Fuel cost is one of the most significant expenses transport companies must pay, which is why mpg tips and fuel efficiency are so important. Every owner operator driver should understand and implement the various ways to save fuel and cut back on gasoline expenses. Here are eight ways to improve your mpg.
Keep your speed near 55 to 60 mph whenever possible. This is the ideal speed for the best fuel efficiency. For every mile per hour you travel above about 60 mph, your fuel economy decreases by 0.1 mpg. That means if you drive 65 mph for 100,000 miles, and gasoline costs $2.50, you end up paying $2,000 more than if you were to drive 55 mph.
Shift within the range of your engine’s “sweet spot.” Try to shift at times that deliver a smooth ride, which will help you identify the “sweet spot.” This is important because if you shift too early, you don’t take advantage of the torque. Shifting too late forces the rpm’s to climb, which wastes fuel and puts extra stress on the engine. Try to drive 90% of your trip in the highest gear to optimize fuel efficiency.
Don’t idle the engine. An idling engine delivers 0 mpg! Excessive idling does not improve your mpg and can actually shorten the life of the engine by 20%. If you know you are going to be away from your truck for more than 5 minutes, turn off the engine to conserve fuel.
Use the cruise control. This feature reduces fatigue, because using the cruise control lets you stretch and shift around in your seat. It’s also a great way for owner operator drivers to increase fuel efficiency. The electronic system senses the need for speed corrections better than you do and makes minor adjustments that conserve fuel.
Drive smoothly. Hard breaking or strong acceleration wastes fuel and forces the engine to work harder. Both circumstances will end up costing you more money in the long run.
Eliminate out-of-route miles. Your goal should be to drive less than 10% out-of-route miles for every delivery, since these miles off your route consume fuel.
Keep your tires inflated. When your tires are inflated properly you improve your mpg. On the other hand, for every 10 psi of under-inflation, fuel efficiency is decreased by 1%.
Have your rig aerodynamically treated. Aerodynamic upgrades are significant for improving fuel economy when you travel above 50 mph. For example, when traveling at 65 mph, aerodynamics decreases the required horsepower of your truck’s engine by 30 to 35, thus saving fuel.
To learn more mpg tips, or for more information about becoming an owner operator driver with Greatwide, be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn. Then, see what truckers are discussing on Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any other great tips on how to improve gas mileage, please let us know in the comments below!