Rising fuel prices have become a hot topic as of late, and even though recent trends are positive, prices at the pump are still on the minds of many Americans. When it comes to big rigs, almost every driver has their own theory about how to reduce diesel fuel costs, and when it comes to larger operations, the concern grows in accordance with fleet size. Therefore, these suggestions should be taken into serious consideration if your goal is to increase freight fuel efficiency.
Strategies for Fighting High Costs at the Pump
There are two major areas of focus when it comes to reducing fuel costs, individual driver’s habits and organizational optimization. While it is difficult to demand drivers alter their behavior behind the wheel, reinforcement of these suggestions could lead to big savings on fuel in the long run.
What Drivers Can Do
The first individual suggestion is to avoid idling, as restarting the engine has proven to burn less fuel than leaving it idle, thus reducing costs. The second recommendation is to avoid high speeds and drastic braking. Consequently, truck drivers should always be encouraged to operate their vehicles more conservatively to get more miles per gallon. Fuel consumption is exponentially higher when driving over 50 mph, so simply obeying the speed limit can significantly reduce the amount of fuel consumed.
Finally, lowering the use of air conditioning can improve engine performance, and as cooler weather is beginning to prevail, this should be a natural occurrence. These simple adjustments to basic driving habits can reduce fuel expenses in real time.
For operational optimization, the first key is to plan routes and trips in the most efficient way possible, avoiding steep hills and heavy congestion whenever a reasonable alternative is available. Ensuring your fleet is regularly serviced and each vehicle’s engine and tire health is optimally maintained, can also provide significant cost benefits. Lastly, when possible, reduce the weight of your loads, as heavier vehicles burn fuel at a much higher rate.
Hopefully, these tips will be beneficial to you, whether you are behind the wheel or managing an entire fleet. Additionally, if you are looking for drivers, or if you are a driver looking for work, reach out to our dedicated team at US Trucking Service today.