Without fuel, our trucks simply won’t go anywhere. That’s why understanding your machine, what causes increases and decreases in fuel consumption, and how to plan ahead to maximize your pit stops is vital to keeping you moving and your budget on track. In the name of on-the-road efficiency, these are some of our favorite ways to be mindful of fuel usage and decrease overall consumption.
Optimize Cruising Speed
Like your home heating bill, every degree, or in the case of truck driving, every MPH you shave off your cruise speed helps to decrease the amount of fuel you burn through. Granted, every driver is on a schedule, but being cognizant of this fact can on average help you reduce fuel consumption.
As we all know, gas stations rarely offer fuel at the exact same price. This fact makes it key to have a reliable way to find and plan for pit stops to fill up at the lowest available price. Buying fuel for less essentially equates to more bang for your buck, and there are many GPS and smartphone apps that can help with this. For trucking companies where terminals supply fuel for their own vehicles it is far more advantageous for the company and the driver to fuel at the terminal whenever possible.
Though you’re idling instead of hauling, your truck is still burning fuel. Idling your truck for one hour is more or less equivalent to burning a gallon of fuel which could have helped you haul instead of simply sitting there.
We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t brake or slow down when necessary, but it’s important to remember that each time you hit those brakes is another time you need to re-speed up. Your truck uses more fuel when it’s speeding up so one key to fuel consumption efficiency is simply braking when needed and accelerating at a reasonable rate.
Driving smarter isn’t about cutting corners, it’s about understanding all the factors and inputs and then optimizing things for efficiency. Make sure to also check out our other great trucking tips on our blog and apply to drive for a thought leading trucking company like NTB Trucking.