Rawze.com: Rawze's ISX Technical Discussion and more

Full Version: Are you a Big-Rig Hypermiler ?...
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
A hyper-Wha???

hypermiling
/ˈhaɪpəˌmaɪlɪŋ/
noun
1.
the practice of maximizing the fuel economy of a motor vehicle, especially through driving technique and vehicle maintenance

========

The average fuel mileage of an 18 wheeler in the USA is estimated to be roughly about 6 miles to the gallon. Someone who is considered a hypermiler is someone who goes to great lengths to beat this average as much as possible by modifying, maintaining, and driving their truck in a way that maximizes mpg above all else. Someone who consistently drives for high fuel mileage should easily be able to beat the 6 mpg average. It is not unusual to see some trucks break the 8 or higher mpg range while moving heavy freight when hypermiling.

Boasting you are getting the big mpg numbers in trucking is quite often looked at like the tale of the big fish that got away though. Many in trucking think that a consistent 8 or 9 mpg is about as believable as someone professing they were abducted by aliens. No disrespect to the aliens, I used to think that surely someone was lying when they made such claims. It just did not seem possible.

When I first started driving a truck, I was unsure that anything much more than about 7 mpg could be achieved when moving 80,000 lbs down the highway. Because there are so many skeptics out there just like I was, I though it would only be appropriate to start out by posting the mpg numbers of my own truck. Maybe others can use the data to compare their own results. Here are the fuel mileage numbers based on gallons purchased versus miles driven. It is a collection of data between April 2011 and February 2018 and this is a time span of almost 7 years. My truck has always been used for dry-van or refrigerated freight and almost always loaded close to 80,000 lbs. It also travels across all 48 states ...

[attachment=3696]


-- So, why would someone become a hypermiler in trucking? ...

MORE MONEY $$$!!!

In the trucking industry, the cost of fuel far outweighs any other expense. It is not unusual for a typical truck owner to spend upwards of $70,000+ in fuel in a single year. This is a LOT of $$$ being poured right into your fuel tanks. Because of this, ANYTHING,.. and I mean ANYTHING that a person can do to lessen this cost will directly result in more money in their wallet at the end of each day. The trouble is that many truck owners take spending money for fuel for granted all too easily. They get caught up driving at higher speeds to keep up with traffic, not down-shifting early to get up that hill, using the cruise control a lot, and all the other fuel-wasting habits that set in over time. It is just too easy to let slip away that paying attention to their number one expense... The fuel bill.

The consumption of fuel by the truck is also an indicator of how hard someone is working it. The harder you work your equipment, the more fuel gets used to do so. The less you work your equipment, the less fuel is consumed. Because of this, fuel efficiency can also be used to indirectly measure the amount of truck and engine wear too. What this means is that a truck owners number two expense, being repair and maintenance, can be significantly reduced right along side of fuel costs simply by doing the things to improve overall fuel mileage.

What type of truck owner driver are you?...

Experiences working with others shows a clear pattern of 2 very distinct type of truck owners when it comes to fuel mileage discussions. A type of "what side of the fence are you on" where people will either agree with every word that a hypermiler does, or those who will argue everything away and say that they do just as well by not doing any of it. The truth is that after hearing both sides of this argument and doing lots of testing, what side of the fence a person is on always comes down to a couple things ...

Many of the guys who are on the hypermiler side, have at one point usually lost their shirt in trucking and had to learn to become more profitable the hard way. These are usually people who have not been driving very many years and are still willing to learn things to improve their own profit margins. For the most part, it is considered the "modern style truck owners" who actually like aero style trucks and that fatter paycheck above looks and the all mighty cow-boy trucker hard core ego.

The second side of that fence,.. The side that argues away everything modern in trucking like it was a disease, typically prefers that "old-school look". They like always driving with the flow of traffic or perhaps faster, they like more power, more more more, and all the things that suck fuel out of the bottom of their tanks. These type of drivers are also mostly those same drivers who have been driving for many years and are stuck in a by-gone era of trucking, wishing things should go back to "the way they used to be". They complain about these "newer engines and trucks" always breaking down, always giving headache, and always causing them grief. Try to have a discussion with them and box them into that corner of "It's your bad driving style and habits" and you will always get the same answers in the end. -- It is that familiar broken record of ... "Well, I just can't drive slower than other people, and I just can't be that bored going down the road, and I just can't find myself to actually have to use the fuel pedal instead of the cruise control, and I can't be bothered to have to shift twice as much instead of increasing my horsepower" ... No matter what,.. there is always that refusal to wake up to the reality of "It is here to stay".

