There are about more than hundred factors that affect the fuel efficiency of a heavy-duty used truck. Tackling majority of the issues seems to be the only way to make substantial changes in terms of improving the overall efficiency of your heavy-duty truck. Many external conditions such as weather, road, etc. are beyond control, but most internal problems like driving habits, maintenance, etc. can certainly be resolved with little effort.
Thus, the first step towards successfully reducing your heavy-duty vehicle’s emissions, requires accurately determining what leads to poor efficiency. Some truck drivers have no idea how much they spend on their vehicle’s upkeep and many believe that fuel consumption is the biggest expenditure. Well, fuel consumption could be one of the prime reasons, but it straightforwardly depends on the driving habits and maintenance. On an average, fuel itself only equates to around 30% of annual operating costs, while maintenance, tires and insurance accounts for the remaining 70%. Hence, the time and money you spend on these other factors will directly affect that precious 30% segment.
In order to improve or double your truck’s fuel mileage, under the best circumstances, combine all of the improvement pointers given below. Improving fuel economy by 15% to 25% is a perfectly reasonable assessment. Each truck has its own physical limitations, but if you have an aggressive driving style, then you should perhaps seek for a sports truck.
What affects fuel consumption?
Many factors affect the fuel consumption, from faulty mechanics to poor road surfaces, literally anything can impede your heavy-duty truck’s fuel consumption. Ignoring small issues may appear to be ‘okay’ initially, however, those small issues knot up together unknowingly, and eventually deplete your fuel efficiency. So, to improve the fuel efficiency, addressing all of the ‘small’ issues together is the only way to substantially improve your economy and carbon footprint.
Specs of your vehicle:
The entire specification of your vehicle matters, all the time. The age, type, condition and load will have a major impact on your fuel consumption. Mechanics, aerodynamics, intake and exhaust restrictions, rolling assistance, and weight all fall under this category. The overall specifications of your vehicle may limit your control over fuel efficiency, upgrades and maintenance can help you reduce the negative effects of poor mechanics.
Traffic and road conditions:
The more you brake, change gears and accelerate, the more fuel your vehicle utilizes. Therefore, speed limits, variations in traffic congestion and the layout of the road will have a direct effect on your truck’s performance. Altitude also has a significant impact on fuel consumption. The higher you are above sea level, the less oxygen there is. This puts a lot of load on your vehicle’s engine, and hence it must work harder, which ultimately consumes more fuel.
The way you drive will have the greatest effect on your fuel consumption, and its obvious because if you drive aggressively on city roads, then you’ll have to time and again reduce speed, apply brakes and change the transmission. Hence, if you’re an aggressive driver, toning down your driving style could yield impressive results, as this is the only area that you have complete control over.
How to improve your driving habits?
It’s easy to blame your vehicle, but always remember that you have the biggest influence over fuel consumption. The way you drive and maintain your truck will have the largest impact on it. Follow these simple tips and your truck may feel lighter than air itself:
Reduce idle time:
Roughly, an average 420hp heavy-duty truck will consume two litres of fuel per hour when idling. You can always blame the traffic congestion, but only if there is. If you’re parking for short periods of time or are in any other situation when your truck will remain stationary, simply turn off the engine.
Improve your clutch control:
This is universal, the quicker you move up a gear, the more fuel you will save. Therefore, it’s rarely necessary to use every gear. Fewer gear changes is much better for performance. According to experts, fuel consumption is reduced by 10 to 30% by simply moving up a gear.
Accelerate too slowly and you’ll use more fuel; similarly, if you accelerate too quickly and you’ll place excess strain on your engine. Combine a gentle low gear start with more rapid shifts to higher gears when you begin moving faster. Try to maintain a constant pace when you’ve reached the optimum fuel efficient speed.
These are some of the tips that can help you maintain your heavy-duty vehicle’s fuel efficiency. There are more tips that you must be aware of such as, turning the air-conditioner off when driving at slow continuous speeds, as the engine tends to work harder and the A/C may only put more load on the vehicle. If you’re wanting to buy or sell your new or used heavy-duty truck, or are simply looking for more tips to improve your heavy-duty vehicle’s fuel efficiency, get in touch with our professionals, today!