Improving your fuel economy in a diesel operation, means saving money by improving the average fuel rate of burn from the 5 mpg, to anything better to spend less per mile. These are my sure fire guaranteed ways to improve fuel economy:
- Idle less- Idling burns fuel, to maintain the driver area stay a comfortable zone, while not in operation. In order to idle less, a driver should consider, an APU unit, or set a temp sensor to keep truck above or below a certain range, and automatically crank running until it reaches the high comfort temp range of 3-7 degrees. An APU, would use less fuel maintaining the truck system, and staying comfortable on 1/2 gal or less fuel burn.
- Drive 60 mpg, on the interstate, Running slower than the speed limit, will require the truck to burn less fuel, saving upwards of 2-3 miles per gallon of improvement for the truck. Going from 5 up to 8 mpg is a cost savings of at $2.50 per gallon cost at 5mpg is average cost per mile of .50 cents. However 8mpg average rate would drop the $2.50 per gallon cost of fuel to .31 cents per mile. Why do you thing JB Hunt, Swift, Schneider just to name a few of the volume carriers reasoning for the fuel improvement through restricting truck horsepower, and speed to their entire fleet, that is a savings of .19 cents per truck per mile, 100,000 trucks, turning aver 250,000 miles daily at .19 cents increases the operation profits by $47,500 daily gross savings…..that can be anticipated. Doing the Math on average 6 day operation, that comes to over a quarter million in earnings monthly for making the drivers slow do through the restriction of every truck in fleet under carrier ownership.
- Keep your tires at proper air pressure- Maintain tire pressures will allow the proper application and deliverability of tire performance. This will all lower fuel burn rate through applicational operation, and would lower cost of maintaining tires on the trucks, so that the tires last their proper lifetime, and lowering carrier costs of $3500 tire costs on a truck…..sometimes more per full set.
- More Gears, and Proper Application of changing- Gears in the transmission, by having more applies, that you have better economy, and when you add a better rear end gear for the transmission set application, then the truck will get better mileage. Larger fleets use more standardized, 10 speed, type Eaton Fuller, or Allison brand transmissions, due to the bulk purchase their costs, and pricing is lowered drastically. Werner Enterprises are known for running a 3.23 gear in their rears with 10speed eatons as the transmission. My preference in a truck is an 18 speed, double over, with a 3.23, 3.35 rear end set.
- Scheduled Maintenance – performing and up-keeping truck maintenance daily, weekly, monthly, will prevent losses, and help maintain fuel economies due to the condition of the equipment is meticulously cared. This one factor, can be cause for truck starting to have higher maintenance costs, later in the fleet life, and with ownership after the fleet disposal.
- Keeping RPM’s below the 2000 mark in operation conditions- at 2000 rpms most tractors have a steep drop in overall performance once passing or past this ideal mark for engine operations. Keeping engine below or at the 2000 mark, could increase the performance in the 10-15% range of savings.
- Aerodynamic add-ons- The lower coverings in the lower chassis, or tire area of the truck and trailer, and the wind shields or forms that open after 55mph, help air flow and performance by preventing air drag and forcing air out of the critical draft zone between king pin and the trailer axles. this can improve performance from 5%-10% of economies.
- Proper distances and driving habits- When drivers operate their trucks properly, and have safe following practices, they will not use brakes as much, nor will they have issues with unsafe operations. Less braking is less wear and tear, lowing maintenance costs, and improving the life of equipment as much as 25% on some items past their warranties, and improving the bottom line.
- Less Stopping- Drivers who operate at slower speeds in commercial trucks, stop less times, average higher rates of overall speed, improve fuel economies, lower maintenance costs, and typically 23% higher profits than other drivers, with higher average mileage billed completed weekly. They also stop up to 12 times less per week of operation, some stopping less than half the typical driver stop averages on the fleets.