With 2,000 owner-operators and 11,100 company drivers, Schneider National is one of the largest carriers in North America. To stay ahead in the industry they teach their drivers how to drive for fuel efficiency to keep this variable cost low.
Here are Schneider’s top fuel efficiency tips from Rob Reich, VP of Maintenance Operations.
Slow down. We set our trucks to cruise at 60 MPH. For every 1 MPH above 60, you will lose 1 percent MPG. This can add up to a minimum of $1,100 per year in unnecessary fuel costs. One of our owner-operators slowed down his speed by 10 MPH and realized he could take an extra 40 days off each year and make the same amount of money!
Consider upgrading your truck. At Schneider we have tested all of the trucks in the market and have found that new trucks are becoming increasingly more aerodynamic. Manufacturers are focusing on fuel efficiency and are in compliance with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) environmental regulations. Look into the numbers and find out if a higher payment for a new truck will save you money, not only on maintenance but also on fuel. We have found that the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution with the Detroit engine is the most fuel-efficient truck on the market today. Freightliner continues to be our provider of choice because of their consistent performance, commitment to innovation, driver comfort, safety and fuel economy.
Invest in trailer skirts. If you own a trailer, trailer skirts provide great fuel efficiency improvements for the best ROI (return on investment). For our fleet we have seen a 5-6% increase in MPG at highway speeds.
Avoid Idling. Idling can cost thousands more on fuel alone per year. This doesn’t include the added engine maintenance expense that results from excessive idling, which is harder on your truck’s engine than highway driving.
Maintain Your Tires. Maintaining proper inflation is free, relatively easy, and the highest cost-saving maintenance you can perform on your truck. Improper inflation is the greatest reason why tires fail or wear out prematurely. It also wastes fuel and weakens performance. Perform a daily pre- and post-trip inspection to check pressures, look for leaks, punctures, broken valve stems or embedded objects such as nails.
Follow these tips for fuel efficiency and you will see your fuel costs decrease and you will be able to keep more money in your pocket.