Driving to Save Fuel
While heavy-duty truck manufacturers are designing a new generation of trucks that will achieve much better mileage, trucking companies are trying to achieve much better mileage from the trucks in service today.
Though Impractical, 55 MPH is Most Efficient
Many studies have determined that 55 mph produces much better gas mileage. A large portion of modern trucks are equipped with a governor that allows a maximum speed limit to be set by the trucking companies. Interestingly, a 27 percent reduction in fuel consumption can be attained by reducing the speed from 75 to 65 mph.
Although 55 mph would be more efficient, safety considerations are against its adoption. The slower speed would be disruptive to the flow of traffic. Also, drivers would have more difficulty reaching their destinations on schedule.
Computer Monitoring of Driver Habits Can Save Fuel
The newest innovation in developing more fuel efficient driving habits is a computer system which monitors a driver's driving pattern. It tracks and records normal driving events like engine rpm and braking techniques. The driver's driving efficiency record is reported on a regular schedule to supervisory personnel.
The computer program is being refined to assume some driving tasks such as modifying the braking process and selecting the most efficient time to shift gears.
Driving to save fuel is becomming more and more of a reality in today's trucking environment. We can expect to see additional measures to stretch miles per gallon as much as possible.