Written by Dave Arthur, Arizona Driver Trainer

As long as I’ve been at Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI), we’ve been chasing miles per gallon (mpg) to lower cost.

With all the changing fleet specifications of trucks and trailers, there is always more that can be done by truck driving equipment manufacturers and professional drivers to achieve these goals. Drivers are challenging themselves for better mpg, which is great, and you may have your own list of habits that have helped you achieve your goals.

6 Tips for Achieving Your MPG Goals

Here are several tips you can use as a professional driver to challenge yourself and achieve your mpg goals. It’s the little things that make big things happen.

1. Slow starts and stops

Look ahead and plan out your next move. Going easy on the throttle is a big step in saving fuel.

2. Turn off the truck

When brakes are set, take the key out while you are inspecting your truck, gating out, fueling reefer, and more.

3. Keep your tires inflated

Check that tires are inflated at the right PSI to help with fuel and tire wear. There’s also less chance of a road call due to a blowout. 

4. Use cruise control

When safe to do so, use your cruise control with “eco roll.” This will reduce pedal movement, and in return, reduce inconsistencies in speed and fuel use.

5. Keep your rpm below 1,500

Going up or down grades will make the motor work more efficiently while also keeping extra heat from building while ascending or descending a grade. Keeping your throttle against the governor is hard on equipment and wastes fuel.

6. Know that small things add up over time

Something as easy as keeping your truck washed means less wind drag.

These ideas can be added to your existing tools to help you achieve your mpg goals. As professional drivers, we can share what has worked in the past. Improving mpg is the ultimate lean process that we are continually trying to improve. Taking small steps to improve mpg will go a long way in managing costs across all areas of the business.

Challenge yourself and others to set small, achievable goals. Even one-tenth of an mpg means big dollars saved and potentially more speed and idle incentive for you.

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