Heavy duty trucks are our go-to when it comes to moving heavy freights. Even if they are a great help in our lives, they also contribute to pollution due to their exhaust. That doesn’t mean that we have to ban them for good, there are still solutions that we can do and one of them is to improve fuel economy for trucks.
What Is MPG?
Before we get into details about how to improve your mpg or fuel economy, let us first discuss what it is. MPG literally stands for miles per gallon. It measures how much distance the truck can travel with a gallon of fuel used.
When you have a high MPG, it just means that your vehicle is very efficient. It can cover a great distance and save up on fuel. Thus, saving you some money on fuel expenses. Plus, it also lessens the amount of unnecessary pollution the trucks produce.
10 Tips To Improve Your MPG
Improving the MPG highly depends on both the truck and driver. Passing the basic requirements of being a truck driver is the first step. Then apply these tips:
1. Select Better Trucks
If you still don’t have a truck and is in the market for one, make sure you select more efficient truck models. Sometimes these can be more expensive because they are newer models but saving on fuel makes up for their upfront cost in the long run.
2. Maintain A Constant Speed
It can be very tempting to floor the pedals especially when you’re in a rush but that will just burn more fuel. The best thing to do is to accelerate gradually. You’ll eventually reach your ideal speed and you don’t have to rush.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t overspeed too. It also takes time to gradually slow down and if you try to floor your brakes, you’d also be spending more energy. Avoid sudden breaking if it isn’t necessary. Braking abruptly can also be dangerous because of the momentum. Always be mindful about your distance between the car in front of you.
3. Reduce Drag
To reduce drag and improve the aerodynamics of your truck you can make use of vortex generators, fairings, vented mud flaps, drive fenders as well as wheel covers. These little accessories all help reduce the overall drag.
You don’t have to use them all at once but you can simply start with trailer skirts. These are attached to the underside of the trailers to prevent air turbulence. The trailer skirts fall under fairings and they may be detached during unloading.
4. Check Your Tires
Inflating the tires to the ideal pressure helps reduce the rolling resistance of the tires. With increased resistance, your truck’s engine needs to burn more fuel to move the whole vehicle and trailers.
Apart from the tire’s pressure, you should also check if the kind of tires you’re using are the right ones for the road your driving. Take a look at the tread patterns. Some wheels are now specially designed for low rolling resistance.
5. Avoid Idling
Turn the engine off when you’re not using your vehicle. This prevents the engine from burning fuel when you’re not moving. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to turn off the engine while at a stop light or when in a traffic jam. When you go for a stop to eat or rest, you can save some precious fuel by turning the engine off.
6. Use The Right Fluids
There are different fluids needed by your truck to run smoothly. You should make sure that you only use the right ones. Finding the right one is easy because it is already recommended by the manufacturers.
Check the kind of fuel you use as well as the motor oil of your engine. Plenty of motor oils claim that they are best and they offer improved gas mileage but that’s not necessarily true. You should still check if the motor oil is compatible with your engine. When in doubt, always check your truck’s manufacturers.
7. Identify Your Route In Advance
If you have to deliver in multiple areas, make sure you plan your route in advance so you don’t have to double back. It’s also great to have a backup plan in case the road in your original plan isn’t passable.
8. Load Off Unnecessary Weights
Excess weight adds to the resistance of your truck. I know that one of the tips above recommends adding accessories for better aerodynamics but you should also know your limits. Also when selecting those accessories, make sure you select those of lighter weights.
9. Replace Your Air Filter
Make sure you replace the filter of your engine within the recommended replacement period. This helps make sure that it isn’t clogged with dust and other particles. Air is essential in the burning of fuel and you want to make sure that the engine isn’t using up a lot of its energy trying to get the air that it needs to run.
10. Clean your fuel injectors
A mixture of air and fuel is needed to run the engine. In addition to the filters, the fuel injectors should also be cleaned so that it can efficiently deliver the fuel needed. Sometimes, carbon deposits can accumulate in the fuel injectors due to use. By cleaning these up, you can create more space for the fuel to pass through.