U-Haul’s ridiculous carbon reduction scheme 

Sometimes, you just have to laugh. In the rush to become politically correct and green, some companies really don’t think their policies through very well. 

Today as I was traveling back from Thanksgiving holiday I happened to notice a U-Haul vehicle trailer next to me in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Lo and behold in my face was a statement about reducing carbon emissions as you can see in the picture below. Look at the orange label on the inside fender, you may have to click the image to zoom in.

The label reads:

U-Haul Auto Transport – Reduces Carbon Emissions 

So, rather than drive your car you should just tow it on this U-Haul trailer using another one. 

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

While it is technically a correct statement that two engines running would produce [MORE] carbon emissions than one, this is likely offset by the fact that most uses of the trailer are likely behind a larger U- Haul truck, fully loaded with belongings, while towing the car.

 I really don’t think the math works but it might make some people feel good for  thinking they are saving Gaia while moving.

Like most of the climate change moving, er movement,  it is really all about the feelings, isn’t it?

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191 thoughts on “U-Haul’s ridiculous carbon reduction scheme 

  1. Anthony Watts wrote,

    “Like most of the climate change moving, er movement, it is really all about the feelings, isn’t it?”

    Progressives do what FEELS good. Conservatives do what IS good.

    • Dean, that is good! :) (so, repeated with emphasis)

      Progressives do what FEELS good. Conservatives do what IS good.

      Dean (from Ohio)

      ******************************************************************

      A related example applying your fine principle:

      “Environmentalism” (as currently used) — (to the mis-informed) feels good, but:
      explodes bat lungs,
      burns birds eagerly flying toward “a bright shining lagoon,”
      and smashes raptors to the earth, and

      closes factories ==> making people miserable.

      “Conservationism” — does good.

      “Look, dear! Look! There’s an eagle soaring in the setting sun over Bryce Canyon! Get the camera!!!”

      #(:))

      Conservatives (generally speaking) love people.

      Progressives hate people (and loving people in a way that is ultimately harmful to them and/or to others is NOT love, Simon, it is self-gratification).

      (Yes, wonderful WUWTers, we have said these things before :) )

      • Beautiful. As I laid out the late electoral choices, one candidate likes people, wants them to have jobs, make money and be happy. The other hates people and only wants to punish them for not doing as they are commanded. Simple, really.

      • ..Dear Janice, Progressives are only truly happy when they are spending Other Peoples Money !! I think it gives them a “Thrill” up and down their legs…(you’ll have to check with that Mathews guy over at MSNBC to be sure)….

      • Progressives focus on what they think is WRONG with the world, and find happiness from protesting and eliminating as many of those things as possible. Conservatives focus on what they think is RIGHT with the world, and find happiness from enjoying and preserving as many of those things as possible.

        I’ll leave taking each mindset to its logical conclusion as an exercise for the reader.

      • ..Dr. Ed, the Conservatives have a bad habit of not burning and looting their own neighborhoods ! How can they get attention if they don’t burn and loot their neighborhoods ? Sarc off….

      • Well! Thank you, Ron and also, hotel. Your affirmation is much appreciated. Hope all is well in “Winged Hearts” land, Ron — good to hear from you, too.

        Also, Ron, If you missed it (I think you might have), on the WUWT Milestone thread about the 10th anniversary of WUWT, there is a link to download an anthology of WUWT over the past 10 years. Over 800 articles are included. You might find it a helpful resource. Just FYI. It’s free.

      • Well, towing a car on a trailer behind a U-Haull truck spews a lot less carbon than “Green Champion” Barry O flying 5 C-17’s each loaded with 8 Suburbans multiple times per year, not to mention going to Martha’s Vineyard and making the family dogs take a separate flight from the First Family.

      • That is funny. I know a bunch of people who legitimately fall under the heading “alt-right”. I have tried to explain Pepe to them, that it is a pic of a green frog with a smile. They ask “what has that got to do with smaller government, reduction of taxation, enforcement of immigration laws and eliminating over burdensome governmental regulations?” to which I respond “its a meme, on the internet, ya know, twitter”, and they say “OK, twitter” as they slowly back away. So, I still can’t answer the question, no idea what a green frog has to do with smaller government, reduction of taxation, enforcement of immigration laws and eliminating over burdensome governmental regulations. Don’t get emojis or do textmess either. Oh, well.

      • THIS is why a come here, real answers to pressing questions! Thought it was just something to make those on the left twitch uncontrollably.

      • Marcus, you are an evil man. I think I am starting to like you. Now I have to ponder upon how this group of “alt-righters” I know could possibly be white supremacists, seeing as they are a rather mixed race group who are practically color blind, at least politically, though none of them like Jesse Jaxson or Rev Al. Gonna have to dwell on this a spell!

