Stretching fuel economy

Stretching fuel economy

Tonneau covers are your best upgrade to get better mpg from your pickup

ProPickup readers, from landscapers to road builders, are always trying to find ways to make their pickups more efficient and perform better in the work environment.

With fuel prices bouncing between $3-$4 a gallon many professional contractors are trying to help their bottom line by finding ways to improve fuel economy. 

There are many approaches to bettering fuel economy. Keeping the tires inflated to the proper pressure,  removing unnecessary tools and gear, and driving less aggressively all save fuel.

Planning your work route to lessen backtracking also reduces fuel costs.

But none are better than installing a tonneau cover. And hard covers provide better results than soft – but both are better than leaving the bed open.

Tonneau covers have been proven in several independent studies and through the pickup manufacturer’s own wind-tunnel testing to reduce aerodynamic drag.

The improvement is less than 10-percent, which roughly translates into a real-world mpg boost of about one mile-per-gallon for full-size pickups running legal highway speed.

A slight boost in fuel economy, coupled with the better security and weather protection of tools and equipment in the bed, should be justification to consider adding a tonneau of some sort to your pickup or fleets of pickups if they are racking up the miles year in, year out. — Bruce W. Smith