Fuel is the second biggest expense for a trucking company. According to the ATA, fuel can account for 20% or more of a company’s operating costs! That’s a real motivator to run as efficiently as possible. Depending on where you run, low-resistance tires can help with drag and improve fuel efficiency. Proper and regular maintenance, like tire maintenance, can also help you get more miles per gallon. However, the one thing everyone can control is speed.
Speeding is costing your business money. With the industry watching the Hours of Service more closely and clients putting pressure on truckers for tight deliveries, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Going a few miles over the speed limit seems like a good way to make up the difference, but it’s not. It’s taking money right out of your pocket and doesn’t even save you much time.
John Doe is hauling from Kansas City, KS to St Louis, MO on 1-70E. This highway stretch is roughly 247 miles. If he drives 65mph the whole way, he’ll arrive in St Louis in 3 hours and 48 minutes. If he drives 75mph, he will only save 30 minutes.
247 miles ÷ 65mph = 3.8 hours = 3 hours and 48 minutes
247 miles ÷ 75mph = 3.29 hours = 3 hours and 18 minutes
In both scenarios, Joe will arrive to his receiver on time, but by driving 75mph, Joe will spend roughly 8.5% more on fuel. When a monthly fuel bill can be thousands of dollars, 8.5% adds up. By speeding, Joe is potentially adding hundreds of unnecessary fuel dollars to his expenses. According to the ATRI, speed governors are “one of the top fuel-saving technologies currently being employed by fleets.” During a 2009 study, the ATRI also found that driving at consistent speeds could save you money. Speeding up and slowing down wastes fuel.
There’s a lot to be said about driving a little slower. You increase your chances of getting to your destination safely and save some money in the process. It’s a win/win for your bottom dollar.