Smart Driving

Max Kvidera | December 01, 2011

10. Reduce the gap. At least 50 percent of a truck’s power goes to overcome wind resistance at highway speeds. An effective way to reduce wind resistance and improve fuel economy is to minimize the gap between your truck and trailer. You can adjust the fifth wheel placement to minimize the distance but you also have to be mindful of weight distribution on the axles. To reduce wind resistance, Koorenny moved his 48-foot van about 18 inches closer to his cab. That positioning also helps in weight distribution to achieve maximum loads. Gap fairings also can push wind around the truck and trailer, enhancing fuel economy. Adams says, “Keep as low a profile as you can. Don’t allow much space between the back of your cab and your trailer or load. That makes a big difference for me.”

Kevin Koorenny moved his trailer 18 inches closer to his truck to reduce wind drag and boost fuel economy.

11. Plan your route. Before you pick up your next haul or make your next delivery closely map out your route to minimize out-of-route miles and elevation changes. Smartphone apps, online sites and GPS technology make it easier to reduce wasted miles. Map out your fuel stops to correspond with your route. The Federal Highway Administration maintains a website (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo) that links to national traffic and road closure information.

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