Truck drivers transport almost three-fourths of the country’s freight, and 80 percent of communities depend…
This is part two in our Truck Driving Tips to Save you Money series. Today we are going to look at some more truck driving tips that will make better use of your horsepower. Conservative Truck Driving might not feel like a whole lot of fun, but if you are an owner-operator, it can reward you with a little bit extra at the end of each month.
Truck Design, Gear Ratios, Weight and Aerodynamics
If you already own a truck there is not a whole lot that you can do about aerodynamics. If, however, you are getting started in truck driving or planning on buying a new truck it is well worth considering the following tips from an article in Equipment Today. Some of the other tips are more general and can be incorporated regardless of the truck that you are driving.
“The gear ratio is another significant point,” says Matsil. “If you can get away with a numerically lower gear ratio, rear axle ratio – which means your accelerations will not be as brisk – that will help with fuel economy.” The trade-offs would be startability and gradeability.
Lower ratios will make it harder to ascend steep grades. If you are driving trucks in mountainous regions, then you ought to choose very carefully. You need enough from your gear ratio to be able to get up a steep incline, but you do not need more than that.
Weight is another issue. A light truck makes it possible to haul a larger payload. But remember that many trucks, such as dump trucks, spend half of their life travelling around empty.
I could not have put it better myself. Any truck that you are driving is going to be empty on the return trip. I think that this passage plays down the importance of weight a little. A heavier truck tends to require more fuel to do the same amount of work.
In addition, consider aerodynamic efficiency if your trucks spend much time travelling down the road. “As you improve the coefficient of drag – the aerodynamic efficiency – you squeeze more miles out of the same gallon of fuel,” says Matsil.
While it might not seem like you can do a whole lot about aerodynamic efficiency, something as simple as correct load placement can reduce drag. If the truck you are driving has a covered trailer it is obviously going to have greater aerodynamic efficiency than an uncovered load on a flat bed. Think about aerodynamics and you might be able to get a few gallons out here or there. Truck driving typically involves much longer journeys than most people make, for this reason, little things can make a big difference to yearly fuel costs.
If you have any questions about truck driving or are interested in obtaining your truck driving certification, please contact us at Associated Training Services.