How to be a More Fuel Efficient Truck Driver

What would you say if we told you that there is a simple way to increase your job security and potentially your pay as a CDL driver? Impossible? Crazy? Genius?!

It’s not rocket science, but commercial trucks aren’t exactly fuel efficient. However, if you are able to increase your fuel economy, you can reduce your total operating costs by about 30%.

Let’s break this down a tad:

Reduced operating costs = Profit increase!

Profit increase = You are a rock star driver!

Rock star driver = Better job security for you!

Overall results = Win! Win! Win!

Bay and Bay Transportation of Minneapolis, Minnesota, works hard to provide top-notch support to our drivers. That’s because we see our drivers as more than hard workers - we see them as family. A win for you is a win for us, so let’s talk about how you can influence your fuel usage and maximize your potential benefits.

While there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that you are maximizing your fuel efficiency, there are some other factors to keep in mind. There are uncontrollable factors that will inevitably alter the rate of fuel usage. While you can’t do anything about them, it’s just as important to be aware of how they will impact you so you can adapt as needed.

 Factors that you can’t control:

 The Vehicle - The truck that you drive has an enormous impact on fuel performance. Fuel usage varies based on a vehicle’s type, age, condition, equipment, and load. If you plan to lease your own truck, it is worth doing research on a truck’s fuel economy before picking your rig.

 Traffic Conditions - Fuel use is greatly impacted by traffic conditions and the type of road that you are travelling. You will use more fuel the more often you change gears and each time you brake or accelerate. The stop-and-go movements of heavy traffic congestion can alter your fuel efficiency as well.

 The Weather - During the winter you can expect to see your fuel efficiency drop as much as 10% compared to the summer months. Fuel consumption can also increase by up to 3% when changing over from ‘summer grade’ diesel fuel to ‘winter grade.’

Despite all of these uncontrollable factors, there are still measures you can take. The best way for you to control your fuel efficiency is to make sure that your driving technique limits any unnecessary strain to the vehicle.

 10 Ways You Can Become a More Fuel Efficient Driver:

  1. Maximize fuel economy by using cruise control when appropriate
  2. Minimize gear changes
  3. Be gentle on your brakes
  4. Slow down and drive at or under the speed limit. You reduce your fuel consumption by 22% when driving 50 MPH instead of 56 MPH.
  5. Keep your tires properly inflated. Correctly inflated tires offer less resistance on the road, improve your fuel economy, and reduce the risk of accidents by giving greater vehicle stability.
  6. Turn off your engine when you are excessively stationary in traffic.
  7. Do regular maintenance on your truck, including regular oil changes.
  8. Use the correct fuel grade for the season.
  9. Use your exhaust brakes when possible instead of your foot/friction brakes.
  10. Position your load so that the truck is weighted for maximum aerodynamics.

Bay and Bay Transportation is a Minneapolis, MN based transportation company that strives to provide safe, consistent, and quality transportation solutions. We hope that these fuel efficiency tips have inspired you to become a more fuel efficient truck driver. If you have at least 1 year of OTR solo driving under your belt and aren’t already a part of the Bay and Bay family, check out our opportunities to become a Company Driver, Owner Operator, or a member of our Lease to Own program.