Don’t Let Rising Fuel Costs Impact Your Bottom Line
September 8, 2021
Fuel costs continue to rise, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Drivers see an increase in the price of fuel that is 25% over last year. This dramatically impacts your bottom line when it comes to the cost of running your truck and ultimately affects your income. Now is the time to take every opportunity to save on fuel costs, and here are some easy ways to stretch your fuel dollars.
Regulate Your Speed
While you may want to get to your destination as fast as possible, consider your speed when doing so. A truck traveling at 75 mph consumes 27% more fuel than one going 65 mph. Uneven acceleration adds to this percentage. When you accelerate, you burn fuel. But the faster you accelerate, the more fuel you burn. Accelerating and braking smoothly and gradually while maintaining a consistent speed can save you big dollars over time.
Check Your Tires Regularly
Properly inflated tires will improve your fuel efficiency and help to keep you safe and prevent blowouts. If your tires are underinflated by at least 10 psi, you will see a 1% reduction in fuel economy. Your tires will also last longer if they are properly inflated saving you even more.
Aerodynamic drag contributes to 50% of your truck’s fuel economy when traveling at highway speeds. NASA studies had proven back in the 1980's that streamlining the front, rear, and undercarriage of a rectangular vehicle can reduce fuel-wasting drag by over 30%. If your truck has roof-mounted or side-mounted air deflectors, you can adjust them to guide air over the highest part of your trailer. Consider cab extenders to reduce the airflow between the cab and trailer. Install side skirts on the trailer to keep the air moving alongside instead of under your truck. If you have an uneven load height, the highest part should be in front of the trailer.
Avoid Idling Your Truck
A common misconception is that leaving your truck idle while you are temporarily out of your truck will save more than restarting is not the case. Just 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting the engine. On average, one hour of idling will burn a gallon of fuel, so idling for even five minutes can impact fuel consumption and costs.
Don’t Overfill Your Tank
Filling your tank to the total capacity can expand and overflow when the fuel is heated. Overflow is not only wasteful but can be dangerous. The extra fuel can also add excess weight, which slows down the vehicle. Instead of topping off your tank, fill it to 95% capacity, just to the top of the neck under the filler cap.
Use a Quality Fuel Additive
It is important when thinking about fuel economy also to consider the cleanliness of your fuel system. Injector deposits can lead to coking and fouling, and without a clean spray pattern from your injectors, you are wasting fuel. Using an additive that restores lubricity and fights to keep your engine free of harmful deposits can help ensure your vehicle is operating at peak efficiency.
Maintain your Equipment
Making sure your truck and trailer are in good shape checking for any leaks, broken parts, or other damage can alert you of a potential issue that could impact your fuel consumption. Also, check your air filters and make sure they are not clogged and the wheel alignment as this can also decrease fuel efficiency.
While following these guidelines may not gain you back the big jump in fuel costs we are seeing, it can help to ease the pain at the pump just a bit and hopefully put a bit more cash back in your pocket.