Of course, money isn’t the only
consideration. The environment is a key
factor, too. Nearly 30% of all greenhouse
gas emissions in Canada are produced
by the road transportation sector, a
significant portion of them from heavyduty
vehicles. Fortunately, there are many
practical decisions you can make as a
driver to be more fuel-efficient - from
vehicle specifications to behind-the-wheel
techniques and behaviours.
Making smart choices
Your driving habits can reduce the amount
of fuel you burn. Here are some tips you
Preparation and planning
• Plan your route carefully: flat routes are
more fuel efficient than mountainous
routes; highway driving is more fuel
efficient than “inner city” driving.
• Carefully consider your vehicle
specification options and always
maximize your payload: instead of
60% capacity, try to achieve 80
or 90% capacity.
• Read the owner’s manual for your
vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s
Fuel and your engine
• Using the proper grade and type of
fuel can improve fuel economy by as
much as 3%.
• A direct drive transmission instead of an
overdrive transmission may reduce fuel
consumption by up to 2%.
Vehicle choice and
• Optimize tractor aerodynamics:
reducing aerodynamic drag by 10%
can increase fuel efficiency by 5%.
Consider using doubles or triples instead
of single trailers where authorized.
• Use rib design tires in all positions: it’s
more fuel efficient than using lug tires on
the drive and steering axle.
• Consider using low rolling resistance
tires. When looking at the specifications
of a new truck, remember that super
single tires provide low rolling resistance
as well as lower height and less weight.
• Choose lighter truck specifications
where appropriate. Less vehicle
weight means better fuel economy
and can also offer more freight
capacity increasing income per
• Use accessories such as oil pan
heaters and block heaters (to help with
cold starting and hasten lubrication),
fuel heaters (to prevent fuel gelling),
thermostatically controlled engine
fans, winter fronts, battery blankets
and in-cab auxiliary heaters to improve
productivity and fuel efficiency.
Dealing with the weather
Weather conditions affect fuel efficiency.
Driving on snow-covered roads can
increase fuel consumption by 15 to 20%,
and fuel economy can be significantly
affected by heavy winds. Here are a few
ways to minimize the effects of weather:
• Avoid bad weather where possible by
changing trip times or routes.
• Adjust speed to suit the conditions,