Let me set the record straight once in for all....

No matter what side of this fence you are on, SLOWING DOWN A BIT, APPLYING BETTER DRIVING HABITS, AND DOING THINGS TO SAVE FUEL AND WEAR ON YOUR EQUIPMENT ALWAYS YIELDS A HIGHER PROFIT!. Even if you are one of those guys who likes fighting traffic, big square nose trucks and all the other things working against your number one and number two expenses. It simply becomes a a matter of "how much" or "how far" you are willing to improve your income vs what you can tolerate in fuel losses and down-time cost as an Owner-Op.

To be highly profitable in the trucking industry in this modern era of problematic engines/trucks with all their emissions and "less than solid" designs, becoming a hypermiler is the direct and correct counter-attack against it. If you are one of those truck owners with nothing but problems and major expenses, then your best attack to getting profitable and staying there is to learn to operate the equipment for better profit instead of better miles, power, or speeds.

I happen to be one of those people in this new era of trucking myself. When I started driving, fuel was at a cost of $4.50 a gallon and fuel sur-charge was still a new thing. The only way I could get my truck to make a decent profit was to find ways to reduce fuel costs as much as possible, I really had no choice. This is what drove me to become a hypermiler and I have seen its benefits. I could not imagine or want anything less than every last red penny my truck can earn for me. Sorry, but I will take driving slower, having to shift in and out of gears a lot, letting people pass me, etc. for better fuel efficiency and more money. This is how we make our living.


Horsepower setting results ...

Between 400,000 miles and 500,000 miles, I had the power in my engine set at 575 HP instead of the 450hp it is now. Even though we drove the same way with the same boost etc., my long term record shows that my lifetime average was slipping away. I set it back to 485hp for a long time, then in November of 2017, I dropped it again down to 450hp. I am more than willing to sacrifice power away for better fuel mileage any day of the week. After more than a million miles of entries, it becomes very difficult to get that lifetime average to budge, but we can see it inching upwards again. That is a good sign we are doing the right thing.

Driving and other things ...

Ever since our truck was new, we have been perfecting our driving techniques. It is a constant and ongoing process. Here are some things we have learned so far...

* The more out of gear you keep the truck, the less energy is consumed turning the engine with no fuel going to it. This is especially true going down hills. - I.E.> We drive out of gear so much that our qualcomm shows only about 14% in top gear in a million miles. We have a 10-speed tranny so it is a constant shifting in and out of gear between 9'th and 10'th and neutral. Some days we shift so often and so many hundreds of times, our arms are sore,.. but we smile when we see how much fuel we have saved. The tranny is original, has never needed anything but regular oil changes, and after over a million miles, it is still in great shape. Coasting, coasting, and more coasting as much as possible. Any distance more than 1/4 mile coasting will gain you fuel mileage.

* We only drive 55 - 60 mph. Sometimes we get loads that have an extra day on delivery, so we slow down even more. We are not getting payed for sitting on the load that extra day, so instead of complaining about it, we improve our profit margin instead. We will drive as slow as 53 mph where permissible and milk it for all we can get instead of rushing to the other end and wasting time waiting. For us, a bit more time on a delivery = money directly in our pockets with higher fuel mileage and lower maintenance costs + less down time.

* Driving is done like there is a loose watermelon lying in the floor. We also gently raise and lower the rpm when shifting into and out of gears. We prevent the temptation of snap acceleration changes as much as possible. Recently I heard of one driver who has started using an empty thermos bottle to practice this. Nice idea, just make sure it is not located somewhere where it can get caught under a fuel or brake pedal. Perhaps a string on the handle to prevent this?.

* Keeping a large following distance allows us to NOT touch our brakes unless absolutely necessary. We drive as if there were no brakes on the truck and we don't want it to roll into something/someone. Safety is always a priority, so it is nice to know we have brakes when we need them. We also use the jake brakes and stay in gear whenever we are on steep inclines or traffic/conditions that do not permit. Safety has a higher priority than anything else we do.

* We never top off our fuel tanks to the very top. A lot of truck owners do not know that if you top off your tanks to the very top, fuel will bleed out of the tank breather tubes and you will loose fuel mileage. This is especially true if you climb a steep grade and the breather tube is located near the rear of the fuel tank. When the fuel heats up and it expands, it will come oozing out and you will see it as dirt buildup on the outside of the tanks. What we do instead when fueling is only fill the tank to the tip of the fuel nozzle with is as far into the tank as possible. When it "clicks off", we stop fueling.