    • “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” – GK Chesterton ILN, 4/19/24

      And another thought from Chesterton:
      “Progress is a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative.” – Chapter 2, Heretics, 1905

    • “Sometimes, you just have to laugh.”
      Absolutely. Still not (quite) sure if this is /sarc – on one or more of several levels – but it is a hoot!
      Yet, as Mike Smith – below – suggests : –
      “Obviously if the van was empty this would make no sense, but anyone with half a brain can understand that this is most likely someone moving interstate with their household goods in the van.”
      But is has got us thinking [and talking, again!].

      Auto

  2. Did you really intend to say that two engines running produce less carbon emission than one, or did the negatives somehow get turned around?

    • Pulling the weight of the car behind a large, energy inefficient van, would use MORE energy than actually driving the car…IMHO…

      • I agree on the basis of aerodynamics. Especially for those folks who ignore the U-haul speed limits they see in their mirrors and compete with traffic. I never plan to “get there fast” when towing.

      • ..Pop, I always find it funny to watch young, inexperienced drivers trying to back up with a trailer…No matter how hard you try to explain to them that turning the steering wheel left, forces the trailer to go right, they will still try to do what perception tells them…

      • The Overdrive setting on an automatic transmission switches the gears to focus on pulling power over speed, and is intended for towing. Wonder how many U-haulers don’t know this and end up using more fuel and having less control on the road because they didn’t shift gears.

      • Obviously if the van was empty this would make no sense, but anyone with half a brain can understand that this is most likely someone moving interstate with their household goods in the van.
        This seems like the most fuel efficient way to get your possessions and your car to where you are moving to.
        Seems like a lot of people are being hypocritical here.

      • drednicolson November 27, 2016 at 6:44 pm

        The Overdrive setting on an automatic transmission switches the gears to focus on pulling power over speed, and is intended for towing.

        Really? Years ago in manual cars it was simply a taller gear for cruising at speed: Less engine rpm for the same speed. Generally it meant you had a more than 1:1 ratio between the engine side of the gearbox and the tailshaft side (tailshaft turned at a higher rate than than the engine). In the early days it was a separate lever and gearbox.

        Similarly in earlier autos: the transmission just shuffled through the lower gears with the tallest locked out, engaging overdrive allowed a taller gear into the mix.

        Modern cars have settings to alter change points: “Sport” mode increases them, more rpm before changing up, and cruise or overdrive modes allow shifting into higher gears earlier. To get moving with a trailer, you might want to use “sport” mode, then switch to cruise once on the highway.

        These days, with 5, 6 and more speed gearboxes and electronic switches … it is all built in.

      • This is something that shouldn’t be hard to calculate, opinions notwithstanding.

        It depends on what mileage the car gets, really. The extra load on a fully loaded U-Haul won’t drop mileage by much since it’s already pretty low. If the car gets high mileage, it might not be a good trade, and vice versa.

      • C’mon people, it’s like you never did such a move yourself.

        Putting the car on the trailer behind the truck means the trip requires only one driver. That way you can move your “stuff” and your “ride” in one trip.

        Or you and your friend or family member can take turns driving the one vehicle. That way one of you can rest and the other person can drive, and then you can trade. At the very least, you don’t have two drivers in two vehicles with the problem of getting separated and then trying to find each other.

        I guess U-Haul wants to promote this system as energy saving, and who knows whether it saves fuel or not. It is just that many people doing their own moving want to do this with one driver at the wheel instead of trying to coordinate a small convoy, and there are those of us who would pay a little extra to have that trailer to have that convenience.

        U-Haul is a corporate entity that promotes its offerings, services, and products as “green”, but corporations do a lot of things, now don’t they, to promote and market what they do, but those of us who want this trailer will use it and those of us who want to drive with two separate vehicles to not bother with a trailer will do that. Capitalism! Freedom! Choice!

      • WUWT got this one wrong.

        Why, well bringing the car saves a flight or drive back, plus driving the car.
        Simple really.

        [wrong, you assume they want to return. Most U-haul moves are one-way -mod]

      • Does it save gas? Possibly, especially if you do not have a separate person to drive and would have to take two separate trips with a bus ride or flight back. However, the more important issue is whether the savings are MEANINGFUL. That is a resounding “No”. Remember the reduction goals that have been set. 50-90% reduction of CO2. You don’t get that with using U-Hauls or owning cars in the first place. For the designated audience and customer base, no it does not meaningfully reduce CO2.

  3. …like product labeling trying to make something that’s not good for you
    sound like it is

    “contains no nuclear material”

    • Or trying to sell a product that IS good for you by addressing (and, sigh, reinforcing) the junk science fears of some consumers:

      “Contains no chemicals.”

      “Organic.”

      “No pesticides.”

      “Carbon free sugar.”

      “Sustainably puffed.”

      LOL.

      • “Organic” If it is not mineral or metal it is organic. Fruits, vegetables, grains and meats, no matter how you “raise” them, are all organic. That one really makes me want to smack some people’s childr’ns.

