When baseball player Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez with the New York Yankees hits as many home runs as he did last season (16 to be exact), you know he has a winning technique for hitting the ball. A-Rod hits the ball at one of the “sweet spots” on his bat with almost every hit. Hitting the ball in this specific spot means he uses all of his energy of the swing towards pushing the ball the farthest it can go. For professional drivers, you win the game of trucking by driving at the sweet spot for your engine.
We know you’ve heard this time and again, slow down to get better fuel mileage
, but it’s not that simple. Getting the best fuel mileage means finding the sweet spot – the best RPM to run your engine so it’s the most efficient. And with fuel costs consistently ranking as driver’s number one expense, the best way to save money on fuel costs is to find the sweet spot where your engine runs.
“The trick is pulling your load with torque and not horsepower,” says Bill McClusky, Business Consultant at ATBS. “When you pull with horsepower, you use more energy, and therefore burn more fuel to pull your load.”
Torque helps sustain speed when towing or maxing out your vehicle’s cargo capacity—especially in maintaining speed going up hills. If you know there’s a hill ahead, gain speed before you climb it. It will prevent you from shifting gears to get up the hill, using more horsepower.
Your dealer states peak horsepower and peak torque at specific RPM for each engine. Even though the RPM varies, we consistently found somewhere between 1250 - 1350 RPM is the magic number.
The number not to exceed is 1500 RPM. You can contact your dealer to find the specifics for your engine and where your engine’s sweet spot is.
We aren’t telling you how fast you should drive, but if you want to save on fuel - finding that sweet spot can leave a sweet amount of savings in your checking account.
What RPM do you run your truck at?