Squeeze what you can from fuel economy
As a calculator will easily tell you, when diesel costs $4, gaining just one mile per gallon in fuel economy (5 mpg to 6) will save you $16,000 each year, assuming a 120,000 mile per year driving schedule.
“And it’s income that basically goes straight into your pocket,” said Mike Bethea, director of independent contractors at Schneider National, for a piece in the May issue of Overdrive. “For the average owner-operator, that’s two months worth of work.”
As that article notes, there are quite a few strategies o-o’s can use to pick up their fuel economy and help keep their billfolds a little fatter. But take a look at the chart below and notice that the bulk of savings comes from making small improvements at the lower end of the scale.
Though averaging 8 mpg would be great, you don’t need to reach that point to make improvements worth the effort—there’s plenty to be gained by doing what you can to get 6 or 6.5 mpg.
|MPG||Gallons per year||Cost per year||Gallons saved*||Savings per year*|
*Compared to 5 mpg
"There probably should be some minimum standards. But as long as the ...