      • My personal favorite is slapping “All Natural!” on stuff that you have no reason to think otherwise. All Natural clam juice? I don’t even want to know what you do to make “unnatural” clam juice. The piece de resistance: All Natural bottled water.

        “…where do you even find unnatural water? Witch toilets? Are you claiming your competitors’ water comes from witch toilets? Because that’s [bleep]in’ crazy.” – Seanbaby (paraphrased/bowdlerized)

      • All Natural bottled water.

        I remember, maybe 20 years ago, one of the oldest brands of bottled water had to do a recall. They advertised as “naturally carbonated”.
        It turns out that they remove the “natural” CO2 and send the water through some sort of treatment process (filtration, maybe?) then re-inject the “natural” CO2. The reason for the recall was that the chemicals they used to clean the treatment process was not properly flushed so some of it ended up in a batch of their “naturally carbonated” bottled water.
        But I think the chemical was organic (benzene?) so I don’t know why they had to do a recall. 8-)

      • “Don’t forget: “Rice Chex is 100% Gluten-Free”. “100% Gluten-Free”. Saw that on the label of Jiffy peanut butter. All I could do was smile.

      • The gluten-free rice chex actually makes sense, as it’s not unheard of to mix different flours together to get better properties in your bread (any decent cornbread recipie involves both wheat and corn flour). While it has been overhyped, it is a legitimate food alergy.

  4. Put your car on a trailer, wear their gear out. Pretty economical way to save running costs and repairs on ones own car.
    Oh, slight typo error in your post me ole mate:
    “While it is technically a correct statement that two engines running would produce less carbon emissions than one,”
    It should read, one engine produces less carbon emissions than two.

    • My experience is that one engine running uses less fuel than two.

      Sometimes my spouse wants to join me on longer contracts, and wants to have a car at the destination so that we don’t need to share. So I have experience of pulling cars on their own wheels, on tow dollies, and on trailers on several trips of distances from 250 to 1100 miles in the US.

      In each case the amount of fuel used by the combination is less than we would have expected for the same number of miles had we driven the cars individually. On the last trip I thought ~15 MPG (15.7 L/100km) in the tow vehicle was pretty abysmal, but the combined MPG for the two vehicles when driven individually on the return trip was ~12.75 (18.5 L/100km).

      • Dear lord that’s spectacular fuel efficiency, I get 17 litres to 100 kilometres out of my oil burning 4wd and that’s not towing that’s more like 25 litres per 100 , just doing my bit for the plants .

  5. My dad, who was a genuine “Mad Man”, said his nomination for the worst slogan in history was U-Haul’s: “An adventure in moving”. Nobody wants an adventure when they move. Dull as dishwater is what you want. Some people.

    • You can actually see the alphabet on your phone ?? The Nums and Alpha’s on my phone are so small, I have to plug my phone into my computer and use the online keyboard just to make a call (and that is with 3X glasses) ! And I also believe you were right the first time…An MPG inefficient van, full of furniture and what not, pulling a car on a trailer is probably not better than driving the car separately…IMHO…

      • Marcus November 27, 2016 at 5:59 pm

        And here I thought that the times I towed a car behind a U-Haul Van was because my A$$ could only be in one place at a time….

        michael

  6. I wonder if the label is really suggesting that towing a car on the trailer requires less energy than towing a car on the ground. After all, there’s less drive train involved.

    Then again, towing a front wheel drive car with just the front wheels off the ground also dispenses with drive train friction and is less mass too.

    • It really depends on the trailer, a good two-axle trailer will track better than a typical two-wheel car dolly. Even with the extras weight I’d put my money on the full blown trailer.

      • Isn’t a cube van highly inefficient, MPG wise ? I do not drive (since I left Florida), so maybe I am missing something ??

      • Hi, Marcus: the 17′ (box only) U-Haul truck I drove to move, fully loaded with furniture and household goods, got about 6 mpg on the freeway (on the flat — in the mountains, less). I stopped for gas about every two hours (groan) — to keep the tank about 1/2 full.

        btw: you have been in Canada longer than you realized (smile) — in the U.S., these days (100 years ago, I think van might have been used in the same way, here, thus, we have a moving company with “Van Lines” in its name) such a vehicle is called a “truck” (or a “box truck”). A van is what Scooby Doo and the gang rode around in. Just so, you know, when you go to that party in the U.S. and start chatting about moving and stuff, things will go a little more smoothly…..

        Pretty woman: You are moving clear from Canada back to Florida in a VAN? How will you fit your bed and couch and dining table in there??

        Marcus: Oh, easy. It’s around 20 feet long.

        PW: Wow. I’ve never seen a van that long before.

        M: Huh. Well, that wasn’t even the longest size you could rent.

        PW: What is it, sort of a bus with no seats in it? Does it have an extra axle?

        M (thinking: boy is she dumb, I think I’ll go talk to that other woman over there): Do you remember the Disney movie, “101 Dalmatians”? The one from when we were little kids? Well, it’s what ‘orace and Jaspuh drove.

