Tips For Fleet Fuel Efficiency

by | Aug 2, 2007

PHH FirstFleet recently announced the results of  a fuel study of U.S. truck fleets in the grocery, manufacturing, fuel and retail markets, Industryweek reports.

By slightly over-spec’ing engines in order to run more consistently in the “sweet spot,” choosing a gear ratio low enough to suit a fleet’s application and location, and enabling the correct fuel-efficient, engine-specific parameters, fuel economy will improve by around five percent.

PHH FirstFleet offered the following list for achieving better fuel economy:

  • Increase engine torque ratings – Increase torque ratings to decrease time spent in the high output torque ranges.
  • Decrease gear ratio – Choose a lower gear ratio to improve fuel economy.
  • Stop Speeding – Above 70 MPH, a tractor’s engine works to overcome aerodynamic drag.
  • Idling – Idling uses .5 to 1 gallon of fuel per hour.
  • Progressive Shifting – Drivers shifting quickly in lower gears prevents over-revving, which decreases fuel consumption.
  • Spec APUs – Auxiliary Power Units allow drivers to run peripheral applications without running the engine. 
  • Aerodynamics – New innovations in trailer aerodynamics decrease wind resistance.
  • Lower Weight – New low weight materials allow for more potential fuel economy gains.
  • Low Profile Radial or Wide Based Tires – Research indicates that fuel economy can improve as much as two percent to five percent by using low profile and/or wide based tires and wheels. 

Wal-Mart used some of these same techniques to increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by about 15 percent.

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