A 2017 report by Bizjournals.com found that on average, truck drivers spend $37,400 in fuel each year. Drivers don’t pay for gas out of pocket, but for trucking companies, the cost of fuel quickly adds up.
Over the course of the past five years or so, there’s been a significant transition to more eco-friendly cabs, but we’re still a long way from full-scale renewable energy. As a result, it’s important you take steps to cut back on fuel consumption. Fortunately, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
1.) Drive under the speed limit. Many young truckers have a “rolling coal and grabbing gear” mentality, meaning they want to get to and from their destination as quickly as possible. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but if you go at or just above the speed limit, you’ll quickly drain your fuel supplies. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually better to slow down. Studies show that for every one mile you drive over 55 mph you see a 0.1 decline in miles per gallon. Use cruise control to set your cab at a certain speed. Then, sit back, relax and watch the savings add up.
2.) Keep your tires filled. How often do you inspect (and fill) your tires? Set aside time before every trip for basic maintenance. Believe it or not, filling up your tires to the proper PSI is an easy way to cut fuel costs. Industry experts estimate that for every 10% of underinflated PSI, you experience a 1% reduction in fuel economy. Inspecting your tires has other benefits, too. Mainly, it can alert you to cracks or other imperfections that might cause a blowout or accident.
3.) Stop idling. When you pull into a truck stop or gas station, do you have a tendency to leave the engine idling? If so, start shutting it off. This might seem like a hassle at first. After all, you can’t run your AC or other electronics if your cab is turned off. However, idling takes a significant toll on your fuel reserves. In fact, each hour you spend idling, you lose 1% in miles per gallon. Whenever possible, shut your engine off.
These are just a few of the ways to cut down on fuel costs as a truck driver. Do you have any other tips or recommendations? If so, visit our Facebook page and let us know. We look forward to hearing from you!