Wanna improve your MPG and Fuel Bonus Check?
by, 10.14.2009 at 11.52 PM (1367 Views)
You must be willing to change your driving habits. That is by far the hardest thing for most people to do. Are you willing to change? Want to go from 6.5mpg to 7.0? or 7.0 to 7.5? You can do it
- Eliminate the word "won't" from your vocabulary.
- Stop using the word "can't" as well
- Refer back to 1. and 2. as much as necessary.
- Establish a baseline--Divide miles driven on a tank of fuel by gallons to fill up the tanks. gives you your MPG. Figure this at each fillup, and fill tanks completely otherwise it will skew your results.
- Be honest with yourself and reduce your average speed by 5mpg. ie if you normally run at 70, go 65. 65, go 60. 60, go 55. 5 mph does not sound like much but when it comes down to MPG, if you normally run 70 and you cut down to 65, there will be an instant noticeable improvement in your MPG.
- Continue at your new reduced speed for a week figuring your MPG at each fillup taking into consideration weather, wind, terrain, traffic. Obviously running up and down the mountains is not going to give you as good of an improvement as would on flat ground.
- After a week, go back to your original baseline and look at the improvement. Most will be used to the slower rate of travel and may find themselves more relaxed after a full day of driving at a slower rate of speed.
- If your truck is an automatic, switch to manual shifting. In manual, your truck will shift at a lower RPM thereby reducing the amount of fuel burned and increasing your MPG. Do this for a week and compare your MPG to your baseline and your MPG after slowing down for a week.
- The last of the big 3, use your cruise control as much as possible. BUT if you brake and turn your cruise control off, feather the accelorator back up to cruising speed before hitting the resume switch. If you are cruising at lets say 60, slow to 50, and hit the resume switch, the truck will put the pedal to the metal and waste alot of fuel. Do this for a week.
- Now that in the last 3 weeks, you've managed to slow down, shift manually, and use your cruise control, if you go back to your original base line there should be a noticeable differenceFor the naysayers out there refer to #s 1,2,and 3. When your willing to change, continue down the list.
Having never been OTR before January of 2008, I followed the expert advise of my trainer who used to be the self proclaimed "slowest on the road" Since getting my own truck, I've never finished a quarter lower than 7.2 and ended the 3rd quarter of 2009 at 7.876 MPG. 3 cent per tariff mile bonus where I work. Fuel Bonus check was over $750 net! I made miles 2400--3000 a week and got home every weekend but 1 during the quarter so there's no way I would have been able to squeeze in enough additional loads to net over $750 by hammering down.
I met a driver who was having problems obtaining the company goal of 6.5 MPG at the time. We were dispatched on the same loads 3 days straight. Each day he followed me and at the end of the third day was surprised to see his MPG had improved over two tenths. Doesn't sound like much but was enough to put him over the company goal rather than right on or below it and into fuel bonus territory. He's continued improving and has received a two cent bonus each quarter for over a year now. In other words from below 6.5 MPG to above 7.0 MPG