Trucking Decision Aid

  • Re: Surface Wind Forecasts for Long-Haul Trucking Operations
    If I had the software programming skills, I would have set up a website with a trucking decision aid (TDA) interface, where a trucker (or trucking dispatcher) could enter departure and delivery points, creating a tabular display of equivalent average head/tail wind for the route as a function of departure time in hourly increments. The programmers at Windy have the necessary skills. I envision a semi-truck logo that when clicked a TDA would be displayed. In addition to how forecast weather information is displayed at, this would be a operationally tailored application.

  • @oldwxguy Depending on which country your located in and unless your fleet of vehicles only ever travels 'into' or 'away' from the wind or direction of the wind, I cannot see how such data could be used as planning tool when deploying or utilising such resources in a hope to make cost savings etc?
    Maybe I'm not fully appreciating just how you see it working - admittedly high winds and high sided vehicles, like articulated lorries for examples, is a health and safety concern and could benefit, but UK weather is so changeable throughout the day it's effects/savings would be negligible.

  • @ricky_lightning
    Thanks for your comments. The on-line Trucking Decision Aid concept applies primarily to independent truckers (that own their vehicles), or the dispatchers of trucking firms with a small fleet, and only if there is time flexibility (e.g., a 12 to 24 hour window within which a load must be delivered). The planning decisions are when to depart, whether to accept a load and how to much to charge. Roughly, for a semi tractor-trailer traveling at legal highway speed (e.g., 65 mph), if the headwind speed, in line with the road, is 20 mph (85 mph relative wind speed), the fuel consumption per mile roughly doubles. If the relative wind to the moving truck is 15-degrees off-axis, the coefficient-of-drag roughly doubles from the in-line case. I've spoken to some independent truckers at truck stops in the United States. They may not know the engineering calculations, but, from their on-road experience, they know what a 20 mph headwind can do to their bottom line (cost of diesel fuel). One trucker came up to buy a cup of coffee as he paid for the cost to refuel his big rig, and threw his hat down on the counter with, "Not going to make anything today. Bucked strong headwinds all the way." Trucking operations do have some time flexibility. A close cousin to strong head winds is hazardous weather. For example, if a large portion of the highway is covered by glaze ice that is forecast to melt 8 hours later, what would the trucker decide to do? If he has to feed his family, he may decide to take the increased risk and leave early, which brings in highway safety.

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