High gas prices are a pain for any driver, but if you’re behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, they can have a major impact on your profit margin. Fortunately, there are lots of little ways you can get moving quickly and pay less for gas — without upgrading or replacing your vehicle. Read on for our top tips on how to improve fuel economy in a semi truck.
KEEP UP WITH ROUTINE MAINTENANCE
Your routine maintenance schedule is designed by the manufacturer to keep your truck in prime condition. Everything from the condition of the engine, the level and quality of motor oil, wheel alignment, tire pressure, and more can impact semi truck fuel economy specs. Learning how to improve fuel economy in a truck can be as simple as reading your owner’s manual and scheduling service at the right time!
Monitor & Maintain Tire Pressure
Underinflated tires can reduce your semi truck’s fuel economy by several percentage points. The extra give of underinflated tires requires your engine to work harder in order to achieve the same speeds. That’s an unnecessary waste of fuel that’s easy to detect and correct! Take a look at your owner’s manual for the proper psi, and remember to regularly check the pressure of your tires.
SPEND LESS TIME IDLING
Knowing how to improve fuel economy in a truck starts with the simple things. Even if it doesn’t seem like you’re waiting all that long for your cargo to be loaded, this time spent idling can waste more fuel than you think: A study from the U.S. Department of Energy found that a Class 8 truck burns 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour while idling.
DRIVE MORE SLOWLY
Our last tip for improving semi truck fuel economy is the simplest of all. Hitting the highway at high speeds in a rush toward your next destination burns more fuel, and the difference is significant. Driving at speeds above 50 mph reduced your semi truck’s fuel economy, and for the average semi, traveling at 75 mph consumes 27% more fuel than traveling at a speed of 65 mph.