June 26, 2015 by Minuteman Trucks
Understanding Fuel Economy
The importance of fuel economy to the successful operation of a trucking company cannot be understated. Fuel is one of the largest variable costs in a trucking venture, and, while no trucking operation can control the cost of fuel, it has at least some control over the amount or rate of consumption.
The 10 Rock-Solid Rules
- Every 2% reduction in aerodynamic drag results in approximately 1% improvement in fuel economy.
- Above 55 mph, each 1 mph increase in vehicle speed decreases fuel economy by 0.1 mpg.
- Worn tires provide better fuel economy than new tires, up to 7% better fuel economy.
- Used lug drive tires can get up to 0.4 mpg better than new lug tires.
- Ribbed tires on the drive axles provide 2–4% better fuel economy than lugged tires.
- Every 10 psi that a truck’s tires are underinflated reduces fuel economy by 1%.
- The break-in period for tires is between 35,000 and 50,000 miles.
- Tires make biggest difference in mpg below around 50 mph; aerodynamics is the most important factor over around 50 mph.
- The most efficient drivers get about 30% better fuel economy than the least efficient drivers.
- Idle time is costly. Every hour of idle time in a long-haul operation can decrease fuel efficiency by 1%.
Want to learn more? Click here to download Cummins MPG Guide: Secrets to Better Fuel Economy.