Ways to increase MPG
Electric vehicles are obviously more fuel-efficient than gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. But for those who have fleets of gas or diesel vehicles, changing isn’t an option anytime in the near future. How do you save money in the meantime with fuel prices skyrocketing?
Here are a few tips. Some you may have heard before and some may be new, but it is always a good reminder to be aware of what goes into the MPG’s we get out of our vehicles.
Keeping tires properly inflated can improve fuel efficiency by an average of .6%. Vehicles lose 0.2% in fuel efficiency for every 1 psi below the recommended tire pressure. Since outside temperatures affect commercial vehicles’ tire pressure, drivers need to check their tire pressure regularly when there are changes in the weather and temperature.
Regular maintenance is key to getting the best mileage possible. Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil can improve gas mileage by 1%-2%. Replacing air filters, changing oil regularly, replacing worn spark plugs and fixing any kind of maintenance issues like transmission problems can also have an impact on mileage.
The oxygen sensor analyzes oxygen concentration in the vehicle’s exhaust gases and sends the data to the engine’s computer to calculate the amount of fuel required for every combustion cycle. Oxygen sensors will break down over time, which means they must be replaced at some time in the vehicle’s life and replacing or repairing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve fuel efficiency by up to 40%.
Now might be a good time to analyze routes for traffic or road conditions and make changes if needed. The quality of the road surface can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency. The vehicle’s engine creates kinetic energy to produce forward momentum. Uneven road surfaces will bounce and shake the vehicle, disrupting the kinetic energy and making it less fuel-efficient. New route suggestions may help drivers to avoid sitting in traffic congestion or driving on roads that are in poor condition.
Idling vehicles waste fuel. You can train your drivers to turn off their engines if they expect to be parked or standing for a while. According to Argonne National Laboratory it only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle. Idling can also leave residues that damage engine components and cause higher maintenance costs over time. Make sure your drivers are aware of times they may be idling unnecessarily such as warming up the engine, warming up or cooling down the interior temperature, loading or unloading a vehicle, training new hires, etc.
It’s important to match the vehicle to the task when possible. It is not fuel-efficient to transport a small load across a short distance in a tractor trailer. A smaller vehicle might be the better option for transporting this type of load. Transporting goods in vehicles with smaller engines can be more fuel-efficient. Many transport trucks are overpowered for the routes and deliveries they take. Plan your routes to match the trucks and engines to the loads rather than sending whatever truck happens to be available. Another way to improve fuel efficiency is to ensure that your trucks only carry what is necessary for the job at hand. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each additional 100 pounds on a vehicle can reduce fuel efficiency by 1%. Carrying cargo on the roof can be even worse. Combine trips when possible and send techs and equipment in 1 vehicle rather than each tech arriving in his or her own vehicle to the jobsite.
And lastly, aggressive driving can also increase fuel consumption. Aggressive driving includes accelerating too rapidly, speeding, braking too quickly and taking corners too sharply.