It finally happened. My lifetime fuel mileage screen flipped to 9.0. That looks nicer than 8.9. Yes, I realize that means that it could be rounding up from 8.95. When I first got the truck it had 1760 miles on it and the screen read 5.6 MPG. I did a little math to see what I was getting. My truck crossed the 40,000 this week.

40,000 / 8.95 = 4469.27

1,760 /7.60 = 314.29
_____________________

38,240/4154.98= 9.203

I subtracted out the numbers from when I got the truck. That means that since I received the truck my lifetine average is 9.203 MPG. So - I got to thinking a little more. We have about 3 months before winter hits. Adding 30,000 miles at 9.203 MPG that would mean that at 70,000 miles the lifetime would be about 9.057 MPG. Will my 9+ MPG make it through a Wisconsin winter? I doubt it, but one year does not a lifetime make. I am going to give it my best shot.

One of my beliefs is that drivers can keep learning how to drive the truck better. It takes about 100,000 miles to figure out a truck - or at least mostly figure it out. Basic principles always apply. Reduce idle time. My current idle percentage is 5.75%. Consider that for the first 1,760 miles the average speed was 30 MPH - I think that I am hitting my goal of less than 5%.

The Detroit Assurance system is more advanced than the collision mitigationsystem on my 2013 Cascadia that averaged 8.30 MPG. The same pricnciples still apply though. Out anticipate the system. Increasing my following distance to 7 seconds helps a lot. Try thinking of the system as a trainer. The goal is to not let the system slow the truck down. Managing forward momentum is a key to improved MPG. Almost every maintenance manager that I have met will tell you that the trucks with the lowest idle time percentage and the highest MPG will also have lower maintenance costs.

### Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

July 08, 2014

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