Being an owner-operator had various expenses, some you can control and others unfortunately not. Some of your biggest expenses you are able to control and can do so very well if you organize your finances and find a way to minimize the amount of money spent on them. If you are with a company like Matrix that offers a fuel card that’s a great start, as well as filling up at a cheaper place but there are also other ways you can maximize your trucks fuel efficiency.
Decrease Driving Speed
The faster you drive the more fuel you are using. Every mile per hour you driver over 60 mph reduces your fuel economy by 1/10th of a mile per gallon. Being on time is very important for the shippers & receivers but speeding and driving over 60 mph can cost you an extra $11,856 more on fuel for the year. You would think that the faster you driver & the faster you get there, the more money you’re going to make.
A good example would be if you are driving about 120,000 miles for the year
6 miles per gallon = 20,000 gallons of fuel, but if you get
7 miler per gallon = 17,143 gallons of fuel
2,857 extra gallons of fuel x $4.15 per gallon (average) = $11,856 extra cost for the year
“Sweet Spot” of Your Engine
When people talk about the “sweet spot” of your engine they refer to the most efficient Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) that sweet spot is reached when driving a consistently lower speed. More fuel is going to be used if your engine is working harder than it should in order to drive at a higher speed. A good “sweet spot” to maximize your fuel efficiency for most engines tends to be between 1250 – 1350 RPM, but not over 1500 RPM.
Sometimes you are caught in that moment where you have to slam on your breaks to avoid a collision, but for the rest of the time, keep your distance. When you leave a little extra distance between you and the car in front it helps you anticipate when they’re slowing down or braking. That extra room between you and the car in front could be enough to where you can just slow down and not stop completely. When you break or come to a complete stop, you than have to accelerate which makes your engine work harder and burn more fuel.
Shifting gears is very important in relation to fuel efficiency, it’s better to shift to a higher gear while keeping a low RPM. Don’t wait for your RPM to get too high, when you are driving fast in a low gear your engine is consuming nearly 45% more fuel than it actually needs. Keep that “sweet spot” in mind when you are shifting gears, you don’t want your engine working harder than it has to.
Fuel Costs For An Owner Operator
Fuel costs are one of the higher expenses that an owner operator has to have knowledge over, but making the right choices can put a lot more money in your pocket. An annual cost on fuel is anywhere between $50,000-$70,000…. these tips on how to maximize your trucks fuel efficiency could be a huge difference in your bank account at the end of the day. Here at Matrix we believe that a successful team is a happy team, and we strive for excellence in every aspect.