There are several factors that affect fleet fuel efficiency and the amount of fuel a truck will use to get from one destination to another.
One of the main elements that affect fleet fuel life and efficiency are tires. According to the American Trucking Association, under-inflation by 20% results in a 30% reduction in tire life. Tires that are under-inflated causes fuel efficiency falls sharply. Proper inflation will reduce the flexing, build up and stress on tires that lead to waste of fuel. Also, If any of the wheels on a truck are not properly aligned, the total drag on the vehicle increases, wasting fuel. Each wheel position contributes a portion to the total rolling resistance. Drive tires and trailer tires account for over 85% of total rolling resistance, so keeping these properly aligned and inflated is the key to keeping tire strength, prolonging tire life, and fuel efficiency.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 5% to 15% of U.S. Fuel Consumption is related to rolling resistance. Just a 5% improvement in a truck’s rolling resistance, translates to an estimated 2% less fuel. This may not seem like a large amount, but for a business that spends $600,000 on fuel each year, could see a savings of $12,000 annually.
FACT: Replacement tires are the 3rd largest expense category for fleet managers after maintenance and fuel.
These days, all tire companies offer ‘fuel-efficient’ tires, especially for fleet vehicles. Make sure that if you are the person in charge of purchasing tires for your fleet, that you do your research. Remember to read customer reviews and compare prices to fully ensure you find the right tires for your fuel-savings needs.