Diesel charges account for an average of 30% of your total operating costs. Therefore, it makes sense to use every trick in the book to save as much on your diesel expenses. As an owner operator, you can take advantage of multiple technologies to help you cut down gas expenses, but the most overlooked system is completely free of charge. Follow these steps and start saving immediately on fuel.
1. Minimize Gear Changes
Higher gears save fuel so instead of starting and stopping try to slow down or speed up gradually. To do so, you need to monitor traffic ahead and anticipate slowing down instead of coming to a complete stop.
2. Take Advantage of Momentum
Use momentum whenever possible, and remove your foot from the accelerator pedal. Newer trucks reduce engine fuel consumption to a minimum when you remove your foot from the accelerator. You can do this when rolling to a traffic light or use the momentum you built on a flat road right before driving up a hill.
3. Use Cruise Control
Maintaining a steady speed is an easy way to save fuel. Cruise control is especially useful during long journeys on flat land.
4. Tire Air Pressure
Recommended tire air pressure will give you the standard fuel economy. If you’re 20% underinflated, it’ll cost you 1.5% in fuel economy. You lose about 2% of our inflation pressure monthly when everything is working, so make sure to monitor tire air pressure continuously.
5. Avoid Idling Whenever Possible
Whenever you fill up your tank to the brim, your tank overflows when fuel heats up. This causes fuel spilling that can be both dangerous and wasteful.
6. Don’t Overfill Your Tank
An average truck burns approximately one gallon of diesel fuel for each hour it idles. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is not in motion. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for minimum warm-up time usually 3 to 5 minutes depending on the vehicle. Letting an engine idle does more damage to the engine than starting and stopping.
7. Distribute Load Height Correctly
Unevenly distributed loads can have a significant impact on the amount of effort you need to get moving. Try to maintain your load distribution as even and as low as possible.
Practice these good driving habits and you will see immediate savings on your fuel consumption.