Recent volatility in fuel prices has an outsized impact on businesses that rely on trucking. Fuel is often the biggest operating expense when operating a dump truck or fleet of trucks. We see this impact on contractors and material suppliers who have to pay increased rates or surcharges to accommodate rising costs. We also recognize that haulers feel the strain going to work each day.

More than ever, it is essential to take active measures to improve fuel efficiency for dump trucks. Whether you hire haulers, manage a fleet or drive a dump truck, everyone has an interest in managing fuel efficiency.

Here are some things every hauler and owner/operator can do:

Check your tires. Tires low on air pressure make the engine work harder, which means you’re burning more fuel. Ensure that tires are always inflated to the proper pressure to boost gas mileage over time.

Cut down on idle time. You’re not getting anywhere when you’re idling, but you’re still burning fuel. Whenever possible, try to keep idle time to a minimum and shut your truck off if you will be sitting for an extended period.

Keep up with truck maintenance. Several maintenance tasks can help keep trucks more fuel-efficient. For example, getting tires aligned, replacing filters and changing oil are small maintenance tasks that help boost efficiency.

Accelerate gently and don’t speed. It’s not easy to “gun it” for a large, heavy dump truck, but try to avoid rapid acceleration from a stopped position to prevent burning fuel at a faster rate. Not only does maintaining the speed limit ensure safe driving, the faster you go, the more fuel you’re going to burn so stick to the posted speed limit.

Reduce drag. Anything you can do to reduce drag on your truck will help you improve fuel efficiency. While this is more typical of over-the-road hauling, covering your load with a tarp or using vented mud flaps or skirting on your dump truck help keep material from flying out of the truck and may help reduce drag.

Take the best route. Are you taking the most efficient routes? Navigation tools can help you find the most direct routes or can redirect you in the event of traffic build up.

Gas up in the morning. Studies suggest that gas is most dense in the morning when the temperatures are lower from overnight. That means you get more gas for your money versus filling it up in the hottest parts of the day when gas is least dense.

Your Partner for a Complete Trucking Solution

Iron Sheepdog is a powerful tool for dispatching and managing a fleet. With GPS tracking and analytics tools, it is easy to make trucking more efficient and cost effective.

Learn more about our complete trucking solution.