Being an Owner Operator adds many new responsibilities to your professional truck driving career. Be business smart with the Len Dubois Trucking’s Best Business Practices. Today we will be looking at fuel economy and how you can increase your miles per gallon.
In our last article, How to Get More from Your Fuel Economy, we talked about how reducing your speed, lowering your idling time and how a preventative maintenance schedule can increase your fuel economy and help you keep your hard earned money in your pockets instead of blowing it out the stack. Today we are going to examine a few more things that can help you increase your miles per gallon and save you even more money.
Gradual Acceleration and Deceleration
Instead of “putting the pedal to the metal” try gradually accelerating, after all you’re not driving a race car. Gradual acceleration puts less stress on the mechanics of your equipment and uses less fuel.
Using the throttle to slow down and coasting instead of braking is highly recommended as much of the fuel you used to get up to speed is wasted when the brakes are applied. Follow at a safe distance to prevent from frequent braking and look ahead and anticipate changes in traffic to keep your momentum up.
Use Your Cruise Control
You should use your cruise control whenever possible. It is better for your fuel economy to remain at a consistent speed while driving. You can always tell which driver’s aren’t using the cruise, they speed up; slow down; speed up again. You will use more fuel while continually getting back up to speed than if you remained at a constant speed. Bonus, with the cruise control set you can run at your engine’s sweet spot and avoid speeding.
Reduce Road Resistance
At least once a week, check the air pressure on your truck and trailer tires. Ensure that they are filled to the manufacturer’s specifications. Even if the trailer you are hauling belongs to your company, it’s still attached to your rig and you’re using your fuel to haul it down the road. Deflated tires decrease your fuel economy by increasing the rolling resistance as you move down the road; not only that, deflated tires wear out prematurely and affect the safety of the vehicle.
It may be too late to consider the aerodynamics of the truck you are driving, but if you are in the market for a truck find an aerodynamic efficient truck. Consider the following before purchasing a truck: round corners, a sloped hood, curved windshield, flush headlights, recessed door hinges and grab handles, an aerodynamic bumper and under-hood air cleaners. You can also consider cab extenders, tractor side skirts, full roof fairings and an air dam front bumper. If you already own a truck avoid add-ons such as lights, bug screens and horns, you may also want to reconsider that moose guard you put on the truck.
Having good driving habits will decrease the wear on your equipment and increase your miles per gallon. Good driving habits will help you increase your bottom line regardless of your top line revenue.