5 Commercial Truck Upgrades to Improve Fuel Efficiency

Is your gas mileage cutting too much into your profits? It's time to take control of your fuel economy. Here are 5 truck upgrades you need to know!

Despite record setting heat, in June 2017, CNN Money blared the announcement that gas prices are cheaper than they have been in 12 years. That doesn't mean drivers are about to become any less fuel savvy.

In fact, smart truckers are looking at all kinds of commercial truck upgrades to improve fuel efficiency. Here are 5 ways you can improve efficiency and save money.

Oil Changes

If your truck belongs to the "old school" class, you can save on fuel by slightly increasing the frequency on oil changes. Cleaner oil will reduce friction in your engine and improve gas mileage.

If nothing else, don't miss any oil changes and make sure the peripherals (filters, etc) get changed out the moment they start giving up signals.

You may spend a small amount more on the frequency of the oil changes, but you'll recoup it back in what you don't spend on fuel.

Catch a Spark

Spark plugs may be one of the smallest parts on your truck, but letting them go past their regular lifespan can take away fuel efficiency.

When you're considering changing spark plugs yourself, keep a few things in mind:

  • Let the truck cool down before starting
  • Wear gloves! Motor oil contains carcinogens
  • Use a dust blower to clean the area before removing the plugs
  • Replace the plugs in their proper order with the corresponding wires
  • Do not force out a stuck plug

Whether you or your employer takes care of routine maintenance on your vehicle, make sure it's getting done and your gas tank will be happier.

An average time-to-change is about 60,000 miles.

Aim for High Flow Accessories

Keeping your commercial truck on the road while saving on gas may mean making a few internal changes.

One way to improve fuel economy is with high-flow options like high-flow air filters and high-flow exhaust systems. You can opt for one or the other individually, but installing both gives you that much more of an edge over the gas meter.

Both come with a higher price tag than their standard counterparts, but they also last longer too and require less changing. You may find that a downside to a high-flow air filter is that it lets more dirt into the engine, for example, but is still worth the fuel efficiency tradeoff.

Don’t Go Flat

If the thousands and thousands of pounds of your truck were pushing down on you, you might go a little flat, right?

In fact, the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign teaches students that weight can press tires down, decreasing their volume.

That’s what may be happening to your truck tires, and this reduced tire air can actually lower your fuel efficiency.

So to keep riding at the best level of gas consumption, you’ll need to know how to tell if your tires are properly inflated as well as possibly deal with pumping in the air or changing out the tires when necessary.

Your truck’s manual will tell you the proper PSI for the tires and an inexpensive hand tool can help you test on the spot. Don’t go too long once you get a reading of a low tire.

Drive Smarter

Don’t be one of those drivers who tailgate, grind the gears, and jam on the breaks. Your fuel tank will thank you.

Smart driving really is a thing, and you can master it behind the big wheel of a truck just as easily as behind the wheel of a small car.

It just involves thinking of the way your truck was made, how it burns through gas, and how to encourage the most efficient use of that gas.

Jamming on the brakes causes your truck to go into its own version of fight or flight mode. In fact, with the sheer weight of the truck, you can't adjust or over-compensate as quickly as you would in a car, which adds danger to you and other drivers into the mix.

Instead, stay alert and try to picture things in advance for when you’ll need to stop, switch lanes, exit, etc. Then, tap the brakes and both your truck and your body will thank you.

Trust the Truckers

If you need more help on fuel economy and truck-driving tips, click to send us a bit of information about what you're driving and what you want to get into. You can also call or visit us directly.

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