        PW: ?? The “bad ‘uns” drove a rickety old moving truck.

        M: TRUCK? Oh.

        PW (smiling): Oh. You’re moving in a truck with a 20′ box.

        M: What are you doing Friday night?

        PW (smile): Nothing.

        M: Want to help me load my truck?

        PW (eyebrows raised — no more smile)

        *!*!*!*! — HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, M *!*!*!*!

        Re-wind, and Edit! lololololo

      • Everyone has seemed so grim the last couple of years. Perhaps that weather vane has spun. I best go load the cannon, just in case.(now you done it, Mary Poppins reference. Could G$S be far behind?!?!)

  7. Salt Lake City has billboards with a 1950’s looking woman talking on the phone saying “Joan, I just love my new smaller trash can”. Trash cans range from $21.00/mo down to $13.75/mo. I think what they really mean is I like having a lower trash bill, but I’m not sure.

    • Reality, you came to a logical conclusion.

      The enviro (and or enviroprofiteer) who paid for that ad, however, are pushing the IRRATIONAL JUNK of:

      1. pseudo-religion — “Holy people generate less trash. They make interesting things with all their milk cartons and tote all their cereal and fruit and mashed potatoes and stuff home from the grocery store in reusable bags (never, never washed with an effective, er, I mean chlorine or phosphate-containing, detergent).”
      Thus saith the Cult of Sustainability.

      and

      2. money (“recycling” is pretty good money) — “Put your extra trash into our bins and …… heh….. save the planet….. or whateverallIknowisthisracketmakesmegooddough.” {taxpayers get to “invest” in the recycling business, too!}

      JUST IN CASE THERE IS A CULT MEMBER READING THIS:

      As IBM used to like to say: THINK.

      “Sustainability” is a lie.

      Get out. Join Reality in the land of truth and light and freedom.

      In short: love yourself.

      The cult does not love you.

      The cult is ALL about money.

      Cui bono? Answer: not you.

      • Marcus November 27, 2016 at 6:06 pm
        ..Wait, what ?? You have to RENT your trash cans ?

        Yeah big plastic things. Pay a fee one to three months. Back in Oregon I had a neighbor who did not pay the fee. He would sneak his stuff into my can on garbage day. Arizona is much different , at least in the small town I live in. I think you can understand why.

        michael

  8. I have seen that on Uhaul trailers, not just car carriers. Dubious, at best. And I don’t know, guys. That truck loaded full pulling that trailer and car most likely puts more emissions in the atmosphere than that truck loaded full and the car following combined would produce. I have pulled a lot of trailers with a lot of different trucks over the years, just sayin’.

  9. Emotions as reasons. Sigh. On a Thanksgiving visit, I was able to hear what my daughter has been learning in college. She was in a federal policy course. The course has included three debates on issues, such as euthanasia or gun control. I asked about federal policies covering euthanasia – expecting her to pipe up with something about how a court decision has taken a “reserved power” issue and brought it into federal domain, or funding for euthanasia services, or something along those lines.

    Nope, no federal policy at all in these debates. Just discussion of arguments for and against something.

    So, while I am always interested in federal policy, I had no common ground for discussion. Lots of good that tuition has done.

    –This is how “progressives” win arguments, and how they have been dumbing down our young adults.

    First, mislead them that student loans are awesome, even when they have no idea what their major, or vocation, might eventually be, and second, now that they have money and a blank slate to fill with four classes, they sign up for whatever, where the professors await – to cover emotions, not knowledge.

    Why emotions? The acceptable answers to all of the major issues have all been pre-determined. The “progressive” answers are those deemed to be virtuous. Like “reducing your carbon footprint,” or using fewer natural resources. Never mind that they actually also continue to teach about the natural CYCLES – water cycle, etc.

    If it is possible to waste water, where does it go? How does it escape the cycle? If I leave my tap on while brushing my teeth, does that water go out to outer space?

    How did my gasoline get in the tank? Atmosphere > tree > fossil fuel > refinery > engine > atmosphere > …..

    • ..The “Last True Democrat” was JFK…(My hero, I have 23 books about him)…Then LBJ (I have copies of his actual Oval Office recordings which I can’t print here) started the Democrats into a long, slow dive into never never land which continues to this day…( See Trump election..and the House..and the Senate..)..IMHO..

    • “Nope, no federal policy at all in these debates. Just discussion of arguments for and against something.”

      Yep thats pretty much what debates are. Getting them to have their own thoughts outside a govt policy is probably appropriate for a learning institution, and is how a lot of policies get formed in the first place. No common ground for discussion? really? surely you had some thoughts of your won.

    • I suspect that much of the confusion comes from less than precise communication regarding what constitutes “waste”. While it technically isn’t possible to waste something that doesn’t disappear such as water, it is possible to waste the energy used to process and transport “potable” water by not making good use of the processed water.
      Perhaps rather than rolling your eyes and shrugging you might educate your children to be more selective in making their arguments and appreciate better communication.

