With the constantly hiking fuel prices, we are all looking for ways to use less gas. However, many truck owners use their vehicles for commercial purposes, and they go around for miles to deliver products or services. 4WD trucks typically use more fuel as well so its important to do what you can to keep fuel consumption as low as possible.
With the long-distance travels, the heavy cargo and the truck’s larger size and weight, your fuel consumption will definitely be higher compared to smaller vehicle owners.
If you are employed as a truck driver, driving economically can make you a tremendous asset to your company through the cost cutting. You’ll also be doing your part in caring for the planet.
The transport industry is one of the significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Consuming less fuel will reduce the greenhouse effects, keeping the planet cooler.
Here are some expert tips to help you get the most out of your fuel tank.
1. Don’t overspeed
The easiest thing you can do to improve fuel economy is to slow down and drive responsibly. When you drive at top speed, your truck consumes more fuel.
However, driving at very low speeds can also increase your truck’s fuel consumption. As a rule, drive within the stipulated speed limits. Typically, the recommended speed limits for optimum fuel economy are between 45km/hr to 75km/hr. Anything below or above this will increase your fuel consumption.
Driving at moderate speeds will not only save your truck’s MPG or km/L but also reduce accident risks and avoid speeding fines.
2. Drive in higher gears
All vehicles are designed to start from lower gears going up. However, driving at top speeds in a low gear increases fuel consumption.
Changing gears sooner can help you reduce fuel consumption. You don’t need to use each gear right to the maximum of the gear. More so, driving at moderate speeds and in top gears does magic to your truck’s fuel tank.
However, you should only drive at top gears whenever it’s safe to do so.
3. Avoid idling
When your truck is not in motion, turn off the engine. Too much idling with your truck engine running reduces fuel efficiency while causing more pollution to the environment.
Traffic congestions also add up to idling time, but it’s out of your control. Switching off your engine under such circumstances is not recommended.
So, next time you’re picking someone or stopping to make a delivery, and the process takes longer than five minutes, turn the engine off.
Alternatively, you should avoid making too many stops with your truck. Plan your journey before you leave and identify the best route, the one with the least traffic and will require minimum stops. If you’re going on a long journey, don’t forget to take regular breaks in between.
If your truck has a stop-start engine, make good use of it. Stop-start enables you to take your foot off the clutch when stopping at traffic lights, minimizing fuel spending. This feature works when your truck is in neutral mode, but not all trucks have it.
4. Monitor your tire pressure
Make sure your truck tires are inflated to correct pressures. According to the United states environmental protection agency (EPA), inflating your truck tires to the correct pressures can help you improve gas mileage by 0.6% and up to 3%.
It also increases safety and your tires last longer. It’s worth noting that the air pressures in your tires supports the weight of your truck and everything in it.
Under-inflated tires have more extensive contact with the road, thus increasing friction and wear. The rolling resistance results in high fuel consumption.
5. Do not overload your truck
The more weight your truck carries, the more fuel it will consume as the engine will have to overwork.
Before you start your journey, check your truck for any unnecessary items. If there’s something you don’t need for your trip, leave it behind to save on fuel. Follow the recommended load size for your truck.
6. Use the shortest route
Today, you can easily navigate through maps to find the shortest routes to a particular place, thanks to technology. As a general rule, the more distance you cover, the more fuel you’ll burn.
Before you fire up your engine, take some time to go through your maps to determine the shortest possible route to take.
Get a GPS installed in your truck to help you navigate through busy roads with heavy traffic. More traffic means more idling time and less fuel economy.
Also, plan your trip in advance and avoid the rush hours, if you can.
7. Truck maintenance
A well-maintained truck runs efficiently, thus improving fuel economy. Inspect your truck regularly to identify and address any faults before they start straining your engine.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain your truck;
- Each morning, use a pressure gauge to check your tire pressures. If they’re under-inflated, inflate them to the proper pressures. Replace old and worn-out tires to reduce the drag on the wheels.
- Check for old and worn-out fuel injectors and replace them if possible. If your truck engine is old, do an overhaul.
- Change oil regularly. All engines wear down, but you can slow down this process by checking and changing your oil regularly.
- Check for fuel tank contamination. It’s essential to keep your fuel tank free from any contaminants like water. Water or moisture in your fuel results in engine problems, reducing your truck’s efficiency.
- Clean your truck. The most basic maintenance you can give to your truck is cleaning it regularly or where the need arises. For further truck protection, you can use a spray on coating.
Truck owners and drivers want the best out of every drop of fuel, especially with the skyrocketing fuel prices. The best way to increase fuel economy is to
- Avoid driving at high speeds.
- Drive in higher gear
- Keep your tires inflated with correct pressures.
- Don’t carry unnecessary weights.
- Use the shortest route to arrive at your destination.
- Lastly, check and maintain your truck regularly.
With the above tips, you’ll be spending a lot less on fuel for your truck