Last Updated on October 24, 2018 by Andreanne Lafleur
If you read part 1 of this series – 3 tips to save one fuel – you know how trucking overhead costs can be mitigated by using solar energy, aluminum tool boxes, and proper truck maintenance. Additional ways to save on fuel involve less “gear” per se, and more technique, such as optimizing the way you drive and the way you plan your trips. Here’s how:
An aluminum toolbox can save you money by making your truck lighter and more aerodynamic. How? Aluminum is a lightweight material. The lighter the truck, the less fuel is required to push it through the air. A custom aluminum tool box can also be designed aerodynamically to make sure the air glides over it instead of catching on it and slowing you down. Solar panels accumulate extra power for you to use while idling, or to power your fridge. Maintaining your truck properly allows your vehicle to run optimally, so that you don’t get slowed down by flat tires, misaligned wheels, cheap motor oil, or anything else.
Ok so you’ve got all the gear: your Trebor Manufacturing aluminum tool boxes are gleaming in the sun, your tires are full of air, and your solar panels keep your fridge buzzing. If, despite all these improvements, you aren’t mindful of your driving technique, you will still waste large amounts of fuel.
Don’t warm up for too long, because diesel engines simply don’t need it! They also usually don’t need to cool for more than five minutes, so keep this in mind. When you’re actually driving, try to find the sweet spot for your engine- not too slow, not too fast, and try to stay there as much as possible, as the biggest killer of fuel economy is continuous speeding up and braking.
Additionally, just make sure you drive the speed limit! Every 10 km you drive over the speed limit results in (roughly) a 7% decrease in fuel economy, because it takes a lot of power to keep your truck going so fast. The best way to make sure you are maintaining an optimum safe speed is to use cruise control.
Sure, maintaining a consistent speed seems easy enough, but sometimes external factors, such as traffic, are simply outside of your control… or are they? An easy way to have more control over what kind of conditions you encounter is to plan smart. Do not go through a town at rush hour, when you will be forced to decrease and increase speed multiple times.
Look on Google maps for the elevation of the route you are going, and look up an alternate route that will not require you to go up and down so many hills. In fact, if you must go through a town, you can use Google to help you avoid congestion altogether if possible.
After your truck is tuned up, decked out and ready to go, the onus is on you and your planning skills to make sure you get from point A to point B in the most fuel-efficient manner.
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