Truckipedia Blog Category - Fuel Economy in Your Truck – 10 Ways to Reduce Your Costs
Controlling the operating costs of your truck fleet is a challenge you know better than anyone. It can be expensive to do your important work of keeping the country moving. Mileage, fuel costs, the associated wear and tear on your vehicles and engines – it all adds up! But – there are ways to keep more money in your pocket and your business thriving.
We went straight to the source with our First Truck Centre team of experts to get 10 ways for you to improve your efficiency through better fuel economy.
- Invest in aerodynamics.
When it comes time to add trucks to your fleet or replace your aging vehicles, one of the best ways to leave more money in your pocket over the long haul is to focus on aerodynamics in your truck design. The side bearings, lower bearings and roof bearings on trucks vary, and more aerodynamic features can reduce the air pressure on your truck. That reduction makes a massive difference to fuel economy.
- Decrease your cruise speeds.
The faster you cruise, the less efficient your fuel becomes. In fact, for every mile-per-hour over 65 mph, you will lose 1% of your fuel economy. If you have a truck cruising at 75 mph, that means a 10% reduction in the life of your fuel, the equivalent of an extra tank of fuel for every 10 fills.
- Lower your RPMs at cruise speed.
Reducing your speed is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to your cruise. Reducing your RPMs at those speeds is also important for your fuel economy. Select an appropriate gear ratio and, when you reach your desired cruise speed, select a higher gear to lower the RPMs. You will decrease the parasitic loss on your engine by doing so and, by extension, your long-term costs.
- Reduce the weight of your truck.
Carrying a lot of heavy items in your cab? Storing things you don’t need in there? It all makes a difference, as the weight of your truck has an impact on your fuel efficiency. Purposely seeking out trucks with lighter engines and smaller fuel tanks can also decrease the weight of your truck and save you money on fuel. Carrying less fuel in your tank – only filling what you need for your trip – can have the same impact.
- Make sure your PSIs are right.
If the PSI in your tires is off by even a bit, it will mean consuming more fuel than you need. For every 1 PSI that your tires are off of optimum for your vehicle, it means a 0.3% loss in fuel economy on the road. You can refer to your tire manufacturer or your expert team at First Truck to better understand the ideal PSIs for your tires and check that the weight you are carrying isn’t impacting that pressure.
- Reduce your idling.
Idling is one of the chief culprits of lower fuel economies and extra expenses. Freightliner has great options on the Cascadia to decrease idling time, including an APU system called ParkSmart. There are other after-market APUs you can investigate and our First Truck team is happy to assist. Our Cascadias also have Optimized Idle integrated, which allows your truck to start and stop automatically if you’re on a long rest. This keeps your batteries charged and your cab temperatures where they need to be.
- Stay in a higher gear if possible.
We talked in #3 above about using higher gears to reduce your cruising RPMs. Using a higher gear whenever possible – not just at cruise speeds – is a great way to reduce the wear and tear and parasitic loss that your engine is taking. Lengthening the life of that engine means less expenses for you.
- Reduce air conditioning use.
Air conditioning is important for the comfort of your drivers, particularly on those hot, sunny summer days. But it can eat into your fuel economy quickly. If there are other ways to maintain the cab temperature, like opening windows a crack to let a cool breeze in, those methods should be your first line of defense against the heat of the day. It will extend the life of your fuel and save you money.
- Check your alignment – often!
Tires that are out of alignment have a double impact on your costs. Unaligned tires can cause extra fuel consumption, meaning you need to fill your tank more often. They also cause quicker wear and tear on your tires, meaning you will be replacing them more frequently. Checking that alignment often can help make your business more profitable.
- Stay in cruise control whenever possible.
Freightliner and its DT12 transmission in particular has several great features that are designed around drivers staying in cruise control. Even if you find yourself on rolling terrain through mountains or hilly highway sections, your cruise control can speed up and slow down according to the grade of the road while burning less fuel than drivers who are adjusting speed manually.
Your Expert Team
First Truck Centre is Canada’s first and longest standing DTNA Elite support certified group of facilities in Canada, representing brands like Freightliner, Western Star, Autocar and Thomas Built Buses. Our team takes our job seriously to provide support that keeps you moving and expert advice that keeps your business thriving.
Reach out to us for your service or support needs: https://www.firsttruck.ca/contact-us/