There are organizations and individuals who are using the principles of Reinventing Fire to make money and gain durable advantage in their industry.
Transportation: Jimmy Yates of Mesilla Valley Transportation
Jimmy Yates of Mesilla Valley Transportation has achieved a significant amount of success with his large locally-owned freight service. What's his secret? In addition to decades of experience maintaining, driving and managing class-8 heavy trucks, he focuses on efficiency. The big rigs in his fleet are sleeker than typical 18-wheelers, with a variety of modifications that help to reduce aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.
But it's not just the trucks—Jimmy also offers quarterly rewards to the most efficient drivers in his fleet. Each year, the top driver on his team has the chance to win an even bigger prize, such as a '69 Mustang, cash or a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The payoff? His profitable fleet today averages 8.5 MPG—more than the EIA projections point to truck efficiency averaging 7.8 MPG by 2050. Jimmy's fleet is years ahead of the competition.
The innovations found in Jimmy’s fleet are only the beginning of technical, operational and logistical improvements for trucks. Transporting freight, not individuals, uses upwards of 28 percent of the fuel used for overall transportation. Despite an industry whose trucks use very efficient (45+ percent) diesel engines, a majority of that fuel is wasted; but it doesn't need to be this way. With a sharp focus on design and operations, we can reduce large transportation truck diesel fuel consumption by 48 percent by 2050.
Jimmy Yates spends time with each driver in order to train them to accelerate gently, cruise efficienctly and utilize the aid of electronic tool kits that show real-time MPG changes. In addition to this, he employs a 63 mph speed governor in each truck and monitors the performace with an on-board tracking system. The end result of these simple efforts? A 6 percent increase in miles per gallon, one that translates into real savings when you take into account the amount of trucks running and the miles each one covers each day.