Top 20 Ways for Truck Drivers to Improve Fuel Efficiency

Updated: May 7

Improving your fuel efficiency by 1 MPG can save you over $10,000 per year! Luckily for you, there are many simple ways to improve this. Here is our list of the Top 20 Ways for Truck Drivers to Improve Fuel Efficiency.


1. MINIMIZE CRUISE SPEED

This one may seem obvious, but going faster means you are going to burn more fuel. Every 1 MPH increase in speed results in a .14 MPG decrease in fuel economy.


2. MANAGE CRUISE RPM

Managing the speed of your engine is also important in maximizing your fuel efficiency. Find the “sweet spot”, which is the most efficient RPM to run your engine. 1250 - 1350 RPM tends to be a good “sweet spot”.


3. USE THE LOWEST COST STATIONS

An easy way to save money on fuel is to fill up at the lower cost stations. Many trucking-specific GPS systems will plan your route for you to stop at the less-expensive fuel stations along the way.


4. TAKE THE SHORTEST ROUTE

There are often many different ways to get to the same destination. Take the route that requires the least amount of driving in order to use the least amount of fuel.


5. AVOID UNNECESSARY DRIVING

If you are going to go out of your way to stop for fuel, you might as well use the restroom and purchase any items you need, in order to avoid going out of your way to stop again a few hours later.


6. AVOID UNNECESSARY ITEMS

The more weight that is in your truck, the more it has to work to move down the highway. Your truck already carries thousands of pounds, don’t make it carry any more than it has to.


7. MONITOR TIRE PRESSURE

Underinflated tires decrease your fuel economy. For every 1 PSI drop in pressure, your fuel mileage can be reduced by 0.3%.


8. MINIMIZE IDLING

Only idle your truck when absolutely necessary. One hour of idling burns about a gallon of fuel.


9. DON’T OVERFILL THE TANK

When fuel is heated, it can begin to expand. This means if you fill your tank to capacity, the expanded fuel can cause the tank to overflow and waste fuel.


10. BE MODERATE WITH BRAKING

Braking is a necessary part of driving. However, every time you slow down from braking, it takes more fuel to get back up to speed. Leaving more distance between you and the vehicle you are following can reduce braking.


11. STAY IN HIGHER GEAR

Driving in the highest gear possible is a good way to help maximize fuel efficiency. Traveling at faster rates in low gears can consume 45% more fuel than is needed.


12. KEEP LOAD HEIGHT LOW

The more evenly distributed the load is in the trailer, the less effort the truck will need to get moving. It’s good practice to keep the load as low and as level as possible.


13. USE YOUR MOMENTUM

Your foot doesn’t always need to be on the gas pedal, burning fuel. If you see a hill coming up, use the downward part of the hill to build speed and use that momentum to get yourself up the other side.


14. MINIMIZE AIR CONDITIONING

Every time you use your A/C, you are increasing fuel consumption by 0.2-0.4 miles per gallon. Sometimes this can be unavoidable, but when you can, just crack the window!


15. CHECK VEHICLE ALIGNMENT

Another important factor to getting the best possible fuel efficiency is to make sure your tires are pointed straight down the road. A tire that is even ¼ degree from perfectly straight will try to travel 10-15 feet sideways every mile.


16. INSPECT THE FAN

Your engine fan will typically run 5%-7% of the time the engine is on, but will run much more frequently if there is a problem with it. This affects fuel efficiency because the more the fan runs, the more horsepower the truck uses.


17. USE CRUISE CONTROL