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Improve Your Truck Fuel Economy

Tips to improve your truck’s fuel economy 

Improving your truck’s fuel economy helps the environment. The average truck driver drives about 125,000 miles per year, and since the average MPG for semi-trucks is about 6.5 MPG, that equals a little more than 19,000 gallons of gas per year. Unfortunately, burning fuel adds some nasty pollutants into the air, including CO2: Every one gallon of gas releases about 20 pounds of CO2, which is harmful both to our planet and our bodies. 

Thankfully, reducing the amount of fuel burned also helps your wallet. Osborn drivers are paid a per mile bonus for fuel conservation over 7.25 MPG. Compensation is tiered based on their average MPG for the month, and top drivers earn a performance bonus of up to an additional $750 a month. 

With some simple changes to driving habits and by staying aware, drivers can improve their semi-truck’s fuel efficiency to earn a little extra and do something positive for Mother Earth. 

How to measure your MPG

Knowing the average miles per gallon (MPG) of a truck can help you to determine how you stack up against the national average, and can help you make a game plan for improvement. To calculate your MPG, use the following: Formula: Miles driven ÷ gallons of fuel (since your last fill-up) Example: 975 miles ÷ 150 gallons = 6.5 MPG 

Driving habits that drive change

Your habits behind the wheel can not only save some green at the pump, but also have you going green for the environment. Here are tips on how you can adjust your driving patterns to improve your semi-truck’s fuel economy. 

  • Slow down: Unnecessary speeding consumes more fuel. To maximize your fuel efficiency, slow down. 
  • Use cruise control: Set a comfortable cruising speed and be soft with the fuel pedal
  • Use momentum: When safely possible, use the natural momentum of your truck to help propel you forward. While this won’t be possible on uphill climbs or steep grades, gentle, gradual downhills are a great opportunity to save some fuel. 
  • Don’t idle: If your truck is going to sit for more than a minute or so, cut the engine. Idling is wasteful and an easy habit to fix for increased fuel efficiency. Use your battery-operated appliances and APUs when possible and parked. 
  • Use less air conditioning: If the weather’s nice, roll down the windows and let nature keep you cool, rather than running air conditioning. As always, driver comfort is important, so just keep this as a reminder to enjoy the fresh air when it’s nice out, but don’t hesitate to use the AC on those hot summer days. 
  • Plan an efficient route: Taking some time at the beginning of each day to plan your route can help avoid some pitfalls, such as road closures, construction or other roadblocks to semi-truck fuel efficiency. 

Equip yourself for efficiency

Don’t forget to check and maintain your equipment for the best possible semi-truck fuel economy. 

  • Watch your tire pressure: Use a tire pressure gauge to ensure that your tires’ PSI is around 100 for most load weights. This not only helps with your semi-truck’s fuel efficiency, but is crucial for your safety and adhering to regulations.
  • Use trailer tails and skirts: Using your truck’s trailer tails and skirts creates a more aerodynamic shape, reducing drag while on the highway and improving your truck’s MPG. 
  • Tighten your trailer appropriately: The gap between the tractor and trailer can create a wind force that increases drag and reduces fuel efficiency. Tighten the trailer appropriately to avoid this, but remember to scale your load as needed.  
  • Stay on top of maintenance needs: Keeping your truck in tip-top shape is great for extending the life of your engine and parts, but improves fuel efficiency, too. Keep up with your maintenance schedule for the best semi-truck fuel economy possible. 

We’re looking for conscientious drivers to join our team! Call 920-690-9895 to speak with our driver employment specialists. Ready to apply? Start your application here