Fueling a truck for a long haul is quite costly. The trucking industry currently burns about 40 billion gallons of diesel in a year, and drivers play a significant role in this increased gas consumption. The government is already playing its part by introducing new technologies, like platooning, to reduce gas consumption. Nonetheless, it is your responsibility as a driver to ensure you use gas efficiently.
A truck driver who drives economically is an asset to his or her company because it won’t need to spend as much on fuel. Limiting fuel consumption also conserves the environment by reducing pollution. So, what can you do? This post shares tips on how to get the best miles per gallon.
Don’t Accelerate Quickly
When in a rush to meet your daily deliveries, you may be tempted to accelerate hard and fast. While this move may assist you to save time, you will burn fuel faster compared to taking a slow and smooth takeoff. After taking off, you should maintain a steady velocity and leave a considerable following distance to minimize the accelerate-brake-accelerate routine.
Enhance the Truck Aerodynamics
Trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles burn lots of fuel while pushing up against air resistance to reduce the aerodynamic “drag.” Research shows that about 50 percent of a truck’s fuel is consumed when it’s overcoming drag. Improving your equipment’s aerodynamics will enhance its fuel efficiency. If the trailer is taller than the tractor, consider using a roof-mounted cab deflector, sun divisor, or deep-angled bumper to deflect air from the windscreen. Side fairings that channel air downward on the trailer sides can be used to prevent turbulence underneath your trailer.
Use the Right Engine Oil and Fuel
One of the essential tasks truck drivers have to do, other than operating the equipment, is to fuel the vehicle and confirm that there is sufficient engine oil. Using the right motor oil improves fuel mileage by 1 to 2 percent.
Some operational tips must be put into account when dealing with diesel fuel. Fill the equipment in the morning and ensure the fuel is pumped at a low setting to reduce vapors. Gas refilling should be done before the tank is empty — you’ll get better mileage when the tank is fuller. Also, don’t skimp on diesel fuel — always use premium-grade.
Avoid Sitting with an Idle Engine
Whenever you stop for a while (especially when you aren’t leaving the truck), you might be tempted to sit with an idle engine. A big truck can consume about 2 liters of diesel every hour when the engine is idling. The consumption increases when you are using the air conditioner, too, and when it’s cold. Therefore, if you are stopping for more than a minute, be sure to turn off the engine. Those who are nearby will appreciate breathing cleaner air, as well.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Tires with lower pressure than recommended reduce fuel economy. For this reason, you must check all the tires regularly to make sure the psi matches the recommended values. Consider adding or removing air as required. Also, ensure deflated tires are repaired and replaced immediately. It would be a mistake to go on a trip with tires in poor condition.
Don’t Load the Truck Unnecessarily
By the time you leave your company, the truck will be loaded with items, and you could drive thousands of miles with the load. To boost your fuel economy, do not add unnecessary items to the truck — instead, keep taking the load off. Such loads increase the weight, leading to extra fuel consumption. Also, ensure you minimize the in-cab accessories, too.