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Fuel Efficiency: Speed demons

It's no secret to many truckers that driving faster burns a lot more fuel. But how much more?The average trucker burns 10 per cent more fuel for every 10 km-h over the maximum recommended cruising spe...


It’s no secret to many truckers that driving faster burns a lot more fuel. But how much more?

The average trucker burns 10 per cent more fuel for every 10 km-h over the maximum recommended cruising speed of 90km-h (56 mph), says FleetSmart of Natural Resources Canada.

By reducing average speed just 8 km-h per hour, a trucker can achieve a five to 15 per cent improvement in fuel economy, depending on whether aerodynamics are poor, average or excellent.

So what does that mean in the real world of real dollars?

Using FleetSmart’s average travelling distance of 146,000 kilometres per year and an average fuel consumption of 39.5 L/100 km (91,000 miles at 7.15 mpg), one truck consumes 57,670 litres of diesel at 65 cents/L for a fuel cost of $37,485 per year.

But if a trucker travelling the same distance could get 10 per cent better fuel economy by dropping his average speed 10km-h, he would save $3,750 on fuel.

A fleet manager or owner/operator could also decide to run that same truck at the slower speed and avoid fines, higher repair bills and longer periods of downtime.

“Remember that the cost of speeding includes not only reduced fuel efficiency, but also increased tire wear and engine maintenance needs. Safe driving really does pay,” says Patrick Nagle from Truckers’ Business Consulting Group.


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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