Truckers spend a lot of money on fuel over the course of the year, but perhaps more importantly for most, they also spend a lot of time filling their tanks. That's time that could be spent on other important tasks, so to save both money and time that really adds up over the course of a year, it can really add up.
As such, putting a little extra effort into improving your big rig's fuel economy can be a big net benefit. Here are some ways you can do it:
1) Don't speed
The first and best rule of getting more fuel economy on an ongoing basis is to avoid speeding at all times, according to FleetOwner. This is a good idea for a lot of reasons, but when drivers really step on the gas, the engine has to work a lot harder, making it less efficient. For every mile per hour over the speed limit you drive, your vehicle can lose a few percentage points of fuel efficiency.
2) Keep your tires properly inflated
Another great way to lose fuel efficiency? Running on under-inflated tires. That's why you should always keep your tires properly inflated, FleetOwner recommended. Think of it this way: If more of your tires are making contact with the road, that's extra drag. On one tire it might not be that big of a deal, but the more tires that are a bit flat, the less efficient your truck is. As such, this is something you should monitor consistently throughout your drives.
3) Don't hit the gas or brake too hard
Along similar lines to not speeding, accelerating and braking hard makes your vehicle less efficient as well, according to Big Star Finance. In the former case, the engine is simply working significantly harder, but in the latter, your truck is still burning fuel even as you try to stop short.
4) Don't shift gears as often
When you change gears frequently, your engine has to constantly accommodate these changes and, especially if you're down-shifting, work harder, Big Star Finance added. In general, your engine will run more efficiently when you are in a higher gear, so driving in a way that enables to get up to those higher levels and stay there — without speeding or accelerating too hard — is a simple way to get more from every gallon.
5) Avoid idling
This is an issue that's relatively straightforward: When your engine is running but you aren't going anywhere, you're usually burning fuel for no real reason other than your own convenience, according to Western Truck Insurance Services. There may be some good reasons to idle, but for the most part, it's a practice you should avoid to save even a little bit of fuel.
6) Think about other components
Finally, if you're driving thousands of miles per month, it's important to make sure every part of your truck is in good shape, Western Truck Insurance Services said. For instance, your air filters might end up being dirtier than you expect, and changing them out can actually have a sizable impact on fuel efficiency overall.
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