Small Changes Increase Fuel Economy
An owner-operator changing their axle configuration can increase fuel economy by a significant percentage; upwards of five percent. This is a proven strategy, but it's not often recommended because it takes longer to see the return of the initial investment.
A better way to conserve fuel and see a radical difference in your bottom line savings is to change your driving habits. A few changes alone can bring thousands of dollars in savings and don't require any initial investment of money. They require a conscious modification of driving habits, but no investment of money or equipment modification so savings go straight to the bank.
Use easy pressure on the brake and throttle. It will require focus and concentration. Planning ahead, being focused on the road and anticipating moments of acceleration and deceleration will save money on fuel.
Lowering speeds by only one mile per hour will improve fuel consumption over the long term. It might not add up at first, but decreasing overall speed on cruise control will show savings over weeks and months. It's another savings tip that costs no investment of money; only time and patience.
Actively practice shifting the truck into the lowest rpm. It's easy to slack on this technique but progressively shifting into each gear at a high rpm taxes fuel economy and the life of the driveline and promotes tire wear.
Save fuel on grades by using the proper acceleration techniques along with the use of the boost gauge and pyrometer. This is another technique that can only be practiced a driver's brain isn't on autopilot. When a hill or climb is evident ahead, take manual control of the truck. Increase speed with a light touch of the throttle. Downshift earlier, keep the boost and pyrometer low. Find the lowest gear that climbs the hill. A good indication is when you're still able to accelerate.
Before the top of the hill, ease back on the throttle and allow the truck to gain its own momentum for the next hill. These are the perfect places to practice fuel saving methods.