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make your truck more fuel efficientWith fuel prices on the rise, anything that can boost fuel efficiency is sure to be greatly appreciated. This is especially true for truckers and owner-operators, or anyone else working in the trucking industry. Take a moment to discover some of the fairly quick and easy steps you can take to make your truck more fuel efficient and enjoy added savings, too.

Update Your Tires

You may be surprised at how updating your tires can lead to a boost in fuel efficiency for your truck. This is why more drivers are changing from conventional dual rib tires to wide-based ones. The low rolling resistance of wide-based tires may up overall miles per gallon (MPG) by as much as 4 percent.

Also with tires, boost fuel efficiency by:

  • Allowing new low rolling resistance tires to be properly broken in*
  • Using tires with tread patterns that allow for more efficient rolling
  • Keeping your tires properly inflated
  • Using wheel covers to close gaps and reduce air resistance

*This usually happens after 35,000 to 55,000 miles.

Improve Aerodynamics

You might not think much about how well your truck is able to move through the air as it gets to its intended destination. However, aerodynamics contributes to approximately 50 percent of a truck’s total fuel economy. You may be able to improve your truck’s aerodynamics and, in turn, its fuel efficiency with improvements involving:

  • Drive fenders to help air pass smoothly over your truck
  • Cab extenders to cut down on turbulent airflow between the tractor and trailer
  • Side skirts to keep air from flowing below the trailer
  • A trailer tail to reduce drag

Use Fuel-Efficient Lubricants

For trucks, proper lubrication keeps the engine, transmission, drivetrain, and other key parts from grinding, wearing down prematurely, and doing other things that can affect fuel efficiency. Enjoy even more benefits from proper vehicle lubrication by looking for low-viscosity lubricants that reduce friction and energy loss.

Depending on your speed and vehicle temperature, using fuel-efficient lubricants could boost fuel efficiency by as much as 2 percent. What’s more, using low-viscosity engine oils along with other vehicle lubricants could allow you to use up to 500 fewer gallons of fuel per year. The resulting reduced wear on various parts can further improve your savings potential.

Other Steps You Can Take

Being mindful about the type of diesel fuel you use and how you fill your tank can also make your truck more fuel-efficient. For instance, use thicker fuel in the winter if you’ll be making hauls to colder places. In summer, the heat can make fuel expand, which can contribute to over-flowing if you fill up your tank too far.

You may be able to further boost your truck’s fuel efficiency by:

  • Removing unnecessary weight from your cab to make your truck a bit lighter
  • Reducing idle time as much as possible
  • Planning your routes in a way that reduces driving time when it’s possible to do so

Good driving habits can also make your truck more fuel-efficient. According to one estimate, doing things like not accelerating too fast and avoiding hard braking could save as much as 10 percent in fuel economy. Being diligent about truck maintenance and upkeep can be equally beneficial.

Combine these factors with a great fuel card and you’ll be saving yourself even more money every year on the fuel that you do use.

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