7 Tips to Get Better Gas Mileage in a Truck
The Results Will Help Your Bottom Line & the Environment
This article may contain affiliate links.
In August 2023, gasoline prices surged, reaching a peak of $3.98 per gallon during the third week of the month. As gas and diesel prices continue to spiral, improved fuel economy in your truck is becoming even more of an imperative than before. Trucks are revered for their power and versatility, yet their penchant for gobbling up gas cannot be discounted. Finding ways to improve your truck’s fuel efficiency can save money while minimizing environmental impact. With proper strategies and extra care, you can stretch more miles out of every gallon for an economical drive.
This article offers seven strategies that will enable you to improve your trucking fuel economy without negatively impacting performance. From maintenance routines to mindful driving habits and simple modifications, we’ll explore practical advice to help you make the most out of your truck while going easier on your wallet and the planet.
1. Keep Your Truck Well-Maintained
Consistent maintenance is key to keeping all systems in top shape. If you are looking to improve your trucking fuel economy, begin by adhering to a routine maintenance schedule that includes timely oil changes, air filter replacements and tire rotations. Neglecting these simple tasks can lead to dirty oil and clogged air filters, hampering engine efficiency, while unevenly worn tires can elevate rolling resistance and diminish your truck’s fuel economy.
Additionally, it’s vital to schedule regular inspections of your truck’s engine, transmission and exhaust systems to prevent any potential issues that could undermine its fuel efficiency. By proactively tending to your truck’s maintenance needs, you’re taking the first step toward maximizing your truck’s fuel economy.
2. Proper Tire Maintenance
Your truck’s tires are not just rubber meeting the road. They’re crucial components for achieving better gas mileage. Maintaining the correct tire pressure is paramount to ensuring fuel efficiency. Under-inflated tires create excessive rolling resistance, compelling your engine to exert more effort and consequently consume more fuel.
Conversely, overinflated tires can compromise traction and cause uneven wear. To maintain the ideal tire pressure, consult your owner’s manual and make a habit of checking it regularly, especially before embarking on long journeys. Additionally, if you’re committed to optimizing fuel efficiency, consider upgrading to low-rolling-resistance tires, specially engineered to enhance your truck’s gas mileage and overall performance.
3. Lighten the Load
While trucks are designed for heavy-duty tasks, lugging around unnecessary weight can significantly impact your gas mileage. Every extra pound adds to the energy needed to propel your vehicle. To enhance your truck’s fuel efficiency, assess the cargo you’re carrying and eliminate any surplus items that aren’t essential for your journey.
You can further optimize your truck’s aerodynamics by considering the installation of a truck bed cover. This addition not only reduces wind resistance, but also enhances the overall aerodynamics of your truck, particularly when the bed is unoccupied, helping you save on fuel and increase your mileage.
4. Drive Efficiently
Your driving habits can significantly impact your truck’s gas mileage. Adopting more efficient driving techniques can make a noticeable difference:
- Avoid aggressive acceleration and braking: Sudden accelerations and hard braking waste fuel. Sustain energy by gently accelerating and decelerating.
- Maintain a consistent speed: Use cruise control when appropriate to keep your truck moving at a steady pace on highways. This can reduce the need for frequent acceleration and deceleration.
- Reduce idle time: Idling consumes more fuel than restarting your engine. When your vehicle remains stationary for over a minute, it’s advisable to turn off the engine.
5. Choose the Right Fuel
The type of fuel you use can impact your truck’s gas mileage. Premium fuels may promise better performance, but unless your truck specifically requires them, you’re likely wasting money. Using the manufacturer-recommended regular unleaded fuel can save you money and deliver the same performance. Additionally, consider using ethanol-free gasoline if it’s available, which tends to have a higher energy content and can improve gas mileage.
6. Maintain Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics can significantly impact a truck’s gas mileage. Modern trucks are designed with improved aerodynamics, but you can make additional adjustments to enhance efficiency:
- Remove unnecessary roof racks or cargo carriers when not in use.
- To minimize drag, make sure to shut the windows.
- Consider adding aerodynamic upgrades like wings, which close the gap between the cab and trailer to reduce drag.
7. Plan Your Routes Wisely
Finally, planning your routes strategically can help you improve gas mileage. Try to consolidate errands and avoid making multiple short trips with a cold engine. Cold engines are less efficient and consume more fuel. Additionally, use navigation apps to find the most direct routes, which can reduce your overall driving time and fuel consumption.
Improving gas mileage doesn’t have to be a complex or costly endeavor. By following these seven simple tips, you can dramatically increase your truck’s fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance checks, tire care service, driving habits that minimize emissions and route planning strategies all play a part in creating more economical and environmentally friendly truck ownership experiences.
These are worthwhile tips, whether you are a professional driver or managing an entire fleet. Using them will help save money at the pumps while decreasing carbon emissions without losing out on their power or capability.