      • First rule of military survival: never volunteer. An officer asking for volunteers is code-talk for “I want you men to do something extremely risky that will probably get you all killed, but don’t want to go on the record as having actually ordered you to do it.”

      • See? There was my mistake! I screwed the pooch right of the bat by volunteering to be in the Army to begin with. I’ll know better next time(no, I won’t).

      • Getting there is half the fun! The other half is dragging your a$$ out of the malarial mud bog you fell into when the chopper pilot said ” Get Out.”

  10. There might possibly be a drafting advantage and the U-Haul truck will be driven more slowly burdened by the tow and the load than an independent automobile, still the carbon advantages are fleeing and quite possibly imaginary.

    • One engine running near full throttle is more efficient than two running at part throttle.

      Under part throttle conditions (i.e. when the throttle is less than fully open), the effective compression ratio is less than when the engine is operating at full throttle, due to the simple fact that the incoming fuel-air mixture is being restricted and cannot fill the chamber to full atmospheric pressure. The engine efficiency is less than when the engine is operating at full throttle. link

      Having the car right behind it might make the truck more aerodynamic. It’s possible that they are telling the truth. That said, without a carefully controlled experiment, it’s all just conjecture.

  11. Green marketing on the back of the climate change movement is being taken to ridiculous extremes. Check out @maersk on twitter for example. In Thailand even hotels are claiming to be low carbon. But you can’t blame them. They are a business. They do what makes money. That they do this low carbon goofiness means that it works. And that implies that the goofballs are us the consumers.

    • No, I am just staying at a hotel. Fact is that crap makes me look to their competition. I truly hate this false eco-crap. And I ain’t alone.

  12. The best sign I ever saw on a truck was on a functioning bright pink rubbish collection truck in the Northern Territory, Australia, which read in large writing: “Satisfaction guaranteed or double your rubbish back.”

    I will never forget that! I wish I had a camera with me on the day. :)

  13. I get miserable fuel economy of about 15 mpg with my 5000 pound vehicle when towing my 3500 pound boat/trailer combo, without the boat I get about 25-26 mpg. Trailers are heavy dead weight, a car trailer must weigh about 1000 pounds.. I’m thinking if I towed a 3500 pound car on a 1000 pound trailer I would get 13 to 14 mpg. If that same car got 30 mpg it would be about a wash, mpg-wise. The problem with towing a heavy weight and mpg is that when you go up an incline, the transmission has to downshift and that really wrecks the mpg.

    • I tow a 3-horse slant-load gooseneck with 12 ft short-wall in the living quarters. Around 11,000 lbs.
      About 10 mpg with a Power-stroke 6.4.
      I would like to see what a hybrid diesel-electric truck could do before dismissing it as impractical.

  14. Well those trucks only seat two, max three, people in the cab, and it is not particularly comfortable. But the car is a four door, so I presume that this is a family moving, and that the rest of the family flew. You see, on this basis, there is a CO2 reduction because the truck doesn’t have to haul the weight of the rest of the family members. Flying of course does no harm to the climate. We know this, because if it did, the alarmascientists wouldn’t constantly be doing it, would they? So I have to take U-Haul’s side on this one based on the scientists…

    • lol.

      Oh, well, MrHoffer, you forget. When you move, you are to leave at the recycle center all excess family members. Holy people have no more than one child, you know…..

      Three max. total. What? Middle seat’s awfully small? Can’t move once the child is over about age 10? Aaa, sure you can, mister! Here! We also rent tie downs! State law? Nooo problem! Wrap it, I mean her or him, up in one of our …. BLANKETS…. Huh? Oh, just tell the trooper it’s a rug…. that someone threw up on (that way they won’t look inside).

    • +1

      (and, better yet, don’t go to that new job. Just stay where you are. Permanently under-employed. Have a great time feeling holy! Think of it as an “adventure.”)

  15. “Drive carefully, Anthony! We need you to get home safe and sound!”

    Your WUWT “family”

    :)

    (yeah, like a real sister, I can be a pain sometimes — heh, heh, heh)

  16. The real savings would be monetary, if a “drive-away” driver needn’t be paid to drive the car. Or if a friend or non-moving relative drives the car and needs to pay for a return flight.

  17. GreenLogic™ is tricky. It traps you into thinking that it has anything to do with normal logic, which is based on reality. Case in point: “Reduces Carbon Emissions”. The assumption is that instead of real issues – a primary one being cost, but others being what is convenient, or comfortable, or even desireable, we have the faux issue of carbon emissions. Whether or not the use of such a trailer “reduces carbon emissions” is moot, to the point of the absurd. It matters not one iota, despite their pretense that it does. More to the point though, it is merely greenwashing on their part. They know there are greentards out there who will believe that it makes a difference. And that makes a difference to their bottom line.

