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Truckers Seek Maximum Fuel Economy

Practiced Regularly, Several Proven Steps will Boost Fuel Economy in Over-the-Road Trucks

UEL ECONOMY IS A HOT ISSUE in the trucking business, often representing the difference between success and failure for many owner-operators. Not only are diesel fuel prices constantly increasing, but factors such as traffic congestion, weather and less-fuel-efficient new diesel engines affect owner-operators' fuel economy numbers and bottom lines. According to a recent eTrucker.com survey, 10 percent of respondents indicated their big rigs receive 8 mpg or better, while experts claim even higher fuel economy numbers are achievable through savvy operating practices and use of technology such as cruise control. Overdrive magazine provides the following tips for boosting fuel economy in over-the-road trucks:

Slow Down
Speeds exceeding 60 mph start to cut into a truck's fuel economy. Every 1 mph past 60 mph cuts fuel efficiency by a tenth of a gallon per mile.

Efficient Driving Habits
According to Cummins, the most efficient drivers get 30 percent improved fuel efficiency over the least efficient drivers, while a German pilot program claimed to achieve an average 40 percent fuel economy improvement in heavy duty trucks after teaching drivers basic skills such as optimal shifting, starting and braking.

Basic routine maintenance, such as engine tuning, can improve fuel economy numbers. Keeping tires aligned and at at their proper air pressure is a standard maintenance area that yields the most significant fuel economy benefits.

Reduce Idling
Although environmental laws are already taking aim at excessive truck idling, improved fuel is another reason to put an end to this practice.

Reduce Drag
According to Cummins, every 2 percent reduction in aerodynamic drag yields about 1 percent improvement in fuel economy. A truck running a 65 mph requires 264 horsepower to overcome the physical forces slowing it down, and 55 percent of that is expended on wind resistance. Simple add-ons such as integrated cab-high roof fairings, redesigned bumpers and mirrors, low-rolling resistance tires, gap reducers and side skirts for trailers can work to reduce drag and improve fuel economy.

Plan Routes
Slowing driving speeds in order to maximize fuel economy provides truckers with incentives to carefulkly plan their routes to ensure on-time delivery. this also provides opportunities to minimize delays and wasted miles.

AMSOIL Synthetic Diesel Oils
The use of AMSOIL synthetic diesel oils is another excellent way for owner-operators to reduce fuel expenses, while also improving equipment performance and reliability. Independent tests show that the use of synthetic lubricants can increase fuel efficiency by tow to five percent, while many AMSOIL customers report even larger gains.

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