There is no single silver bullet for increasing the fuel efficiency of your commercial or owner operator truck. That’s because many things affect gas mileage such as vehicle maintenance, vehicle age, weather, truck route, driving habits, load weight, and aerodynamics. Increasing fuel efficiency not only saves money, it generally improves safety, and is good for the environment. As providers of commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Texas, we suggest these six fuel efficiency tips:
- Reduce idling time. When parking your commercial or owner operator truck for 30 minutes or more, turn off your engine. Consider getting an auxiliary power unit that can power A/C and heating systems, keep your engine warm, and provide 120 volt ac power without the need for idling. A lot of idling as well as stop and go traveling is avoided by staying away from areas with high traffic congestion, or moving through them during off-peak traffic hours.
- Plan your route. As mentioned previously, you can avoid fuel wasting stop and go driving by avoiding areas of congestion. That being said, you can also plan your route to avoid hilly and winding terrain, which will significantly reduce your fuel efficiency. For short trips this is often impossible without taking an excessive detour. However, for long cross-country trips, hilly and mountainous terrain are easily planned out of your route without greatly increasing the miles you drive. Flat and straight may be dull, but it saves on fuel.
- Use cruise control. Cruise control works best on multilane interstates on flat terrain.
- Watch your tires. Well maintained and properly inflated tires have a big impact on your fuel efficiency. Consider getting low rolling resistance tires. Some tires accomplish this by using hard and stiff rubber. Avoid these because they reduce your tire’s grip and don’t absorb shock well. Instead, look for tires using newer rubbers that provide low rolling resistance without sacrificing the tire’s grip or your ride.
- Keep up with your vehicle maintenance. A poorly maintained engine in particular, can destroy your fuel efficiency.
- Look ahead. If there is a stop sign just up the road, there is no point in using the accelerator anymore unless you are going uphill. On interstates, look farther ahead for slowing traffic. If you see lots of brake lights or road construction signs ahead, immediately let up on the gas and let your rolling resistance slow you down. Braking and accelerating use more gas.
For information about commercial or owner operator truck insurance in Texas, don’t hesitate to contact us at J.E.B. Insurance Services, LLC.