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The Top Factors That Affect Fuel Economy

The Top Factors That Affect Fuel Economy

Fuel continues to be the most common (and often most burdensome) expense for truckers. Even trucking companies that place a large emphasis on logistics and get the most out of every trip can’t get around the cost of fuel. And while a number of factors affect the price of fuel, trucking companies have been utilizing unique strategies in recent years for reducing the amount of fuel they use on any given trip. By focusing on utilizing specific parts and designs geared toward optimal fuel-efficiency, truckers and trucking companies have cut costs and strengthened their bottom line.


The transmission plays a large part in the way a commercial vehicle handles. While a transmission traditionally aids the engine and provides torque to the wheels, a transmission can also greatly affect the fuel efficiency of any given vehicle. While overdrive manual transmissions are the most common types used in commercial trucks, automated transmissions are becoming more popular. Not only are these models easier to work with by truckers of all skill levels, they can help any vehicle equipped with them get superior mileage.


Though some may not think that tires play a big factor in how a truck performs in terms of fuel economy, they play a very important role in overall mileage. Tires with deeper tread (either by design or from being broken in due to regular use) provide less rolling resistance and thus offer better fuel efficiency. It’s also important to make sure tires are properly inflated during every trip. Experts suggest that for every 10psi a tire lacks in terms of the recommended levels, the truck will lose 1% of its fuel economy.

Weight and Body Style

The amount of resistance a truck encounters from wind while on the road affects the fuel economy to a significant degree. Everything from hood designs to specialized wide extenders have been created to help redirect airflow and allow the vehicle to travel without being impeded so heavily by wind resistance. However, even a truck that features aerodynamic design may have an underwhelming fuel economy if it is overloaded. Keeping a rig within its recommended weight limits is a basic but effective way to minimize overall fuel costs on any given trip.

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