Remember These Tips to Boost Fuel Economy

Freightliner Winter FuelMany things about the economy are still uncertain these days, but there is one thing you can count on – high fuel prices. For trucking companies from owner-operators to large regional or national fleets, it is essential to do everything you can to reduce fuel consumption in order to protect your budget and bottom line.

With that in mind, here are some always-timely reminders to boost fuel economy

How you drive

  • Poor driving habits waste fuel, increase wear and tear on truck components and, in some cases, increase risk of accidents. That means attending to driving details offers multiple types of savings. For example:
  • Power takeoffs, last-minute heavy braking and unnecessary idling are all common culprits when it comes to wasted fuel. Smooth, efficient acceleration and deceleration are easier on the truck as well as your budget.
  • Speeding increases fuel consumption because it increases drag. If you drive 100,000 miles at 60 mph instead of 55, you will waste thousands of dollars in unnecessary fuel costs.
  • Inefficient routing also adds mileage to trips, which in turn wastes fuel as well as overall productivity.

What you drive

  • Engine-off HVAC systems, APUs or solar panels can keep drivers comfortable in extreme weather without wasting fuel.
  • Many accessories for trucks and trailers can improve aerodynamics. Side and roof extenders, drive wheel, chassis and bogie fairings, trailer skirts, wake-reducing devices and even replacing side mirrors with cameras can all contribute to fuel savings.
  • In the market for a new truck? Spec lighter weight materials and you can reduce fuel consumption and very possibly increase payload capability at the same time.
  • Engine downspeeding can boost fuel economy, as can a 6×2 axle configured compared to a 6×4 setup.
  • Low rolling resistance tires and automatic tire inflation systems can also save money. Even slightly underinflated tires can wreak havoc on fuel mileage – truck handling and tire longevity, too

The price of fuel may be out of your hands, but taking control where you can will help you get the greatest mileage and ROI from the fuel you purchase.