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Refuel: Fuel Economy Challenge

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In September of 2017, the first “Run on Less” cross-country roadshow began all around the US. Since then, drivers and owners alike have been looking for methods to improve fuel economy by 10 or more gallons per mile. When considering avenues to save on fuel costs, it’s important to understand that the most influential component regarding fuel economy is the driver. Even with advances in trucking technology, ultimately drivers still have 30% influence over fuel economy.

Every professional driver should consider options to improve the fuel economy of each truck they drive. Here are ten tips to help encourage drivers to achieve 10+MPG:

  1. Keep equipment well-maintained. Trucks that are well-maintained with regular inspections and adjustments are more fuel efficient.
  2. Implement the proper axle configuration. If you’re uncertain what is recommended for your rig, consult your mechanic to ensure you have the proper axle configuration for the type of rig you are driving.
  3. Reduce idle time. There are many tools and options to reduce idle time. Research and implement those best tailored to your rig and driving style.
  4. Purchase and utilize all available tractor aerodynamics. Making wind work for you saves money and increases fuel economy.
  5. Optimize cruise control and vehicle speed. Any time you can keep your rig at a steady speed and reduce variable-speed-style driving, you save on fuel usage.
  6. Use downsped powertrains and AMTs.
  7. Embrace low-rolling tires. Goodyear’s fuel-efficient tires have saved thousands of miles worth of gas over the life of each set of tires.
  8. Educate and incentivize conscientious drivers. Providing the proper fuel economy techniques while offering incentives to fuel-conscious drivers can reduce overall fuel costs.
  9. Adopt trailer aerodynamics to reduce drag in the three major areas of issue on a trailer: (1) the front above the tractor’s air dam, (2) the bogie, and (3) the negative pressure pocket behind the doors.
  10. Build a company-wide culture of methodically choosing technologies that improve fuel economy.

The results from the “Run on Less” challenge in 2017 showed 7 trucks drove 50,107 miles with an average gross weight of 55,498 lbs at an average 54mph for 17 days and averaged 10.1 MPG. This averaged a savings of over $7, 000 and almost 2,900 gallons saved.

The detailed results for the fleet can be found here. With the push to make each gallon last longer and reduce fuel costs, every driver should challenge themselves to implement as many techniques as possible and challenge themselves to see how they can positively impact fuel economy in their everyday driving.

Even responsible and conscientious drivers can have accidents. If you or your company are facing a legal claim due to a trucking accident, Murphy Legal is ready to defend you. To learn more about our passion for the trucking industry, call us at (979) 690-0800 or contact us.

If you need assistance in an emergency, call our 24-Hour Emergency Hotline at 979-209-2173. We’re here to help.

Be sure to check our Refuel blog series for additional resources and information about rig and driver safety.  Click here to sign up for our newsletter covering a wide variety of topics to help protect owner-operators and trucking companies from liability in the event of an accident.


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