On-highway diesel prices continue to rise this week, and no one is more affected than the commercial vehicle operator. With oil prices reaching a US average of $3.573/gallon (the highest it has been in 2 years), it is crucial for drivers to get the most out of their fuel. Further unrest in the Middle East – notably, this week’s revolt in Libya – is the source of the latest market swing. Now more than ever, it is important to be aware that there are many practices that can be adopted to increase fuel efficiency and aid in keeping this operating costs as low as possible.
Fuelling Practices – what to do at the pump to make sure you are getting the most gallons for your greenbacks
1. Try to only fill up your truck in the early morning when the ground is cold. The colder the ground, the denser the gasoline in the station’s storage tank is. Keep this in mind as we head into the warmer months!
2. While filling up, try not to squeeze the nozzle trigger too fast mode; if you pump fuel at a fast rate, some of the liquid that goes into your tank becomes vapor. By pumping fuel at a lower speed, you are minimizing the vapors that enter into your tanks, and therefore you are getting the most out of your money.
3. Fill up your tank when it is half full. The more gas you have in your tank, the less air is occupying the empty space. Gasoline evaporates, so having less air in the tank will ensure your gas doesn’t “disappear”.
4. Try to avoid filling up when the gasoline truck is pumping into the station’s storage tank. During this process, the dirt that normally settles in the bottom of the storage tank is disturbed, and you will end up pumping dirty gas.
Maintenance practices – what to do on a regular basis to keep your truck out of “gas guzzler” status:
1. Change your oil regularly as specified by the truck manufacturer. Oil lubricates your engine components, and eliminates friction. Over time, oil can lose its viscosity along with picking up collected dirt. This can compromise your engines performance – less lubrication = more friction + stress on moving parts, causing more fuel being burned to maintain the required power output. Check your other fluids as well (transmission, transfer case, and differential) as the same principle also applies to them!
2. Maintain tire pressure – under-inflated tired create more drag and puts more of a load on the engine.
3. Maintain correct wheel alignment – more fuel will be consumed in an effort to keep your truck rolling in a straight line – reduce this by getting your regular wheel alignments.
4. Change your air filters – ensure clean air is going into your engine. If you keep driving your truck without changing the filter, the dirt can choke it up. Less air means less power output and you’ll end up stepping on the gas to compensate for this power loss.
Driver behavior – good, conscientious driving has many rewards!
1. Avoid sudden acceleration – more sudden power required consumes more fuel, kind of like if you were to blow a big breath out, you would first need to take a big breath in….
2. Avoid harsh braking – stopping suddenly requires fuel and power – keep your braking slow and controlled.
3. Reduce engine idling for long periods of time.
We hope these tips will be useful for our driver partners increase their fuel efficiency!!! Also, we would like to know, what are some other fuel practices that you use in order to get the most out of your money??