Ways to help your drivers become more fuel efficient

April 8, 2022 Christina DeBusk

A truck driver at the gas station cleaning the wind shield of a semi truck

Over the last year and a half, the cost of diesel fuel has more than doubled, jumping from $2.372 per gallon in November 2020 to $5.25 in March 2022 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. If you have quite a few trucks on the road, this increased expense can take a huge chunk out of your bottom line.

Working with your drivers to help them become more fuel-efficient can reduce your costs at the pump. Here are a few tips that they can implement fairly easily to make each gallon of gas they put in their tanks go just a little bit further.

Check tire pressure

Before your drivers even put their trucks in gear, encourage them to check the pressure of their tires. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that for every 1 psi drop in tire pressure, gas mileage decreases by roughly 0.2%. Properly inflated tires are also safer while maximizing tire life. So, this one tip provides numerous benefits.

Look for lower cost gas stations

If you allow your drivers to fill up at any gas station they want, ask them to pay attention to prices. Some stations tend to always be a bit higher than others. Avoiding these can help reduce total gas costs. If your drivers use GPS, many systems have settings that can be adjusted to note where lower-priced stations are along the route. There are also several apps designed to scope out the lowest gas prices in the area. Gas Buddy is one that is highly rated.

Use cruise control whenever possible

Putting the truck on cruise helps keep the driver from constantly accelerating and decelerating, which uses more gas. When setting the cruise speed, ask your drivers to keep the engine between 1250 and 1350 RPM to help maximize fuel efficiency. If they drop their cruising speed by just one or two MPH as well, this can also help reduce the rate at which they burn fuel.

Avoid unnecessary stops and starts

A truck burns more gas when trying to accelerate. Therefore, keeping stops and starts to a minimum can help reduce the amount of fuel it uses. If the driver is stopping for gas, for instance, they can also use this break to use the restroom and grab some lunch. This reduces the need to stop again a short time down the road.

Enjoy the fresh air

Using the truck’s air conditioner also burns more fuel. So, if your drivers can just roll down their windows to help cool down the cab, this will help improve fuel efficiency. (Plus, sometimes it just feels good to get a bit of fresh air.) If it’s a really hot day or they’re driving in a high smog area, this may not always be a practical solution. But it may be an option on days that aren’t overly warm or when driving in a more remote area.

Keep fuel efficiency in mind

Above all, ask your drivers to simply keep fuel efficiency in mind as they go about their workdays. By always having a mindset aimed at reducing fuel consumption, they will actively look for ways to make each gallon of gas go a little further. Whether this means turning the truck off instead of letting it idle or using the shortest route possible to get from point A to point B, every little bit helps.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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