Whenever we talk about the cost of fuel, semi-truck fuel efficiency is always a concern. The trucking industry is always keeping an eye on costs, and this is especially true when it comes to fuel.
Whether you’re a trucking company looking to reduce costs, or an individual interested in learning more about the industry, fuel efficiency is important to understand. Follow these 10 tips to save fuel and get better semi-truck MPG so you can keep your profits:
The Importance of Semi-Truck Fuel Efficiency
Semi-truck fuel efficiency is essential for a number of reasons, including cost savings, environmental impact and compliance with regulations. Managing fuel efficiency for semi-trucks is not only a smart financial decision, but it also helps trucking companies meet their environmental and regulatory responsibilities.
In the United States, transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for more than half of total emissions from the sector. Heavy-duty vehicles, such as buses and semi-trailers, account for roughly 23% of emissions. There may be fewer of them on the road, but they produce a disproportionate amount of air pollution.
Average Semi-Truck Fuel Efficiency
The average semi-truck gets about 6.5 to 7.5 miles per gallon (MPG), while the average vehicle gets about 25 MPG. The significant difference in fuel economy of semi-trucks to a passenger vehicle is attributable to weight.
It’s crucial to note that the semi-truck fuel efficiency can vary widely depending on the specific model and how it is driven. Some newer semi-trucks have advanced technologies such as aerodynamic design, low rolling resistance tires and electronic systems to optimize engine performance, which can achieve higher fuel efficiency.
Also, depending on the type of cargo and the routes, the fuel efficiency can vary a lot. For example, a truck hauling heavy cargo like steel coils may have a lower fuel efficiency compared to a truck hauling lighter and less dense cargo like consumer goods. Overall, it’s important to consider the specific factors that affect a semi-truck’s fuel efficiency when evaluating its performance.
How to Manage Semi-Truck Fuel Efficiency
Managing semi-truck fuel efficiency can be achieved through a combination of variables. Semi-trucks tend to guzzle gas and burn more fuel than the average vehicles. This then increases the costs of shipping.
To help you manage semi-truck fuel efficiency, let’s look at 10 tips that companies and drivers can use to save money on fuel consumption:
1. Carry Your Momentum
When you drive a large vehicle, you generate a lot of momentum. Even if you maintain a constant pace, you accumulate momentum that can carry you through a stoplight if you do not break in time. When approaching a stop or exit, begin slowing down well before you arrive. Use your brakes sparingly, as they waste momentum and reduce semi-truck fuel economy.
2. Avoid Idling
While running a quick errand, many drivers leave their trucks idling. Sometimes they keep the truck idle to keep the temperature stable on a chilly or hot day. They might even avoid restarting the vehicle. However, never let your semi-truck idle for more than five minutes. A gallon of gas is consumed in one hour of idling. Turning off your truck when you need to leave it is the simplest technique to save fuel.
3. Optimize Travel Speed
Maintaining a constant speed in any vehicle ensures consistent fuel consumption. Try to stay in one gear as long as possible while adhering to the speed limit. The fuel economy of semi-trucks decreases by 0.1 MPG for every MPH above 55 MPH.
4. Optimize Routes Taken
There are often many was to get to the same destination. Choose the route that takes the least amount of driving to mind your semi-truck fuel economy. If you’re using GPS to get to your destination, you can select the most reasonable route to make your delivery.
5. Avoid Overfilling Tank
When your tank is full, it has the potential to overflow if it gets too hot. The sun or the engine can both heat the tank, causing it to overflow when it returns to the tank. Overflow is wasteful and dangerous for other motorists.
6. Use Cruise Control When Possible
Excessive acceleration and braking can impact the fuel economy of semi-trucks. Using cruise control will keep you traveling at a constant and safe speed at all times. Just make sure to keep your eyes on the road at all times.
7. Inspect Vehicle Before Trips
A pre-trip inspection will ensure you’re practicing truck safety and reducing the likelihood of accidents. You can help avoid problems on the road by taking 15 to 30 minutes to inspect your vehicle. This inspection will keep you aware of your truck’s health and know the signs you need a repair.
8. Moderately Brake
Once you come to a complete stop, it will take more fuel to restart. Apart from respecting all other traffic laws, drivers can utilize braking methods to limit the amount of unnecessary complete stops at stop signs and stoplights.
9. Invest in the Right Tires and Aerodynamics
There are numerous add-ons for your truck that can improve aerodynamics and semi-truck fuel efficiency. Tractor side fairings, deep angled bumpers and trailer skirts are three of the most typical add-ons along with the right tires can help you get the most semi-truck miles per gallon.
10. Keep Fuel Efficiency in Mind
Making semi-truck fuel efficiency a priority is one of the key methods to improving it. Keep this list in mind and think about it when you’re driving. You’ll soon be maximizing your semi-truck fuel efficiency without even knowing it.
All the FAQs
What is the Most Fuel Efficient Semi-Truck Engine?
According to Commercial Truck Trader, the Detroit DD15 engine in the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution is the most fuel-efficient semi-truck engine. Semi-truck fuel efficiency depends on the specific application and usage of the truck. However, it’s important to note that, while these engines can be more fuel efficient, they may also be more expensive to purchase and maintain, so it is important to evaluate the total cost of ownership.
How Far Can a Semi-Truck Go on a Full Tank?
Whether your truck’s fuel capacity is 120 or 150 gallons, average semi-trailer fuel efficiency is 6-8 miles per gallon and can travel between 900 to 2,000 miles on a full tank of diesel.
The distance a semi-truck can travel on a full tank of fuel depends on a number of factors, including the size of the fuel tank, the fuel efficiency of the engine and the driving conditions.
Remember, it’s important to plan accordingly and ensure that the truck has enough fuel to reach the next fueling station. Factors such as traffic, construction, and weather can also affect fuel consumption, it’s better to always have a safety margin to avoid running out of fuel.
How Much Does it Cost to Fill up a Semi-Truck?
According to SONAR, diesel fuel prices in the U.S. vary between $2.50 and $3.50 per gallon. A typical semi-truck has a fuel tank capacity of around 120 to 150 gallons, so it would cost between $375 to $900 to fill up the tank.
What is the Average MPG for a Semi-Truck?
On average, semi-trucks can get around 6-8 miles per gallon (MPG). This can vary depending on the specific model of the truck and the way it is driven. Factors such as speed, terrain and weather can also affect semi-trailer fuel efficiency. It’s also important to note that semi-trucks hauling heavy and dense cargo like steel coils may have a lower fuel efficiency compared to semi-trucks that are hauling lighter and less dense cargo like consumer goods.
Even when the price of gasoline and diesel fluctuates, you can enhance the fuel efficiency of your semi-truck and start saving money right now.