"I used to be a speed demon, but no more," confessed trucker Lorraine Dawson (formerly known as "Lead Foot Lorraine"). The coast-to-coast driver has cut her speed by 5 to 10 mph to conserve fuel. Some independents are slowing down even more.
A 10 mph drop in speed can increase fuel mileage by more than a mile a gallon. That's significant when you get less than 10 miles per gallon hauling thousands of pounds of freight. Just idling, a big rig gulps down a gallon of diesel an hour. "We just can't afford it," said Dawson who has seen diesel prices more than double since she started driving 10 years ago.
Michigan based Con-way has adjusted the speed governors on its 8,400 semis from a maximum of 65 mph down to 62 mph. Spokesman Gary Frantz said the company expects to save 3.2 million gallons of fuel a year. Trucking companies also use aerodynamic fairings and special tires to improve mileage. Drivers constantly seek out more efficient routes and are cutting idling time when possible. Some trucking companies are allowing more leeway on load delivery time so drivers can save fuel.
It's time to get practical. High diesel prices are going to be here for awhile. Trucker to Trucker wants to know what you or your company are doing to conserve fuel. Share your fuel saving tips and ideas here and we'll pass them along.