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Selling aero

Jason Cannon August 26, 2013

One of the best things to you can do for your customer is help them spec a truck with the fastest return on investment.

You can approach that two ways.

1) Strip the unit down and sell a simple, basic truck with the lowest possible sticker price.

2) Help them earn more money with a better truck, and teach them how to use it smarter.

The first is probably the easiest. The second will likely earn repeat business.

Last week, CCJ editor Jack Roberts and I had the opportunity to catch a ride to the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas with Team Run Smart driver Henry Albert in his aerodynamically spec’d Freightliner Cascadia Evolution. Our assignment was simple. Ride along with Henry, get some basic info about his truck and how he makes it work to his advantage, and verify that he can reliably get 10 MPG.

At this point I should probably tell you, on our trip last week Henry did not average 10 MPG. He averaged 11.

In his blog recap of our trip, Jack says Henry Albert pushes the fuel economy envelope.

I disagree. He doesn’t push the envelope of fuel economy. He shoves it forcefully, like a bully in the lunch line.

Henry’s fundamental understanding of aerodynamics is pretty incredible, but he’s the first to admit that he’s not taking advantage of anything not available to his fellow truckers.

He’s not some Freightliner mercenary equipped with something only available to him. He’s simply bought an aerodynamic truck, outfitted it with other aerodynamic fixtures – like a TrailerTail and wheel covers – and drives it with fuel economy at the forefront of his mind.

Granted, Henry has put a lot of time, effort and money into pushing his fuel economy to eye-popping levels (a 9.5 MPG average over the 92,000 mile life of the truck), but that return comes back every time he fills up his fuel tank, or bills a customer.

Could you make a salacious sales pitch around all these aero options if you could all but guarantee your customer’s fuel economy would jump upwards of 2 MPG with just a little extra effort on behalf of the driver?

The possibilities are out there.

Jason Cannon is Online Managing Editor for Truck Parts & Service.

You can follow me on twitter at @By_Jason_Cannon

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