Let’s face it. Fuel prices probably aren't going to decrease anytime soon, so we might as well try to figure out every way possible to save on fuel costs. Besides having an efficient engine, reducing aerodynamic drag is another way to significantly reduce fuel costs - which could mean the difference between a profitable run and the break even point.
Aerodynamic drag is the wind resistance that pulls energy from your truck and uses that energy to consume fuel. With proper truck aerodynamics you can reduce drag and save as much as 15%- 20% on fuel costs. If you drive 130,000 miles per year and pay $4 per gallon fuel you could be saving upwards of $13,000. That's a lot of hard earned cash to keep in your pocket.
So how do you become more aerodynamic? It’s all about creating more efficient air flow (which decreases the amount of fuel required.)
Here are our tips to save on fuel by becoming more aerodynamic.
- Reduce your speed (over 55 mph aerodynamic drag is the top consumer of energy)
- Move the trailer as close to the cab as possible—less than 48” is optimum3 Arrange the load on a flatbed trailer to make air flow smoother
- Spec aerodynamic mirrors
- Spec roof fairings and chassis fairings
- Match your sleeper package to the application (ex: a flatbed or tank should use a flattop sleeper)
- Spec air cleaners under the hood
- Use low rolling resistance tires—spec SmartWay certified tires
- Keep your gross vehicle weight as light as possible (even if you make up those savings with heavy loads, you’ll greatly improve your fuel economy per pound of cargo)
If you follow these tips to becoming more aerodynamic, you’ll be thinking less on the cost of fuel, and thinking more about the ways you can spend your extra hard earned cash.