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Old 04-08-2009, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Super-eco-trucker

I've been here a little while gleening tips on increasing MPG and fuel consumption.

I drive a '08 International Prostar.

Picture #2. My APU is tucked underneath the ground effects blocked my the exhaust pipe.

The company I work for "seems" to be forward thinking.
All of our company trucks Have APU's (that on average, burn only 1 gallon of diesel fuel per 8 hours of running vs. approximately 1 gallon per hour of the truck idling.)

Super-singer tires on all tractors and many trailers.

All trucks have the half moon wheel covers.

A turbo boost guage.

A large portion of our straight frame trailers are equipped with the sideskirts (from between the tractor wheels to the trailer wheels). Other trailers are drop frames (that drop down 15" right behind the tractor wheels) sort of creating their own skirting.

On top of all these, they have a fuel bonus incentive. If you maintain an average of 8mpg or better per quarter, you will recieve a $ bonus. If you're the best MPG out of the company for that quarter, you'll win a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
I've been here one year plus, and in the last 5 months started trying.

The fiscal quarter ending Jan 31, I won the regular bonus with a MPG of 8.19, 17th out of appx. 1,100 trucks. The bike winner won with a 9.2. I don't know if I can beat that. The upside is, you can only win the bike once, so second place can win; My friend won his $25k bike with second place numbers that way.

In the past months, I completely changed my way of driving -- before I discovered ecomodder. Trucks now usually come with an "instant MPG" setting on the odometer. I now only drive wearing crocs or plain barefoot. When I wear work boots, it's hard to feel the pedal and MPG goes to sh*t for the day.

I rarely use the cruise control unless I'm in a flat region. I still kick it off and use my foot when I come to an incline like an overpass to keep the turbo boost as low as possible.

Although I have a truck that will run 70mph, I cut myself back starting with 65, with little noticable results, then down to 60-61mph most times. Depending on traffic, I might go slower. When going down hills, I coast with my foot completely off the pedal. I'd experimented with Georgia overdrive, but have had better mpg without it. Go figure.

When I'm not on the highway, I try to time my starts and stops. Starting a truck from a deads stop kills my mpg, even when I take it really easy.
I'd like to have prepass for the state weigh stations, because, depending on which state I'm in and the scale location, I either have to stop, or slow down through them. Slowing is better, but not stopping at would be the best. And it seems like a large part of weigh stations are located in valleys, so it takes alot to get that momentum back. When I have to go to a truck stop or a rest area, I try to keep the location in mind. I love the ones that are at the top of hills!

We have an onboard monitor that I record and clear the data every day so I can track my strong/weak points.

It's hard to get decent mpg when running dedicated to the northeast cities, but it can be done, even without prepass and easypass for tolls.

So far, with only until the end of april left, my figures show that I'm averaging 8.605 mpg for the qtr, and today, so far I'm running 10.1, but my load only weighed 7k lbs. Now I'm empty, so should be able to maintain. Not to shabby considering that truck mpg averages from 5.5-6.

Thats all I can think of for now... lol.

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Old 04-08-2009, 05:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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SmallFry -

Welcome to EM!

Your wheel covers are FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are those custom made by your company or did they get from .... ?!?!?!?

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Old 04-08-2009, 05:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I believe they're produced, not custom by my company. Who makes them? I've not got the slightest idea. sorry.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Another thing I forgot. lol. On the truck, the rear axle is just a dummy or drag axle for weight. It's good for MPG, bad for driving in bad road conditions. Meaning: It gets stuck "easy". In normal driving conditions, only the left front wheel pulls.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallFry View Post
So far, with only until the end of april left, my figures show that I'm averaging 8.605 mpg for the qtr, and today, so far I'm running 10.1, but my load only weighed 7k lbs. Now I'm empty, so should be able to maintain. Not to shabby considering that truck mpg averages from 5.5-6.
Welcome to EcoModder.
Your numbers are very impressive!
Taking the average truck, high figure (6 mpg); that's a 33% improvement. You're conserving 50.46 gallons every 1000 miles!
What's your typical miles traveled per quarter?
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow, great stuff! Looking forward to hearing more,

Welcome to ecomodder.
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestDrive View Post
Welcome to EcoModder.
Your numbers are very impressive!
Taking the average truck, high figure (6 mpg); that's a 33% improvement. You're conserving 50.46 gallons every 1000 miles!
What's your typical miles traveled per quarter?
Last quarter, I ran 35,000 miles give or take a few. This quarter should be closer to just 30,000. I hope so anyway. It takes 30,000 + and a minimum of 8 mpg to qualify for the $500 bonus. The variable this month, vacation starts friday, so I lose a week of miles. I should have enough time after to get the 3,000 needed to make up the rest.

Back to your figures, when I started doing this, fuel was on the rise and was in the $4.50 range. I'd put in 200 gallons this particular time. Then I figured the difference from 6 - 8 mpg is roughly 400 miles extra I got on that tank. That is huge! That's just dumb truck driver math. I haven't taken the time to sit down and work out all the percentages and whatnot. lol.
That's how I can justify slowing down. Hopefully when job cuts come - hopefully not, they'll look at who's trying to save money and works hard and keep them (me).

I was wondering how they could pay $500 bonuses to winners, then I did the math on how much 1 truck saves per quarter with a minimus of 8 mpg, and figured $500 vs. the money saved over three months is a drop in the bucket. I'll bet they really like the guys that are half a*sed trying and hit 7.999. They saved a ton of fuel and money, plus they didn't have to pay him/her the bonus.

Anyway. sorry for the long reply. Truckers are typically long winded.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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First thing that comes to mind is MIRROR DELETE!!!! LMAO, just kidding.

One thing I noticed is the 2 slots/pockets on each side (looks like door guards almost, but inverted), maybe you can cover those with tape? I know it wouldn't be huge, but it would help a little. Not sure if you're allowed to modify the truck at all, or just your driving style.

Second thing I think of is a grille block for the lower slots? I'm not sure what's behind them though. Maybe even just a partial grille block on the top grille. Those trucks look pretty aerodynamic as far as trucks go.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallFry View Post
The fiscal quarter ending Jan 31, I won the regular bonus with a MPG of 8.19, 17th out of appx. 1,100 trucks. The bike winner won with a 9.2. I don't know if I can beat that. The upside is, you can only win the bike once, so second place can win; My friend won his $25k bike with second place numbers that way.
This is going to sound terrible, but what stops somebody from jacking up the rear wheels and running a couple thousand "miles" with them in the air? Wouldn't make much sense from the bonus perspective, but that one-time motorcycle prize is a tempting carrot.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Clev -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clev View Post
This is going to sound terrible, but what stops somebody from jacking up the rear wheels and running a couple thousand "miles" with them in the air? Wouldn't make much sense from the bonus perspective, but that one-time motorcycle prize is a tempting carrot.
Clever, but I am guessing it would only work for a small set of miles. Wouldn't they know the overall miles from A to B? Then again, a carrot is a carrot.

CarloSW2

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