GKT Truck Repair Services

3 Tips to Improve Fuel Mileage When Driving a Big Rig or 18 Wheeler

One to two diesel tanks, each holding between 120 and 160 gallons, are standard on heavy-duty trucks. A heavy-duty truck could contain up to 300 gallons of fuel if it had a tank on each side.

The average miles per gallon (mpg) for heavy-duty trucks is just 5.6 mpg. Therefore drivers must carry a lot of diesel. Fuel is rapidly used up while traveling a long distance. Considering other elements like lousy weather, incline roads, and traffic congestion, a heavy duty-fuel truck's efficiency may decline. You may be interested in learning how to improve a heavy duty-fuel truck's efficiency as diesel prices climb. To know how to get the most out of every fill-up, keep reading.

1. Discover the optimum RPM 

"Revolutions per minute" (RPM), which stands for engine speed, is a measurement unit. Low engine speeds are more fuel-efficient for heavy-duty trucks, and an engine will use more fuel if it needs to work more to keep up its pace. Lower rotations per minute and slower speeds reduce total fuel expenditures.

There is a best operating range for every heavy-duty truck. Engines are designed to provide a lot of torque at low RPMs, and engines use less diesel when they operate at lower RPMs. What RPM offers the best fuel economy? Your truck's model will determine the answer. Your engine should be operated at 1250 to 1350 RPMs, not more than 1500 RPMs.

2. Use cruise control 

Your buddy in fuel-saving is cruise control: aggressive braking and acceleration waste fuel. Maintaining a constant speed for your heavy-duty truck increases fuel economy. The amount of diesel you consume throughout your journey might be reduced by up to 6% when you have the chance to utilize cruise control correctly.

3. Slow down 

If you're attempting to make good time, slowing down could be the last thing you want to do. Driving more slowly helps you stay safe and consumes less fuel, and your heavy-duty truck uses more diesel as you go quicker.

Every 1 mph increase in speed results in a 0.14 mpg drop in fuel economy. The fuel economy rapidly declines over 50 mph. Driving at 75 mph results in a 27% increase in fuel consumption compared to driving at 65 mph. Every acceleration uses more fuel.

Let's see how a journey is affected by speed. As an example, one driver logs 2,500 kilometers and achieves 5.9 mpg. A 10 mph increase in speed results in an extra 132 gallons of diesel being used by the motorist. That amounts to an additional $685 for diesel at the current national price average of $5.185. You may save costs on each journey by reducing your speed by 5 to 10 mph.

Final words

Now you have a clear idea of how to get the best fuel efficiency on your heavy-duty truck. Adhere to these tips, and you can save a lot of money in the long run. 

Contact Us

Call us or schedule an appointment in for a service using the form.