While semi trucks aren’t exactly known for having superior fuel efficiency, there are steps you can take to conserve diesel while you’re on the open road. No matter who’s paying for semi truck fuel use, it’s always best to take steps to not only conserve gas, but steps to save the environment as well.
Watch Your Weight
You can most certainly haul more than other vehicles you share the road with, but carrying more than necessary digs into your diesel mileage. Before heading out, be sure to double-check your load to ensure it’s not more than what your truck is designed to carry. You should also take a look inside your cab to see if you have anything inside that might add more weight.
Keep an Eye on Your Speed
Pushing the speed limit might get you to your destination faster, but doing so will empty your tank faster as well. You can slow your speed down to better conserve fuel manually by reducing the pressure on the pedal, or you can put your truck’s ECM to good use to help you out. Another reason to keep your speed at or below the speed limit is so you don’t risk getting a ticket and tarnishing your driving record, which could cost you in more ways than one.
Keep Your Truck Tires Properly Inflated
As you look over your load to ensure it’s not too much, check your tires to see that they’re properly inflated to improve fuel economy. Just like with a regular automobile, you don’t want your truck’s tires to be under or overinflated. That being said, you might need a bit of overinflation during the colder months of the year when frigid air can shrink the air in your tires. On a related note, be sure to act promptly when you notice tires that seem to lose pressure often, as they can negatively impact your ride as well as your fuel economy.
When you’re ready to get going, ease into accelerating rather than smash the pedal down. Rapid acceleration tends to overwork the engine, which eats away at fuel. You want your truck to glide forward rather than lurch forward. There’s also the fact that shotgunning might put drivers around you in danger should you need to react quickly after kicking into warp drive.
Idle Only When You Have To
When you realize you’re going to be parked somewhere a while, it’s better that you turn the engine off rather than let it idle, as doing so wastes diesel. While you most certainly don’t want to shut the engine off when you’re in the middle of a traffic jam, you also don’t want to leave it going when you’re parked at a rest stop or otherwise when you’re likely going to hop out of the truck soon.
Think Beyond the Engine
The performance and condition of your truck’s engine are most certainly essential to semi truck fuel mileage, but don’t forget about the components of the engine. For instance, you’ll want to take a look at the air filters as well as the air intake and exhaust systems. Are there any leaks in the after-cooling piping? There might also be blown turbo or manifold gaskets that could be eating away at your overall efficiency.
Use the Right Fuel and Oil
When it comes to maximizing fuel efficiency, the type of diesel that keeps your truck running makes a huge difference. Know that the seasons will dictate the type of fuel as well as the type of oil you put into your truck. During the winter, you want thicker fuel and 10w30 oil for every season except the most sweltering of summers.
Speaking of having the right fuel for your truck, it’s important you not overfill your tank when it’s time to refuel. The reason this is important is because high temperatures can lead to fuel expanding in the tank, which can lead to it overflowing, which is essentially wasted money and wasted fuel. Something else to think about is the fact that all that extra fuel can also act as extra weight, which you now know is exactly what you don’t want if you’re looking to get as many miles as possible from your truck’s fuel.
Stay in a Higher Gear When Possible
Yet another move to make when it comes to boosting your truck’s overall fuel efficiency is stay in a higher gear whenever possible. When you gradually increase or decrease your speed rather than coming to a complete stop or speeding up faster than absolutely necessary, you don’t have to switch gears as much, which doesn’t burn as much fuel.
Bring out the best in your truck’s fuel economy and extend the life of your vehicle by taking steps to save gas. See how much better trucking can be with the help of the above tips.