The most efficient way to boost fuel economy is to improve driver behavior. In order to do this, trucking companies can incentivize specific trucker behavior. In some instances, trucking companies opt to physically limit what goes on behind the wheel; thus, on-board technology was born.
One way to save on the cost of fuel on the road is the use of road-speed “governors.” These governors are standard equipment when it comes to modern 18-wheelers and act as electronic engine controls that limit driving speed. Most large fleet operators electronically limit their drivers to an average of 60-65mph.
In addition to the economic incentives to save money by improving fuel efficiency, the U.S. government recently announced their very first fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles. These new standards require big tractor-trailers to improve their efficiency by 20% by 2018. The best way to improve these fuel economy standards is through truck aerodynamics, reduction of mass, and improved rolling resistance.
The most widely recognized change that can save fuel is curbing driver speed. A low 60-65 mph range is considered the most desired speed of 18 wheelers on the road today. An average of 27% improvement in fuel consumption can be made if truck drivers travel at 65mph rather than 75mph on their routes. Although truck drivers may feel that governors limit their flexibility, it is though these limits that this equipment and any data analysis that it enables that we can boost fuel efficiency.
When applying for truck driving jobs, you should always consider how your potential fleet considers fuel efficiency!