6 Tips for Improving Fuel Efficiency while Driving – Gas prices hit record highs recently and everyone is feeling the pain, especially commercial drivers. Whether you drive a semi truck for a large fleet, your personal vehicle or a delivery van for a local company, you’re probably looking for ways to spend less on gas. Air Conditioning Guys is here to help with six tips for improving fuel efficiency while driving.
1. Accelerate and Brake Smoothly
Smooth acceleration and braking is essential for getting the most mileage out of your fuel. Fast and hard acceleration not only wastes fuel, but is also tough on your truck’s engine. Similarly, harsh braking, when you continuously hit the brakes, can also increase the amount of fuel you burn. Avoid this type of aggressive driving and try to anticipate the best points to accelerate and brake for the road conditions.
2. Maintain Your Speed
Harsh acceleration and braking can be prevented if you can maintain a steady speed. Of course this isn’t always possible, especially if you’re on a congested road, but it’s a good rule to follow if you’re on a less busy interstate. Consider using cruise control when you’re driving on the highway and if the conditions are safe enough. This can help you maintain your speed so you aren’t accelerating too much.
It can also help to find the rpm “sweet spot.” RPM stands for revolutions per minute and measures engine speed. Since trucks burn less fuel at lower engine speeds, this sweet spot can help you decrease fuel consumption. This sweet spot depends on the type of truck you have and its engine displacement. Experts recommend keeping your rpm between 1,250-1,350 rpm, and not exceeding 1,500 rpm, to reach that sweet spot.
3. Drive Slower
When you’re rushing to complete a run, slowing down might be the last thing you want to do. However, the faster you drive, the more fuel you consume. Anytime you drive over 50 mph, your fuel efficiency begins to decrease. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), an average truck traveling at 75 mph will consume 27% more fuel compared to one going 65 mph.
4. Keep Up with Regular Maintenance
Maintaining your work truck or van is essential not only for the health of your vehicle, but also your fuel economy. The engine and air filters, motor oil, wheel alignment, and more can all affect your fuel consumption. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual for a schedule of how often you should perform any regular maintenance. This is similar to maintaining your homes air conditioning system. You can schedule this routinely here. Service my AC.
5. Maintain Tire Pressure
Another part of regular vehicle maintenance includes checking your tire pressure. You should do this regularly to make sure your truck’s tires are at the proper psi. Driving with under-inflated tires can increase your fuel consumption by as much as 3%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Be sure to follow your truck’s manufacturer recommendations for the correct psi.
6. Avoid Idling
Many drivers tend to idle when they’re waiting for their truck to be loaded or if they’re resting, which wastes fuel. The U.S. Department of Energy found that an idling heavy-duty truck, such as a Class 8 truck, burns 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour. Unless you’re in traffic, you should turn off your engine when you’re stopped for more than a few minutes.