  18. Looking at the photo of the U-haul truck pulling a loaded trailer, I see a truck that is too small to carry the possessions of a family, or even just a couple. Perhaps a scenario where it is less carbon emitting to tow a car is one in which a single person has too much stuff to haul using his/her car, and the car isn’t capable of pulling a trailer. Hauling the car would, in that case, be less carbon emitting than making a round trip with the U-haul truck in order to go back to drive the car.

    SR

  19. At constant speed on a level surface, most of the power train’s output is used to overcome aerodynamic drag. A negligible amount is used to overcome resistance in the drivetrain and tires. Two vehicles running independently must each overcome aerodynamic drag.

    If one vehicle is pulled on a trailer behind the other, the total aerodynamic drag is smaller so total energy used is less. The faster you go (assuming the same speed in the two independent vehicle and single hookup cases), the greater the savings.

      • ..”Drafting” in Nascar races ONLY works if you get within 1 foot of the car you are following…More than 1 foot and you are creating an aerodynamic mess…There are many video’s online that show this…

      • Marcus. Drafting behind trucks in real life doesn’t require spacing of one foot or less. This from personal experience using a VW Microbus and various motorcycles.

        In NASCAR closer is better but there is nothing magic about one foot notwithstanding “many video’s online”.

  20. Has anyone actually worked the numbers? Having driven a U-Haul truck from San Diego to our farm towing our vehicle we saved the emissions in addition to the costs we would have created driving driving our vehicle. The mileage for the truck was the same with or without the load (checked the mileage dropping off the truck). The joke may be on you.

    • ” The mileage for the truck was the same with or without the load”…LOL…Are you implying that an empty van gets the same mileage as a loaded van ?

  21. Not sure if anyone has pointed this out, but that trailer isn’t hauling anything. So it’s just a fuel using anchor dragged at the back of a truck.

    Wherever you tow a trailer, it surely has to be towed back, and yes I get the UHaul logistics thing of renting them out for the return journey if they can. But if not, they have to be hauled back empty otherwise, they might all end up on one coast and that would tip the country on its side.

  22. Empirical Evidence.

    I bought 6 vehicles in Boston. I transported (exported and imported) them all to Halifax NS Canada.
    I drove some and I towed some on a car carrier (my own and a rented one from U-Haul.

    I also simultaneously transported 5 tons of furnishings. It was Aug 2006.

    I tried every configuration because I am cheap. I don’t care about CO2, but I do care about money.

    I hauled one 3200lb Camry on a car carrier behind a loaded F250. 650 miles.

    I hauled a Neon and a snowblower on a car carrier behind a fulled loaded UHaul Truck. (about 3200 lbs also).

    Also, I have made the 650 mile trip about 150 times so I have comprehensive records about the fuel consumption rates in cars the F250 and the U Haul.

    Results.

    We had 2 drivers.

    We moved 3 vehicles per trip, one way. (not including the U HAUL truck)

    The cost of hauling the car behind the F250 = 0.3X the cost of the loaded truck. The loaded F250 costs 2X the cost of the loaded car for fuel. Therefore, the car cost about 60% of what the car would cost if I drove it. (It too was full of stuff)

    The Cost of moving the loaded UHAUL truck and tow load was 4X the F250 = 8X the car. Chug chug chug chug chug ker chug. Unloaded, the UHaul cost 2X the F250, or 4X the car.

    ((I Had to make 2 trips)

    So my experience yielded a small cost saving by hauling 4 vehicles except for one thing… UHAUL charges you to return the truck IF you don’t do a round trip so you end up paying to shuttle an empty truck 650 miles back to the origin….EMPTY!!

    UHAUL MOVES a lot of EMPTY trucks around.

    I bet that empty trailer in the picture was attached to an empty truck and UHAUL was shuttling it to somewhere.

    Conclusion.

    From an overall systems perspective, it is better to drive the vehicle than tow it, IF you aren’t charged a one-way fee. A one-way fee implies empty vehicles are being shuttled. Now, UHAUL would be lying about that would they?

    So drive your vehicle.

      • Trailers and car dollies get trailered around to major collection points(yards) and smaller vans/trucks would be moved by carhauler. They try to even out where vehicles and trailers get dropped off after rentals.

    • Not if sodium bicarbonate isn’t also, I guess. Maybe, say CO2 is not pure carbon to be correct. The term “carbon” is now shorthand for CO2, somehow. I think it has more association in their spin with “the dreaded Coal”.

  23. Truly Anthony, the messages plastered all over these rental units are meant to placate market expectations nationwide and give them an appeal to all urban minorities, who are the bulk of the business. The green slogans will disappear when the true agenda is apparent and debate on the real direction of climate has commenced.

    The time is nigh for this Anthro-climate change to become “so yesterday.

    • Damn Dyslexia, I switched the words true and real.
      Should be-
      “…the real agenda is apparent and debate on the true direction of climate…”

  24. Expensive energy makes everything so complicated. Cheap energy makes discussions like this pointless. With cheap energy what’s a few pennies more?

