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7 Useful Tips on How to Get Better Gas Mileage in a Truck

The strength and size of trucks are unmatched, but not without any drawbacks. The reality is, your full-size pickup truck won’t beat out a Prius in terms of fuel efficiency. On the bright side, there are several ways to improve gas mileage and realize fuel savings for your truck. Aside from forking out the money to purchase the most fuel-efficient truck, you can follow some simple and easy tips to improve your current truck’s miles per gallon.

See below for our list of the 7 most useful tips on how to get better gas mileage in a truck.

Maintain a Steady Ride

Constant acceleration and braking drastically hinders fuel economy. Instead, you should try to maintain a steady ride on the streets and freeway, making sure to keep a fair distance away from the car ahead of you and never excessively rev the truck engine.

Cruise control can be a useful tool to improve gas mileage by keeping a steady ride on level roads. But, it can actually hurt efficiency when driving on uneven terrain or uphill climbs. Always understand your surrounding road conditions and make changes to your driving style accordingly.

Conduct a Seasonal Truck Maintenance 

Various internal factors can affect your truck’s fuel economy. From tire pressure to the performance intake engine, it’s important to ensure that your truck parts are properly equipped for maximal fuel efficiency. 

For example, underinflated tires increase rolling resistance, which decreases overall fuel efficiency. Similarly, a quiet, noise-suppressing intake system or exhaust places strain on the engine, which hurts mileage. Make sure to routinely check your truck’s tire pressure, especially before a long trip or hauling heavy loads, and properly inflate if necessary. And, consider replacing your default air intake system and exhaust with higher performing ones aimed at improving fuel economy.

For more info, check out our top tips on how to stay on the road with fall truck maintenance

Pump the Right Type of Gas

Gas versus diesel pickup trucks have been widely debated, each with their pros and cons. Before jumping on the wave of premium fuel, however, read your pickup truck’s owner manual to see what the manufacturer recommends. 

While higher-octane gasoline improves fuel efficiency, its dollar costs tend to offset its fuel savings. Unless the owner manual recommends premium fuel or your truck is equipped with a turbocharger or supercharger, you’re better off sticking with regular gas and avoiding the extra expenses for premium gallons of fuel.

Plan the Right Route

Oftentimes, excess fuel consumption is caused not just by the truck itself, but by the route you take as well. A daily work commute into highly congested traffic is a sure way to drain gas mileage. 

The easiest method to avoid the crowd and ensure you take a smoother, less intensive route is to use a truck GPS. These GPS are specifically designed for pickup truck and box truck owners seeking the most efficient route, equipped with detailed mapping and fuel logging as well.

If you need help with identifying the perfect route, check out our list of The Best Truck GPS for Truck Drivers in 2020.

Decrease Truck A/C Usage

One of the easiest ways to attain increased fuel efficiency is to simply turn off your pickup truck’s air conditioning. While it might be tempting to leave it on and cool your truck during the summer heat, opening the windows can be a much more fuel-efficient alternative. 

Equip a Tonneau Cover or Camper Shell

Pickup trucks are known for their poor aerodynamics, which plays an important role in their fuel economy. Ineffective aerodynamics is caused by the open nature of the truck bed and tailgate, but luckily there’s a quick fix for that.

Equipping a tonneau cover or camper shell are extremely useful truck accessories to buy if you’re looking to improve aerodynamics. With reduced drag, your truck can enjoy the benefits of reduced fuel consumption and bed safety from the elements and theft. Plus, these accessories are easily retractable or removable, which comes in handy if you need to engage in furniture deliveries or apartment moves.

Turn Off the Engine Whenever Possible

Whether you’re waiting in a drive-thru line or at a standstill in traffic, it’s a good idea to turn off your truck engine to save on fuel consumption and achieve better gas mileage. Overtime, this small action can make a huge difference in terms of fuel economy, meaning less trips and money spent at the pump.

Additional Resources

Looking for more information about trucks or trucking? Check out these additional posts from GoShare.