Reuters published an article earlier this year titled, U.S. Energy Information Administration Projects Diesel Fuel Consumption Increase on Growing Freight Transport Demand. The ATA also says that more than 70% of freight tonnages moved in the U.S. goes by truck. And, as the movement of freight increases, so too does the consumption of diesel fuel.
While we’re excited about the idea of increased freight moved by trucks, we’re also wracking our brains looking for additional ways to improve fleet MPG and fuel efficiency. Fuel may be relatively cheaper right now, but it still a huge expense for fleet owners and operators.
Factors That Influence Truck Fuel EfficiencyThere are quite a few huge factors that influence MPG with the following four being the biggest:
- Increase or decrease in elevation
- The driver (interestingly enough, the type of driver you are can influence fuel consumption by 30% or more)
- Weather and temperature
Knowing these facts, how can we go about improving MPG?
Strategies For Improving Truck MPG
We’ve spoken with several of our colleagues who have all looked at numerous ways their fleet can improve its MPGs. Here’s what they came up with:
- Purchasing technology that reduces aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, and promotes improved drivetrain efficiency.
- Exploring improved routing processes to reduce out-of-route miles and empty backhauls.
- Investing in training that will teach drivers how to operate their truck more fuel efficiently.
- Having maintenance departments adjust their truck’s engine parameters in an effort to increase MPG as much as possible.
Fleet owners must be able to understand the measurement process as well. Rather than measuring MPG over the course of a day, many operators recommend measuring MPG over the course of a week or several weeks. Things can also tend to get complicated if the truck has travelled from flat, sea-level terrain over more mountainous areas in a single route. However, your goal is to simply get an average of all your trucks and to make informed decisions once you have enough data.
We wish there was one magical solution -- one singular way to improve fuel economy. But, sometimes all you can do is test different types of technologies and operational/training practices in hopes of doing better than the average fleet.
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and trends from the team at Thunder Funding!