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Fuel Economy: Measure it. Manage it. And Start Saving.

Let’s face it, even with diesel prices at relative lows, it’s still a major hit to your bottom line. While everyone seems to have a trick or two for saving fuel, a few truths bubble to the top. Let’s call them The Golden Rules of Efficiency.

Manage It. If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Tracking fuel costs takes time, but it’s the only way to figure out how you’re doing. If you run 100,000 miles a year and average 6 mpg, you’ll burn 16,667 gallons of diesel. A 1-mpg improvement will save you 2,381 gallons. At today’s prices, that’s almost $5,000. And that’s math even this writer can understand!

It’s All About You. Once you start tracking your fuel costs, you’re likely to see the big difference that driving style can make. Speed matters. Rule of thumb: 60 to 65 mph is the right pace, fast enough to stay on schedule, slow enough to deliver good mileage. If you find yourself running 70 mph or faster, you’re throwing money in the ditch.

Second, be a smooth operator. Train yourself to look further down the road and anticipate traffic better. A constant pace is your best friend.

Keep The Pressure Up. It may seem like a small thing, but low tire pressure is big deal, and studies show most operators don’t regularly check it. Running just 10 percent low can take a bite out of your wallet.

Be Good to Your Rig. This goes without saying, but a well-maintained rig burns less fuel. Be sure to follow recommended maintenance schedules.

Think Aero. The super-aero OTR haulers being developed can achieve over 13 mpg. That’s huge! While those high-tech rigs are still a few years away, there are aero add-ons you can fit that will make a difference. But more on that in another blog.

Like so many things in life, success comes a step at a time. Taken together, The Golden Rules of Efficiency can really improve your fuel economy – and your bottom line.