Achieving the best possible fuel economy for all of us is important – for commercial trucking it’s essential. In the U.S., the trucking industry burns some 38 billion gallons of diesel annually and a host of initiatives are underway to try and reduce that.
Class 8 trucks are those weighing in at 33,000 pounds or more. Typically, these long-haul class 8 trucks in the U.S. average just 6.5 miles per gallon. So, improving fuel efficiency is right at the top of the agenda for fleet operators and owner-operators.
“Improving your fuel mileage helps you save on your hard earned money as fuel typically adds up to almost 40% of operating expenses. Therefore, improving your fuel efficiency even by 2% to 3% can make a significant difference to your bottom line.” AmericanTrucker.com
Increasing fuel economy comes down to choosing the right specifications appropriate for certain routes and a number of other key factors too. Here are some top fuel-saving tips from a collection of sources including AmericanTrucker.com and The North American Council for Freight Efficiency, (NACFE) and one specific one from addvantage:
Improve the Aerodynamics.
Fuel is used to move the truck through the air and over the land. The more resistance a tractor-trailer encounters due to a poor aerodynamic design, the more fuel it will consume to travel the highways. The good news is there are a number of things you can do to improve your trucks’ aerodynamic profile.
For example, if your trailer is taller than your tractor, use a roof-mounted cab deflector, deep angled bumper, or sun visor to deflect the air from your windscreen onto the top of the trailer. To avoid the turbulence underneath the trailer, use side fairings that channel air down the side of the trailer.
Check Engine Oil & Fuel
Using the correct grade of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer can improve fuel mileage by 1% to 2%. When it comes to diesel fuel, wherever possible, avoid filling up at a station where the ground tanks have just been replenished. The dirt at the bottom of the ground tanks is likely to rise to the surface and get into your fuel tank, significantly cutting down your fuel efficiency.
Monitor Driver Behavior
Fuel economy can be improved by giving truck drivers tools to better control speed. Adding cruise control, for example, can help drivers maintain constant speeds which offers the best fuel economy. Heavy- footed drivers tend to spend more fuel during starts from stops than at any other time. Besides, speeding decreases the fuel economy of your truck. So driving within the speed limit will not only help avoid a ticket… but also save fuel.
Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks
It’s a false economy to stretch out maintenance checks. Regular maintenance of a truck can go a long way towards saving fuel. For instance, your truck will need more fuel to move if you have low tire pressures. Also, keep a check on the trailer and drive axle alignment, as it burns a lot of fuel to drag a tire sideways.
addvantage is a retrofit fuel-saving technology that was proven in recent independent tests by Emissions Analytics to deliver fuel efficiency gains of up to 17.6%. When AmericanTrucker.com say that improving your fuel efficiency even by 2% to 3% can make a significant difference to your bottom line, just imagine what the savings delivered by addvantage could do for your business.
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