If you are a new trucker, you will quickly find out that the diesel fuel you use to run your rig will be one of the biggest expenses you encounter. If you run your rig independently and do not have the luxury of a boss who pays for your energy cost, you will want to do whatever possible to keep money in your pocket rather than constantly filling your tank. Here are a few ways you can save on the cost of diesel when driving a rig.
Watch How You Shift
When you are first starting out in a truck driving position, you will want to test different combinations of shifting and braking when slowing your vehicle to get up and down hills. As you learn the progressive shifting method, you will see your diesel costs decrease overall. This method is used by many semi-truck operators to keep diesel usage at a lower level. Using the gears will use more diesel, making it favorable to incorporate your braking into your driving routine so you are not using your gears exclusively as this will just suck up more diesel.
Keep Your Eye On Pricing
Since you are the one taking orders from customers, you will need to plot out your route before you take off for the highway. While you are checking maps and interstate construction conditions on the Internet, do a quick search for fuel costs along the route as well. Knowing which states have lower rates will help you determine where you should fill up while on the road. Do not leave your tank too low at any point, however, as you could end up with an empty tank if you miscalculated the mileage between rest stops.
Consider signing up for truck stop loyalty cards at service stations you frequent often. Some will reward you with discounted diesel rates, money off on merchandise in a convenience store on-site, or even free use of showers on the premises.
Maintain Your Truck
Making sure you do routine maintenance to your truck will help keep your diesel fuel costs from escalating. Change out the air filter regularly as this can become clogged, making the engine run harder to get oxygen through to get combustion needed to keep your truck running efficiently. When the engine runs harder, more diesel is used. Keep your tires at the proper inflation. Having under-inflated tires will reduce your fuel efficiency. Check your tires' pressure when you have not been driving your truck for several hours, to get an accurate reading.