By: James Timpson
Truckers spend most of their lives behind the wheel leaving miles of tarmac behind them, so it goes without saying that one of their main expenses is fuel! But what if you could make your truck more fuel efficient by implementing a few changes to the way you drive and maintain your vehicle?
A few less trips to the pumps can only be a good thing. Make sure you read closely and if you implement the changes suggested you’ll see a noticeable difference in the fuel efficiency of your truck.
What Affects Fuel Consumption?
A number of factors can effect your fuel consumption and even the smallest of issues combined together can have a huge impact.
Your vehicle’s age, engine size, condition and load can have a considerable impact on levels of fuel consumption. Ensuring that your truck is maintained regularly can help to make it more fuel efficient – so don’t even think about putting off that next service.
If you accelerate rapidly and are aggressive on the brakes, you’ll consume a lot more fuel than you need. Ease up!
Whenever you change gear, accelerate or apply the brakes you are consuming fuel. Slow moving traffic causes you to do all three and will mean you consume fuel at a more rapid pace.
Improving your Driving Habits
No matter what truck you have, altering your driving style is the easiest way to become more fuel efficient.
Monitor your speed
Going too fast increases the aerodynamic drag of your truck, which causes you to consume more fuel. Just by reducing your speed from 56mph to 50mph you could decrease your levels of fuel consumption by 22%.
Being aggressive on the accelerator and picking up speed is only going to cause you to see the fuel dial hit empty much quicker. Start in a low gear and gently increase your speed.
Reduce idle time
Even if you are stationary, your vehicle is using fuel. A big part of the life of a trucker is sitting in traffic – we can’t avoid it.
Be mindful and switch your engine off next time you’ll be stationary for a lengthy period.
Use air con sporadically
Air con is known to drink fuel! It may be a luxury but do you really need it on? Would the windows being down do a similar job? If the answer is yes, turn off the AC and wind down those windows.
Essential Daily Checks
Before you set off on a journey there are few things you can do to make sure it is as fuel efficient as possible.
Plan your route
Undulating terrain will consume fuel at a higher rate – so stick to flat conditions where possible.
Adjust your load
Place your load as close to the cabin as possible to improve aerodynamics.
Check the weather
Weather has a huge impact on how you drive and as knock on effect this will affect the fuel efficiency of your journey. Be aware of potential changes in the weather as this could cause certain routes to be congested and we all know what traffic does to fuel consumption.
Fuel Conversion Table
Take a look at the fuel conversion table on the Truck Locator website. It will help you to calculate your miles per gallon and you can easily determine if the changes you make are having a positive effect on your levels of fuel consumption.
Truckers Fuel Efficiency Guide - An infographic by the team at Truckers Fuel Efficiency Guide