    Eugene WR Gallun

    • It’s a conundrum of sorts, Eugene. Complicated energy makes it expensive, expensive energy makes it complicated.
      So fun to abuse the King’s English!

      • …Just an old saying here, left over from the revolutionary war period.
        As to resemblances, it is uncanny as I travel to see people who look nearly identical to folks I know.
        ,,,Causes ponderance of genetic “makes and models”

      • You do have a slightly better candidate for when She leaves the Throne. I did not approve of the choice to allow Charles to raise the boys after Diana’s death, I felt they should have been placed in the custody of the Royal Marine Academy until they reached majority. That said, they seem to have turned out OK.

      • ..Dear Mod, please explain to me why my heritage is ” too stupid to allow in print” ?

        [the method of saying it, not the content -mod]

      • “the method of saying it”..? Now I am really confused …..Maybe I need more coffee….

        [maybe you need to stop writing inane off-topic comments here -mod]

  25. ..I am an oddball ( French American and Irish Canadian), living in London, Ontario, Canada (which at one time was under 3 MILES of ice). …I would really like Griff or Mosh or any of these other “Alarmists” to explain to me WHY some melting ice, far to the North, is a bad thing ? Logic, using the past as a “guide”, tells that me Humans have thrived when the weather was warm, but dwindled when it cooled…What am I missing ?

  26. The idea of saving fuel by towing your car on a trailer is basically flawed. How you lose by depends on the second vehicle format and what is function is.
    The main issue is that the rolling (tyre) resistance will be greater because of the mass of the trailer. Aerodynamics may be better or worse with a towed combination depending on the shape of the towing vehicle.
    It will cost more fuel to tow the trailer and the car, than than to drive the car on is own.

    • Then again, I met a large family gassing up in Arkansas that had rented a box truck and trailered their big van so they could stuff it full of items too. Mom drove their Camry with 4 kids and Dad took 2 in the truck. I think they saved over using a mover (your results may vary).

  27. Well, it does use less gas than:
    1. driving U-haul truck full of your goods to where you are moving to.
    2. driving some vehicle back.
    3. now driving you car to where you are moving to.

    I assume you’re renting the truck because a trailer wouldn’t be big enough, or because your doesn’t have the horsepower to haul a trailer.

  28. Or maybe it’s they who missing the purpose of Occam’s Razor, by seeking to promote the most complicated (and costly) Human response to such a vague and undefined level of threat.

  29. …. Only logical, by extension, that vehicles capable of towing a trailer should be towing trailers, so that they could tow cars for people in order to reduce emissions.
    I’ll tow you for $.45/mi, you’ll save the planet, and I’ll be green!

  30. Sorry guys this article and thread is useless and wasting energy.. Much to do about nothing. Thanks Canada for a great Grey Cup game and Booh to the Seattle Seahawks for losing to Tampa. See now that is relevant (LOL) And having used U-haul? Thanks, They a great and necessary company, without them a lot of people would have to pay for a moving company, no thanks!

    • Hi, Sybot,

      I’m sorry you’re bummed out this evening. Since you spoke up on behalf of U-Haul, I’ll add my accolade. I’ve used U-Haul twice to move. What people are saying about having to return a truck back to the point of original pick up was not my experience. Both trips, I picked off a drop off location at my destination. There was no question of my taking the truck back! This was on the west coast of the U.S..

      Very good service and experience (best when the truck was a Chevy (same route in reverse) — first one, a Ford, much more frightening to drive, esp. up and down the mountains).

      I wish the thread had been as much fun for you, Sybot, as it has been for me. LAUGHTER IS A WORTHWHILE OCCUPATION, no matter what. Joy, laughter, love, and fun. Always worthwhile.

      Take care,

      Janice

      • I also use and like UHaul. Actually did a return to origin point rental, hauled a friend’s household goods and a dog to FLA, then loaded up another friend’s mother’s antique purchases and stopped in Valdosta and picked up 400lbs of onions. Made money on that trip and had a good time in Tampa during the 3 day layover. Ain’t America great!!!!!!

  31. No, the trailer saves time and expense, which is why people used the service. It is a decision based on rationality by the person who rented the safe steel trailer, and by the company that offered it.

    Welcome back from holiday–hope it was a very nice time.

  32. Energy required (fuel used) is proportional to the mass, the distance traveled, and the friction loss to road and air drag from turbulence.

    The mass (of the car) is the same here, the distance traveled is obviously the same, road friction is approximately the same (assuming properly inflated tires on the trailer). But I would make a small bet that a wind tunnel would show much higher turbulence around the towed car than a free traveling car. Ergo, more fuel consumed to move the car from point A to point B. Although I would also make a small bet that it would be hardly noticeable for any one trip, and completely negligible (relative to national fuel consumption) even in aggregate for all of the moves made in the US over a year.

