Panel: Want your MPGs to go up? Slow down

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Drivers looking to squeeze more miles per gallon from their trucks packed a conference room at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville Thursday in search of insight from some of the industry’s leading experts.

Mike Roeth, director of North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), lists things like tire pressure systems, low rolling resistance tires, aerodynamic packages and idle reduction as key elements toward improving efficiency and the bottom line but speed is a key – and free – factor.

“Every 1 percent [of fuel efficiency] is about $500, so these things can add up pretty quickly,” he says.

“You get about .1 mpg for each 1 mph. When you think about 75 versus 65 …. those 10 miles per hour are costing you money.”

“I’m not saying you need to drive 45 mph,”adds TJ Tennent, engineering manager for Bridgestone. “I’m saying when you slow down 10 miles an hour [from 75 mph], you’re getting almost an extra mile per gallon. It may take you an hour longer, but you’re saving 15 percent (more fuel).”

Dan Arcy, OEM technical manager for Shell Lubricants, says if all on-highway trucks could pick up an extra 1 percent of fuel economy improvement, it would save more than a million gallons of fuel.