We all know that there are many useful tips on how to minimize your cost of fuel. Common tips related to how much properly inflated tires help to achieve optimal fuel consumption, and how a properly maintained unit will increase fuel efficiency are widely communicated in the industry. Today, we’ve rounded up 5 key tips, some that may be lesser known. Studies say that a tractor-trailer combo or a driver who is able to improve fuel economy by a mile per gallon gained is a huge savings when broken down to the numbers. The difference between 6 and 7 mpg on a power unit operating 120,000 miles annually is nearly $12,000. Multiply that by however many units you have in your fleet, and there is no doubt the savings are substantial. The crucial strategy is to pay attention to a number of small gains in order to get to the savings.

  • Analyze Fuel Consumption Trends – if your mpg rating falls, try to determine the cause. Is it related to somewhat justifiable factors such as more urban driving and longer hauls? Or is it related to a factor that can be controlled, such as a maintenance problem? Remember, as a general rule, drops of more than 0.5 mpg are typically due to maintenance problems!!!
  • Maintain an Extended Following Distance – this helps prevent unnecessary acceleration due to frequent braking.
  • Use Shorepower When It’s Available – Many inverters and auxiliary power units come with a plug-in option that converts incoming current to DC to charge the batteries, using AC to power climate-control units and/or in-cab accessories. The “truckstop electrification movement” to help eliminate idling has gained ground, with plug-in options available at many more parking spaces nationwide.
  • Adjust Shifting Patterns – download engine data to compare shifting behaviors – rpms at shift point – to the optimal rpm “torque bands” for your engine. Adjusting your shifting to fit the engine’s make and model can make a big difference. Every 1,000 rpms reduction in engine speed delivers a 1% fuel economy gain.
  • Cover Wheel Hubs – Hub manufacturers estimate 1.5 to 3% in fuel savings when all outside-facing wheels are outfitted with these devices, which smooth airflow across the wheels.

Just a couple useful tips to keep in mind. What is your top tip for improving your fuel costs?

Check out more tips on fuel economy on the US Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website.

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