7 Quick Tips for Conserving Fuel
Trucks consume a lot of fuel – no surprise here. But there are certain things truckers can do to increase the efficiency of their beloved truck. Here are some quick and easy things you can do as a trucker to improve your fuel efficiency.
#1 Don’t Fill Up
Overfilling your gas tank can cause serious fuel wastage and even create a hazard for other drivers on the road. And, while saving trips to the gas station can potentially save on fuel – constantly driving with a full tank just adds to the weight of the vehicle and can actually decrease fuel economy.
#2 Watch the Gas Pedal
While you must come to a complete stop at red lights, stop signs, or before crossing railroad trucks there are times when you can use special braking techniques to help improve fuel economy. Such as entering roadways, slowing down, taking a yield sign, or otherwise making a turn.
In general, this means avoiding a complete stop whenever it isn’t completely necessary. After all, it takes a lot of work to get the large vehicle’s momentum back up, and that eats away at your fuel economy very quickly.
Also, instead of a stop-and-go driving style, try incrementally speeding up and slowing down to minimize how often you have to change gears. Staying in a higher gear saves fuel, especially if you regulate your speed.
By maintaining a constant speed, you are able to maintain steady fuel consumption and maximize your fuel economy. On the other hand, acceleration burns more fuel, whether you are speeding up to a new speed limit or briefly speeding up to pass a vehicle or get to a turn or exit.
In any case, your best bet for fuel economy is setting your truck to cruise control and maintaining a constant speed whenever possible. Generally, the speed limit for trucks is 65, so get used to maintaining it as best you can–even (and especially) on inclines and declines.
#3 Don’t Let Your Truck Idle
So many drivers are in the bad habit of allowing their trucks to idle when they hop out to run an errand. But, no matter how brief this errand may seem, repeatedly letting your truck idle throughout the day can add up to hours of run time in a year, month, or just a week, depending on your route.
This equates to not only increased gas consumption but also more hours on the engine. So, if you are going to be stopped longer than five minutes, turn off your truck. Just an hour of idling adds up to a gallon of fuel!
#4 Keep Your Tires Inflated
If you aren’t paying attention to the PSI in your tires, you could be costing yourself, or your company, higher fuel expenses when you consider the entire fleet. For just a 1 PSI drop in tire pressure, you can see a 0.3% decrease in fuel economy. Keeping your tires inflated also keeps the truck safer for the road and gives them a longer lifespan, so get in the habit of checking regularly.
#5 Pay Attention to Your Load
The load you’re carrying probably changes height and weight regularly, but there are still some simple things you can do to keep your fuel economy up. First off, adjust your roof-mounted air deflectors to guide air over the highest part of the trailer whenever possible. For uneven load height, the air should go over the front of the trailer.
Additionally, you should try to keep the height of your load as low as possible. If it’s unevenly distributed, it will make your truck work harder to get things moving and keep things moving. Keep things low and you’ll see fuel economy go up.
#6 Avoid Slippery Conditions
Not only are slippery conditions unsafe, they also make acceleration more difficult. Whenever possible, avoid slippery conditions. If you have to drive through them, accelerate slowly from a stop to save fuel. The same goes for gravel roads where the tires struggle to grip.
#7 Keep a Good Attitude
A good attitude is one of the best ways to see driving and fuel economy improve amongst any team. Whether you’re a trucker yourself or the owner of a trucking operation, when drivers are happy behind the wheel, they are more likely to use these tips and others to keep everyone safe and keep fuel expenditure to a minimum.