10 Ways to Fill up Less When Hauling Freight
Truckers are always looking for ways to lower their fuel costs, especially in the wintertime. Refiners mix in additives as well as decrease the amount of sulfur in diesel to lower the temperature in which fuel begins to gel. This important step ensures trucks will not stall on the roads as temperatures drop into the negatives. While this is appreciated, it makes paying for fuel hard on the bank account. Owner-operators and trucking company owners have to pay more money out of pocket for fuel in the winter months.
Check out these ways to fill up less when hauling freight.
1. Use technology designed to increase efficiency
With the use of electronic devices rising significantly, it is easier than ever to use technology to save on fuel. GPS and onboard apps designed to track traffic patterns can not only help you find the fastest and most fuel-friendly route to your next destination but can also warn you of any approaching issues on the road. Being able to avoid snarled rush-hour traffic or skirt around an accident will improve your travel time and save your fuel.
You can also use technology to keep you at a steady speed through turnpike booths and weigh stations, rather than burning fuel by starting and stopping. Prepass provides operators with a transponder that wirelessly transmits their unit’s weight and other information to the weigh station and clears trucks to bypass the station, or notifies them of a discrepancy that requires a stop. Their Prepass Plus program extends the technology to work with E-Z Pass equipped toll stations, so trucking companies can combine their accounts and use a single transponder.
Other apps for smartphones and ELDs can help you find the least expensive refueling stations on your route, saving you even more money.
2. Optimize your truck’s performance
The simplest way to get the best gas mileage out of your truck is to be sure the truck is in prime operating condition. Make sure to:
- Check tire pressure – tires running below their required PSI will reduce your gas mileage and increase your fuel costs, and can also pose a risk of blowouts.
- Use alternatives to your HVAC – electronic cooling devices can save you from draining fuel by running your unit’s air conditioner.
- Reduce drag by covering your wheel hubs, using aluminum wheels instead of steel, and hitching your trailer 30 inches from the truck.
3. Adapt driving habits to improve gas mileage
Resist the urge to drive faster than 55 mph on the highway; even if it is legal, each mile over that threshold will lower your fuel economy.
4. Use a fuel card
A trucking factoring company can provide you with fuel cards that are good at thousands of refueling stations throughout the United States and Canada. Fuel cards offer discounts at those refueling stations, which can make a difference of thousands of dollars in your fuel costs.
Factor Finders’ fuel card programs feature as high as a 50 percent advance when you pick up your loads. Obtaining a fuel card is free as part of the trucking factoring process, and you can receive your cards within three to five business days. Keep your tanks full and your trucks on the road with our fuel cards.
5. Use cruise control
When available, using cruise control is a great way to save on fuel. This allows your truck to stay at one consistent speed without having to accelerate or press on the breaks.
6. Avoid idling when possible
Trucks that remain idle for a long period of time, can lose up to a gallon of fuel. If you are at truck stops or are getting your trucks checked, be sure to turn off your engine to save on fuel.
7. Park your truck at easily accessible angles
Parking your truck at night in a manner that is easy to pull out of in the morning will use the least amount of fuel. Especially in the wintertime, this can be very helpful.
8. Use your clutch the right way
A good way to save on fuel is to minimize the number of gear changes you do, and skipping certain gears when possible. With every gear that is changed up, you can save on your fuel economy by almost 30%.
9. Reduce your A/C if you can help it
In the summer months, it is not always easy to keep the air off. But, by constantly using the air conditioning, you are using up 20% more fuel. A good way to save is to turn on the economy setting, forcing already chilled air to be circulated through the cab. Also, when in the city, an open window can also help with this.
10. Keep warm-ups and cool-downs short
Many truckers don’t know this, but diesel vehicles do not need to warm up very long for them to be ready to take on the weather. As soon as you see the temperature needle start to move up, you are ready to go. The same goes for cooling down. After you are done pulling, sitting idle for 5 minutes is plenty of time for the engine to cool off before shutting down completely.
Keep Your Trucks on the Road
These 10 simple changes can save your trucking company money every month when hauling freight. Still worried about where your trucking company stands with cash flow? Start factoring with the best truck factoring company for your business. Factor Finders offers fuel advances and fuel cards to get your trucking business the money it needs to keep your trucks on the road and pay drivers. Contact us to find out more and get started on the path to lower fuel costs today!