9 Tips to Keep Fuel Prices Down
Fuel prices directly affect the bottom line for commercial truck drivers, as the higher the price, the lower the profits. This means drivers are always looking for ways to improve their fuel economy to reduce costs.
When it comes to keeping fuel costs down, it starts with the top nine tips to help maintain your vehicle, practice safe driving habits, and find the right tools.
1. Ensure Proper Maintenance on Your Vehicle
A well-maintained truck will run more efficiently and use less fuel. To keep your truck running smoothly, you want to make sure your engine is tuned up and all fluids are at good levels before each trip. You also want to check for any leaks or damage that could impact your fuel consumption.
If something is not working correctly on your truck, have it fixed as soon as possible. It may seem like a minor issue, but small issues like tiny leaks can lead to significant fuel wastage over time. According to research by the Department of Energy, just a quarter-inch fuel leak can waste up to two gallons of fuel per hour.
Another important maintenance step that will help keep fuel prices down is to change your oil and oil filters frequently.
2. Maintain Proper Driving Habits
Practicing proper driving habits does more than keep you safe on the road. It also helps with fuel economy.
These smart driving habits include avoiding sudden starts and stops. You want to accelerate and brake slowly to avoid wasting extra fuel. It also helps to maintain a consistent speed whenever possible.
3. Check Your Tires Regularly
Properly inflated tires can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 3%. Be sure to check your tire pressure at least once a week and inflate them to the manufacturer recommended PSI levels.
If you notice any damage or uneven wear on your tires, have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Driving on bald or damaged tires can not only reduce your fuel economy, but it is also dangerous.
4. Research Fuel Stops on Your Route
Fuel prices will vary from station to station. Determine which stations along your route have the best fuel prices and make a habit of filling up at these locations. Plan fuel stops to allow you to fill up at these stations.
5. Pre-Plan Trips
You can increase your fuel economy by planning for trips. Have a good idea of traffic issues, work zones, and weather along your route that might require sitting idle or lots of starting and stopping. Plan stops along the route.
Check for shorter routes where possible, and plan for backup routes in case you come across delays or other issues along your main route.
6. Use a Fuel Economy Calculator
To measure your fuel economy efforts, you can use an online fuel economy calculator. This tool can help you measure how much fuel your truck is using based on current fuel prices. This information can help you determine what other changes you might need to make to improve fuel efficiency.
7. Use Fuel-Saving Devices
There are many fuel-saving devices on the market that can help you improve fuel efficiency. These devices can range from engine tuners to aerodynamic truck covers.
With a little research, you can determine which of these devices are suitable for your vehicle.
8. Do Not Overload Your Truck
One of the worst things you can do for fuel consumption is overloading your truck. The weight puts strain on your vehicle, requiring more fuel to carry it.
Be aware of your truck’s limits, and only carry the freight your truck can safely handle. If you’re not sure, consult the manufacturer specifications. Overloading your truck is not only bad for fuel consumption, but it is also dangerous and can lead to an accident.
9. Don’t Idle
One of the biggest fuel wasters is idling. If you are going to stop for more than one or two minutes, it is better to turn off your engine.
Idling uses a lot of fuel and emits harmful pollutants in the air. If you can avoid idling, do so. This will help you keep fuel costs low and ensure you get the most out of your truck.
Improve Fuel Efficiency, Improve Overall Costs
Fuel prices are rising, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to fuel your truck. You can do many things to improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs. Try some of these tips and see how much of a difference they make.
Want some more tips to help you get the most out of your truck and your driving job? Check out our truck driver tips and tricks for more helpful ideas.