 2002 compared to 1975. This means that more weight is being transported.

  • Weight declined, but then start to increase again all while the fuel economy also increased. This indicates that there are other factors involved in the fuel efficiency such as technology.

  • Once technology has reached a plateau, changes in weight may affect changes in fuel economy more.