4 Simple Ways to Get the Best Fuel Mileage for Your Semi-Truck

increase semi truck MPGWhen you think of semi-trucks, fuel efficiency probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, on average, semi-trucks get only 6.5 miles per gallon according to this Wired article. And while they comprise just 4.3 percent of vehicles in the US, they consume more than 25 percent of all fuel burned annually.

 

Whether you’re an owner-operator or you manage an entire fleet, you understand that high fuel costs result in decreased profits. But, with a little effort and initial investment, reducing fuel consumption might be simpler than you think.

 

1. Stay on top of truck maintenance.

This is one of the most important and simplest things you can do to maximize fuel efficiency in just about any vehicle. It’s basic mechanics and the benefits go far beyond better gas mileage. Regular maintenance such as on-time oil changes, filter changes, and regular fluid level inspections will keep everything operating at its best for longer. Also, remember to periodically check your tire pressure and add air if necessary.  Not only does this prolong the life of your tires, it also adds quite a bit to your fuel efficiency.

 

2. Drive with efficiency in mind.

Changing the way you drive costs you nothing, yet it’s often the hardest change to make. One of the biggest culprits of high fuel consumption is frequent accelerating and braking. Minimize braking to a full stop as much as you can, and accelerate more slowly. Also, staying in a higher gear helps save fuel. On the other hand, letting your truck idle for long periods of time can quickly cost you at the pump. This Arrow Truck article suggests turning your truck off if it’s going to be sitting for more than five minutes. Just one hour of idling will burn a full gallon of gas.

stay in a high gear for best semi truck gas mileage
Staying in a higher gear increases fuel efficiency.

 

3.  Equip your rig with fuel-efficient products.

This is the one that requires a bit of an initial investment, but the long-term payoff can really be worth it. There are a variety of aerodynamic additions you can make to both your tractor and your trailer that will result in higher MPGs. Everything from your mudflaps, bumpers, mirrors, hood, roof, and even headlights can become more aerodynamic. You may also consider automated manual transmissions. They replace your manual shifter and clutch with a computer that shifts the manual transmission at the optimal time. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency claims that automatic manual transmissions can improve average fuel efficiency by 1-3 percent.

 

4. Secure cargo low and even.

Each time a load goes on your truck, think of it as a part of your truck. Just like mudflaps and mirrors, your cargo can cause you to be more or less aerodynamic depending on how it’s loaded. When cargo is loaded unevenly, it can increase the fuel needed to get your truck moving. Also, it’s best to keep your cargo load height as low as possible on flatbeds to reduce wind resistance.

how to get best fuel economy in semi truck
Load cargo evenly to maximize fuel economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the proper cargo securement equipment will ensure all your cargo stays put and remains intact. Visit uscargocontrol.com for all your cargo equipment needs. 

 

L-track and E-track: Which tie down system is right for you?

Trying to decide whether L-track or E-track is the best choice for your tie-down needs? It depends on where you’ll be installing it.

 

image of aluminum L-track
L-track (also sometimes called “airline track”) in aluminum

 

Generally, the narrow width of L-track works great for installing on the walls or floor of a pickup truck bed. L-track is available in an
aluminum or a black painted finish. Lengths include 6″, 12″, 24″, and 48″.

 

 

 

 

image of galvanized e-track
E-track in a galvanized finish

 

The wider width of E-track makes it a good choice for  installation inside an enclosed trailer or on the floor of an open trailer. It’s available in horizontal and vertical styles and in a galvanized or a green painted finish. Lengths include 2′, 5′, 8′, and 10′.

Both L track and E track are incredibly strong and versatile, but traditionally there are more straps and fittings available on the market for E-track. L-track (also sometimes known as airline track) is gaining in popularity, so more and more accessories are becoming available.

Charlie explains in more detail in the video below.
We’ve also added videos about how to install Etrack and how to install L track.

How to install E-track:

How to install L-track: