Ways to Increase your Fuel Mileage in a Semi Truck

Can you imagine being happy with getting only six to eight miles per gallon from your personal vehicle? Most of us would not be impressed at all with such low mileage. Yet for professional semi truck drivers, striving for increased fuel mileage is very important. Getting six to eight miles per gallon means the semi truck is operating efficiently. (Some semis only get four miles per gallon.)

Those who drive for a company don’t worry too much about the cost of fuel or how many gallons they get per mile because they get paid based on the number of miles they drive. However, owner-operators pay very close attention to these figures because they have to cover the costs of their own fuel. In some instances, the cost can be as much as 40% of their gross earnings per month!

Factors that Affect Fuel Efficiency

There are some factors that will affect your fuel mileage in a semi truck that you can’t really control. For example, wind resistance forces you to increase your speed which uses up more fuel. Also, truckers have no control over the cost of fuel per gallon. That said, there are some ways you can increase your fuel mileage that won’t cost you very much to implement.

  • The first thing you can do to increase fuel is to purchase an auxiliary power unit. APUs reduce idling time which is a fuel glut.
  • Next, reduce the amount of added chrome and accessories on your semi truck. Too much of it – especially those pieces that are quite heavy- will add weight and increase the amount of fuel your truck consumes.
  • Also, the amount of air in your tires will affect fuel mileage as well. You should check your tires routinely to ensure that you have just the right amount of air in them at all times. The amount of air moving underneath the semi truck is important as well. Too much air means you will be struggling as you drive down the road.
  • Finally, there are special designed pieces you can place under your truck as well as on the roof of it in order to reduce the amount of drag your rig produces.

Incorporating these ways to increase your fuel mileage in a semi truck can greatly improve your efficiency in the end. Knowing how to make your rig fuel efficient can be your hedge against the fluctuating cost of gas as can auxiliary power maintenance.

Read more...

Valuable Skills you Need to Succeed in the Trucking Industry

Being a truck driver involves much more than sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle and driving all day. There are plenty of skills needed in order to do a great job at it. For example, excellent communication skills are needed to make a great truck driver. You have to be able to talk with your dispatcher in order to get the right loads and to work out any delivery or pick up problems. Moreover, if you work for a company you are essentially its representative and must communicate with clients.

Navigation is another part of driving a semi truck as there are particular roads that can be used and those that can’t. GPS is helpful of course, but truck drivers should also be able to read maps so they can find their destination. They must also be on the lookout for clearance signs on bridges and bypasses to ensure their truck and trailer aren’t too tall to fit under them.

Also, truck drivers need to be responsible and reliable. Driving a semi truck can be dangerous for both the driver and other people on the road. Obeying the rules of the road and following the speed limit is one of the driver’s most solemn duties. Next, motivation is very helpful for truck drivers because it helps them to get the job done correctly. It can be easy to turn off that alarm and go back to bed when you are tired, but being motivated to make every delivery on time is what will keep you in business and keep commerce moving.

Successful truck driver must also have above par organizational abilities. There is plenty of paperwork that drivers’ must complete on a daily basis. The log book – for example – needs to be filled out correctly or you can end up in trouble with the law and with your employer. Moreover, trip packets have to be completed with all of the necessary paperwork or it can delay your pay for the work you completed. Finally, you also have to keep track of your expenses so you are able to use them as deductions on your income tax return.

Most importantly, it is useful if the truck driver has a basic understanding of how their semi truck operates. This way they can identify any problems that can be prevented. For example, drivers should know that having an auxiliary power unit can increase fuel efficiently by reducing idling time. They should also know the importance of APU maintenance and well as how to stay on top of his/her rig’s other systems. In short, these skills will help keep the job enjoyable and safe as well as profitable for the driver and his/her employer.

Read more...

APUs: Reasons they are Worth the Investment

Anyone who owns a truck or manages a fleet of trucks knows how fuel expenses can quickly spiral out of control. An auxiliary power unit (APU) is a well proven technology that provides an affordable way to save operators fuel and time. How? Check out the top reasons an APU can be the best investment in your truck(s) you’ve made all year.

  • Decreases idling, Increases green efforts: According to several studies, approximately one gallon of diesel fuel is burned per hour of idle. Take that problem – which all motorists experience – and extrapolate it out to an entire fleet of trucks and you can see how it can add up to a major expense. However, when an APU is engaged, the number drops to only .10 gallons of fuel used per 1 hour of idle. What business or individual trucker driver would not be better off with such savings?
  • Helps truck drivers avoid idling fines: Idling is not only costly in terms of added fuel expenses, it is also harmful to the environment as pollutants are expelled while a truck sits and burns fuel. For this reason, authorities are cracking down on idling. In fact, some municipalities are levying fines of up to $1,000 for as little as five minutes of idling. Switching to an APU can eliminate the need to idle and save your company that extra expense.
  • Helps reduce maintenance costs: Preventive maintenance is the key to keeping fleets up and running. Integrating an APU into your truck’s operating system you will help you do this. It will also help you use your components such as your HVAC less. Finally reduced maintenance costs can help keep your fleets out of the shop and out on the road as much as possible increasing your company’s profit. apu
  • More in cab comfort: An installed APU system can become the sleep cab’s main source of power fueling the air conditioning, heating, etc., all without the use of the main engine. Thus, driver comfort can be increased greatly.

Your company invests in other quality equipment to ensure that its fleet stays out on the road. Why not invest in a system that saves you money and helps the environment at the same time? Our product line includes APUs from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. We also perform auxiliary power maintenance for our clients.

Read more...

5 Ways Truck Drivers can Reduce Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nine people die and 1,000 people are injured a day as a direct result of distracted driving. People who drive for a living are in even greater danger of ending up in one of these statistics since they spend so much time of the road. Below are some tips that will help you stay focused on the road ahead and can help make you a safer driver. .

  • Do not text while driving: Not only is this illegal for CMV drivers, it is also one the most common distractions for both truck drivers and non-truck drivers alike. Texting demands that you to take your eyes, hands, and mind off the job of driving leaving you vulnerable to all kinds of hazards. Keep your mind on the road and if you must text someone pull over first and come to a complete stop.
  • Do not dial a handheld phone while driving: This is also illegal for CMV drivers. If you do have to call someone while you are in motion us a voice-activated hands-free phone or phone app.
  • Make all adjustments before hitting the road: One of the first things driver education instructors do is to urge students to adjust their mirror, seats, etc. before starting out. Similarly, truck drivers should set GPS, climate control, and sound systems, as well as adjust mirrors and seats, before setting out on the road especially when they are about to start a long journey.
  • Keep eyes on the road: Drivers should avoid looking away from the road for too long and instead focus on where they are going. However, it also makes good sense to move your eyes every two seconds and scan mirrors every five to eight seconds to avoid the phenomenon known as “highway hypnosis.” semi truck
  • Avoid eating while driving: If at all possible, eat meals or snacks before or after your haul. Some foods are messy and difficult to manage while you are driving.

Driving requires your full attention. It also requires you to have a vehicle that is performing at peak efficiency so that you can handle unavoidable emergencies that can surprise even the most skilled driver. You can improve the efficiency of your truck with an auxiliary power unit (APU). An APU can help increase gas efficiency and reduce idling time. We sell APUs at a reasonable price and even perform auxiliary power maintenance on your existing unit.

Read more...

5 Money Saving Tips for Drivers

There are plenty of expenses that come with driving a truck. And when it comes to fleet drivers the bottom line is the gross amount of money a driver spends less their expenses. Thus, the best way for an operator to increase his/her bottom line is by cutting expenses. This can significantly help increase the amount of revenue they are able to keep for themselves. Because we fully support truckers and know how expensive driving the big rigs can be, we would like to point out these areas where operators can save money.

  • The truck: Naturally, the biggest investment a truck driver has is in the purchase of the truck itself. In this, operators can save by purchasing a used truck that does not have a too much wear and tear on it. Drivers with good credit can usually find a reasonable interest rate on their auto loan. Even if a driver’s credit is “less than perfect,” he or she should shop around for the best rate and pay off the principle of the loan at every opportunity he/she can.
  • Routine maintenance: Making the effort to have your rig regularly maintained saves time and money. Getting regular oil changes, having belts and hoses checked as well as other systems serviced can head off expensive repairs.
  • Fuel: Truck owners and drivers can save on fuel costs in any number of ways. First, they can check out the many chain truck stops that offer fuel cards. With these, each time you use your card you can save a few cents per gallon. Next, avoid having your truck idle. As we’ve discussed before, this is illegal in many areas and wastes fuel. An auxiliary power unit can help reduce idling. Auxiliary power maintenance will keep your unit up and running when needed. Finally, moderate your speed when driving.
  • Food: Drivers can save a great deal of money by purchasing a mini-fridge and packing it with food items before they start out on the road. money
  • Use technology: There are several apps that can let drivers know about fuel prices in the areas where they will be traveling. Use these to save on fuel costs and to help let other drivers know about prices in certain areas.

Fuel and other expenses don’t have to represent a static cost for you or significantly reduce your bottom line. You can save money by using the above tips to become a more profitable and efficient driver.

Read more...

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Truck Engine Idle

Last time we discussed the many advantages to having an auxiliary power unit (APU) for your trucks. Key among these reasons is that it helps reduce idling time. Not only can this be an expensive proposition for your company and your fleet, idling also negatively impacts drivers in the following ways:

  • It reduces your gas efficiency: If you own a fleet of trucks then fuel is one of your biggest operational costs. Idling waste fuel since your truck is not fully in operation while the engine is still running. And since it is not always practical to completely turn off your engine in every situation in order to save gas, an APU unit can help you reduce fuel costs.
  • Contributes to better air quality: The quality of the air we breathe should be important to all of us. As a responsible truck driver/fleet manager, we know that you will want to help minimize harmful emissions into the air when possible. The longer a vehicle idles, the more pollutants are released into the environment. In fact, some studies show that just 10 minutes of idling emits one pound of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide is a known greenhouse gas that is also a proven contributor to global warming. semi truck
  • Keeps you in legal compliance: As we also discussed in a previous post, many states are cracking down on idling particularly that done by trucks. In fact, 30 states have made it illegal for heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses to idle for more than five minutes at a time. New York City law even forbids cars and taxicabs from idling outside of schools for more than one minute!
  • It causes engine damage: Idling your truck, particularly in cold weather, strips oil from critical components that help protect its cylinders and pistons. As you know, a truck that is down cannot make you money. Moreover, such damage can shorten the life of your engine requiring you to replace it at great cost.

Do yourself, and your wallet, a favor this by having an auxiliary power unit installed in your truck or by having auxiliary power maintenance performed on your current unit. Our ASE-certified technicians are here to help your engine last longer with the aid of the right APU.

Read more...

APU Maintenance and Care: What You Need To Know

When it comes to giving your truck the best, it doesn’t get any better than a top-quality auxiliary power unit (APU). APUs are a wise investment, saving you energy, gas, and money. Plus, they’re much more environmentally friendly, helping to reduce air pollution. So, how you take care of the item that’s taking care of your truck? Routine APU maintenance and care are undoubtedly the best way to ensure the performance and longevity of your unit.

Let’s Get Down To Basics

APU maintenance and care is relatively easy, once you know the basics. An APU with a generator uses about one gallon of diesel fuel ever 4-6 hours. A unit without a generator consumes about one gallon every 3-4 hours. Your auxiliary power unit should be serviced every 600-1000 hours (about 4-6 months) to maintain optimum performance. In between these check-ups, keep an eye out for cracks and/or corrosion on the mounts, radiator, connectors, and seals. Be sure to regularly wash and rinse your unit to keep out debris buildup.

And, of course, you want to start off right with a high-quality brand APU to give you the most for your investment. Our company carries a wide range of top-performing brands guaranteed to outperform the competition. Visit us online today to explore our products!

 

Read more...