As you all know, neither drivers nor carriers can completely control the price of fuel. Fortunately, with proper planning and smart driving, drivers can control fuel usage.
To someone outside of the trucking industry, 7 miles per gallon seems absurdly low. To the transportation expert and the OTR driver, averaging 7 mpg consistently is good performance. Maximizing fuel conservation is critical to managing profitability.
Most trucking companies offer fuel bonuses to drivers with exceptional MPG. Many carriers do this because they offset fuel costs with significant savings from the fuel efficiency. Increasing fuel economy by a tenth of a mile per gallon can make a big difference and have a huge impact to the bottom line over time.
Here are a few tips that can help drivers and carriers increase their MPG performance, lower emissions, and reduce a truck’s carbon footprint.
- Slow Down: Drive 55 mph or less. Each 1 mph increase in vehicle speed decreases fuel economy by .1 MPG.
- Maintain Tires: Every 10 psi that a tire is underinflated can reduce fuel economy by 1%. Ribbed tires on drive axles can provide better fuel economy than lugged tires.
- Reduce Drag: Aerodynamics is important in fuel economy, so remove any extra equipment that can create drag.
- Minimize Congested Areas: Driving in congested, slow moving areas results in degraded fuel economy. Selecting the right time of day to travel in certain areas can help.
- Idle Less: An hour of idle time can burn up to a gallon of fuel, which can add up over time. Auxiliary Power Units (APU) are critical to maintaining driver comfort, and reducing fuel consumption. APUs use .1 of a gallon per hour of operation.
- Careful Trip Planning: Avoid unnecessary driving by planning routes to minimize miles
Many factors affect fuel efficiency. If drivers practice these habits, they will be able to improve mpg and save money.