Though driving America’s roadways day after day affords remarkable scenery and jaw-dropping landscapes, making several fuel stops to fill up your rig can get expensive, especially if you try to increase your speed in hopes of making better time or earning an additional bonus. By following these three suggestions, you can ensure your truck has the best fuel economy possible
1. Keep your speed in check
As a general rule of thumb, with every mile-per-hour (mph) increase you make, your truck’s fuel efficiency decreases by 0.14 miles-per-gallon (mpg). For example, if you’re traveling 2,500 miles, with your truck getting an average of 5.9 mpg, and you decide to boost your speed by 10 mph, you’ll end up using an extra 132 gallons of fuel. At $3.20 per gallon, that’s an extra $422.40 you’re sacrificing just to get to your location slightly faster.
If you’re eager to get the best gas mileage possible, do not exceed speeds of over 65 miles per hour. Studies have found that trucks traveling at 75 mph burn 27-percent more fuel than those traveling at 65 mph. This means that, by keeping your speed around 65 mph on the highway, you can save around 2.8 billion gallons of gas over 10 years. All in all, as tempting as it might be to step on the gas, make sure you keep your truck at the most economic and efficient speed possible.
2. Manage excess load weight
Your truck is loaded down enough as it is during long-hauls. While adding an extra package or two might not seem like a big deal, when it comes to fuel efficiency, every pound counts. Make sure you keep excess items or unnecessary accessories to a minimum to boost your gas mileage.
3. Pinpoint the perfect tire pressure
As simple as it may seem, tire pressure is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve gas mileage. Although the thought of airing up 18 tires might seem like a tedious waste of time, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this small step can make in boosting fuel economy. Similar to the drop from increased speed, semi trucks can experience a 1% drop in gas mileage for every 10 psi a single tire is underinflated.
As a general rule, you should set your steer tire pressure at 110 psi for a 12,000-pound front axle. Legally, your drive and trailer tire pressures cannot be under 60 psi, for both your safety, the safety of other motorists, and optimal fuel economy. In dry, ideal driving conditions, most drivers shoot for a 95 as the common psi.
In addition to these three key tips, you can also improve the gas mileage of your truck by regularly checking for leaks in the air system, keeping the engine’s fan in prime shape, and ensuring the vehicle’s alignment is as straight and conditioned as possible. Furthermore, by investing in top-of-the-line fuel saving devices for semi trucks, like trailer skirts and air tabs, you can go above and beyond to ensure your truck is getting the best gas mileage possible.
While knowing how to improve your gas mileage is one thing, it’s critical that you know exactly how much fuel your truck can hold and how far you can travel on a single tank.