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Tips for better driving and equipment

Follow these tips to lower your fuel consumption, save money and improve your environmental performance.

These equipment innovations are proven

Focus on aerodynamics

At highway speeds, much of a truck’s energy is wasted pushing air out of the way. Aerodynamic devices lower the amount of drag and save a lot of fuel: 6 to 8 percent for cab roof fairings, 4 to 7 percent for trailer side skirts and at least 1 percent for trailer tails.

Use low rolling-resistance tires

SmartWay-verified low rolling-resistance tires deliver fuel savings of 3 percent or more. They’re available from most manufacturers. Just ask your tire supplier.

Use idle-reduction technologies

The average long-haul truck idles about 1,800 hours per year, using about 5,600 litres (1,500 gallons) of fuel.

Many technologies can help drivers reduce truck idling, such as auxiliary power units (APUs) and direct-fired heaters. APUs use about 25 percent of the fuel that a truck engine consumes to idle; direct-fired heaters use only about 5 percent.

Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Technology Program

The program verifies the potential technologies to decrease the environmental impact of freight transportion.

These tips will help you drive smarter

Slow down

Speeding causes wear on engines, drivelines and tires, which leads to higher maintenance costs. For every 10 km/h above 90 km/h, you burn about 10 percent more fuel.

Use cruise control

Using cruise control on the highway to keep a constant speed saves fuel. Remember: cruise control is not efficient or safe on slippery roads, steep hills or on sharp corners.

Decrease idling

Shutting the vehicle off when you stop for 60 seconds or more will save fuel and lower your maintenance costs. An idling engine wastes about 3 litres (0.8 gallons) of fuel per hour.

Use progressive shifting techniques

Using this technique involves shifting before you reach the maximum governed rpm. In other words, shifting to the next highest gear as soon as the truck can handle the load.

Maintain proper tire inflation pressure

Checking tire pressure should be done at least once a week. For every 10 psi your tires are under-inflated, you lose 15 percent of tread wear and consume up to 4 percent more fuel.

Mind the tractor-trailer gap

Limiting the tractor-trailer gap to about 64 cm (25 inches) where possible can prevent a 3 to 5 percent fuel consumption increase.

Inspect your vehicle

Besides being a legal requirement, inspecting your vehicle will help you find problems that can lead to accidents, breakdowns and lower fuel efficiency.

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