We are all feeling the pressure at the pumps. The rising costs of fuel and fuel economy are ever present concerns for drivers across North America, and many analysts’ forecasts that diesel prices will spike during the first part of 2012 are turning out. In the past week alone, the national average for on-highway diesel jumped 9.1 cents, topping off at $4.051/gallon. The rising prices are even more prevalent on the West Coast, with a jump of 16.2 cents, topping off at $4.326/gallon this week. While these prices are definitely high, analysts’ are not predicting diesel fuel prices to break the record highs that were experienced in 2008.

While the rising prices are an uncontrollable and significant operating cost for drivers and carrier companies, there are many things you can do in order to get the most out of the money you are spending on diesel. Below, some of our top tips for increasing your diesel fuel efficiency:

Drive smart

a. Efficient Speeds – avoid sudden acceleration; driving at a consistent speed whenever possible saves fuel. Furthermore, curbing your speed has been proven to be the most widely recognized change that can save fuel; 60-65 mph is the sweet spot! A change from even 75 mph to 65mph can cut fuel consumption by as much as 27%!!!

b. Braking – avoid harsh braking. Stopping suddenly requires more fuel and power, so keep your braking slow and controlled.

c. Idling – Reduce unnecessary idling for long periods of time as this consumes fuel.

Take care of it, and it will take care of you!

a. Tire Inflation – under-inflated tires create more drag and puts more strain on the engine. Make sure the tires are well inflated and at the correct pressure!

b. Air filters – ensure that clean air is going into your engine; if the filter isn’t regularly changed, the dirt can choke up the engine, causing less air flow, and less power output. The result: you will have to step on the gas more to compensate for the power loss.

c. Wheel Alignment – more fuel will be consumed in an effort to keep your truck rolling in a straight line – reduce this by getting regular wheel alignments.

d. Oil – Change your oil regularly as specified by the truck manufacturer. Oil lubricates your engine components, and eliminates friction. Dirty oil can compromise your engines performance; less lubrication = more friction + stress on moving parts, causing more fuel being burned to maintain the required power output. Check your other fluids as well (transmission, transfer case, and differential) as the same principle also applies to them!

e. Aerodynamic devices – many carriers are retrofitting their trucks and trailers with aerodynamic devices, a SmartWay initiative and an upcoming requirement for the state of California. Examples of aerodynamic devices: trailer rear fairing, trailer side skirts, and trailer front gaps.


On the road and want to check gas prices?

Check out http://www.pilotflyingj.com/fuel-prices on your smart phone, or give us a call!!!!

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