    Now, if they put an aerodynamic fairing extending from the back of the truck over the trailer – they might have a valid claim. Japan Railways saves a big chunk of money every year by proper attention to the aerodynamics of their bullet trains.

    • What about the pumping loss of spinning 2 engines instead of 1?

      What’s people’s experience with towing a car trailer? Does it double fuel consumption?

  33. I have no doubt that the trailer represents the more efficient solution (especially behind a diesel truck) compared to driving the truck, then flying back and then driving your car after it. Saves time too.

    The car follows 2m behind the boxy truck – its incremental air resistance is minimal (and may even be a net positive). Yes, there’s drag – especially uphill. Not quite as efficient if you’re loading up a big V8 petrol engine but for diesel I think this is a no brainer.

  34. Conventional journalism would have asked Uhaul for a statement on this and also done the math on any savings.

    I have pointed out this article to Uhaul to give them a chance to comment.

    • “I have pointed out this article to Uhaul to give them a chance to comment”

      That’s very nice of you Griff and while you’re about it could you ask them for an estimate of how much CO2 was expended in the manufacture and affixing of all those ‘virtue signalling’ signs on their vehicles as well as the extra CO2 emitted to cart their extra mass all round the countryside for the miles they do until due for replacement? Naturally we’d prefer conventional science to conventional journalism for that.

  35. Quick gallons per mile calculation;
    15ft U-Haul: 10 mpg or 0.1 gpm (from Uhaul website)
    Generic Car: 20 mpg or 0.05 gpm (easy calculation baseline)

    If towing drops the gpm by 0.05 gpm (drops to 6.7 mpg which is feasible depending on conditions) then towing is even with driving. I am sure there are easily instances where you can run the numbers and get results on both sides of what I have presented. Short answer; U-Haul is correct and Anthony is correct.

    Stretching to make an issue out of this one.

  36. The guilt merchants of the left tell each other scary stories about CO2 emissions, and then the opportunists sell them salve for their consciences. – Sort of commensalism…

    • Exactly. Promoters ask, “What are consumers afraid of these days?” (or “What do consumers feel guilty about?” — not spending enough time with their children is a BIG one; compensate by buying them things! Yay! (not)) Then, they create a “save you from X” (or a “take away the guilt”) campaign.

  37. I think the point was is rather than one person driving the U-haul truck and the other person following driving the car, hall the car and just drive the truck only.

    • Michael. I cannot drive an 18-wheeler and I had neither the time nor the inclination to learn. U-haul (or a like moving company) was just right — for me.

  38. 3D Printed annotomically and emotionally perfect replicas of Wild West Gunslingers and Hookers for the Obama Alt Right Trump , P C ,SJW, Identity Polotic Facebook Twitter Social Media age

    Classic post Civil Rights , post Vietnam , Watergate ,Energy Crisis , Oncoming Micro Chip Revolution Angst 1970s Yul Brinner ,James Brolin and Richard Benjamin in “West World”.

    The HBO fantastic franchise reboot with Antony Hopkins in a semi permanent ponderous state and Thandi Newton in a semi permanent undressed state.

    So the answer for our 21st Century environmental concerns a nuclear powered cross country Bus from the same era

  39. Surely it has nothing to do with fuel costs (which in the USA are quite low) and everything to do with driver resources. To drive a van and a car separately across the width of North America obviously needs two drivers. This is quite impossible for a single person. (Such as a student finishing college – who left home 4 years ago with little more than an overnight bag and a toothbrush and is now returning with a huge collection of indispensible treasures.) A lot of younger families would prefer not to do it either (i.e both parents driving simultaneously for long periods).

    • Yes you’re right and in a perfect world they would be promoting the safety benefits: One driver drives long distances and the other naps – then switch. Much safer than two drivers driving without relief in convoy.

      But no one cares about safety – they care about Da Carbon.

  40. Thismight actually save some people some gasoline and wear and tear on their cars. Isn’t it wonderful that we live in the automobile age and have access to such fabulous, powerful machines. Hooray!

  41. This seems to be a very sensible thing to do for me. Somebody moving house and wants to take their car with them. It saves gasoline (and carbon), depreciation on the car for extra distance and removes the need fro a second driver with all that that implies. Think of a single person moving house.

  42. the marketing is brilliant:

    there’s lots of idiots out there who will think it’s a brilliant idea, and thus make U-Haul moar monies.

    good for them and their stockholders.

  43. Janice:
    A little late in the thread,, but I will throw in my two cents anyway:
    “Progressives TALK about what feels good; conservatives DO what is good.”
    Go Pepe!

  44. Sounds like yet another case of pitching PC instead of the real benefit.
    In this case, two people can share driving of the truck, so the trip is shorter, and save some fuel cost (net of what car would take less fuel for extra drag of trailer tires and loading truck engine more). Technically, depending on where engine is running relative to its sweet spot, if a large engine the extra demand may pushe the engine into a more efficient range.

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