* We drive by our boost and pyro gauges methodically. We never let the boost go above about 10 lbs or so even when climbing steep hills. We down-shift early on and use the HP instead of torque when the truck is heavy, to get it up and over. Boost stays low and rpm's are high whenn pulling a steep grade (1600 rpm is a good place to be). We do not push the truck hard at all and it pays big-time. Better fuel mileage and longer engine life.

* We anticipate traffic and traffic lights. We watch the cross-walk posts and their timers when we are in a city environment to see when a traffic light is about to change and act accordingly.

* We let the terrain dictate our speeds even if it is subtle. In some places, it is actually better to have a bit of momentum, and other places it is better to just let the truck slow down a bit. Only much practice and discipline will make someone good at judging and predicting this.

* When we are tight for a delivery schedule, we plan the route better. If we know we will need to keep a higher average to make a delivery time, we will look at the entire route and decide where to speed up a bit,.. perhaps even to 65+ mph if needed. Elsewhere when we get into more difficult, fuel consuming terrain, we can let it slow down and still maintain the overall average.

* We ALWAYS try to pick a load up early. Especially if it has a tight delivery schedule. We will also NOT speed up for anyone. If the shipper gets us out 3 hours late,.. then the load gets to the other end 3 hours late. The receiver is welcome to call and bitch all they want to at the shipper for getting us out late, but not at us. We did our job!.

- Anyways, there is more to doing the "hypermiler" thing, these are some of the highlights. We also keep our truck well maintained so that it does not have to stop. We use good tires with great rolling resistance, we keep tires slightly over-inflated, and we do regular checks on components that might cost us fuel mileage. We do this because it is how we started out in our own truck ownership,.. when fuel was much more a gallon and we have never forgotten this. I maintain a constant attitude of "it will go back to the high prices some day", and I want to already be prepared for it so that it does not effect me.

The next time you are cursing at your truck,.. how little money you might have made,.. or the constant problems,... stop yourself and ask yourself -- "How would Rawze have driven this thing?"... because if I can do it,.. so can anyone else. They just have to set out to do so and stick to it. - There is no loss in making yourself slow down a bit, save fuel, create less wear on your truck, and become a safer driver. It is my way of protesting big-oil and all those regulating bodies hell bent on taking every penny I earn. Screw that, I want a fat wallet instead.
Here is also the state to state averages that are in my fuel database. It indicates from what state to what state we get our best and worst fuel mileages across a million miles of driving. Maybe that helps others as well. It is unfiltered data, accuracy is not the best, but is for the most part a decent overall reference. We use it to figure out where we need to focus the most on fuel savings and where we can get away with speeding up during long trips when necessary...

[attachment=3695]
{**Content removed by protection bot** - trolling.}
Interesting concept of increasing bottom line with out hauling more loads just by fuel savings and the easier you run the less you break down theoretically ...
I've been able to save an extra $200-300 a week doing this so far. I have to admit, it's a pain in the ass in the mountains though.
Unless I'm going down a steep hill, I tend to scrub off speed when I'm OOG. I'm thinking the trailer hub's are set kind of tight as it varies with which trailer I'm pulling. I've been trying to lightly press the gas going downhill lately...with the routes I run I'm kind of hesitant to go OOG while loaded.
I need to get these M726's off my truck and go to something like an M710.

I'm far from realizing my maximum potential, and experimenting still to find that 'sweet spot' when climbing hills, accelerating up to speed loaded or up the following hill, etc...but am still seeing over a 1.5 mpg benefit for all miles easy, just not using the cruise and slowing down to 58mph.
(03-11-2018 )dhirocz Wrote: [ -> ]I've been able to save an extra $200-300 a week doing this so far. I have to admit, it's a pain in the ass in the mountains though.
Unless I'm going down a steep hill, I tend to scrub off speed when I'm OOG. I'm thinking the trailer hub's are set kind of tight as it varies with which trailer I'm pulling. I've been trying to lightly press the gas going downhill lately...with the routes I run I'm kind of hesitant to go OOG while loaded.
I need to get these M726's off my truck and go to something like an M710.

I'm far from realizing my maximum potential, and experimenting still to find that 'sweet spot' when climbing hills, accelerating up to speed loaded or up the following hill, etc...but am still seeing over a 1.5 mpg benefit for all miles easy, just not using the cruise and slowing down to 58mph.
I refuse to give up cruise never , no way , no how I have a bad foot from gout !!
I thought the same thing, but you really get used to it rather quickly. I can't speak about how it would be to drive like that with your foot though.

I do like that extra cash in the wallet though... I dig it!

The cruise is rather aggressive with fueling as it accelerates. I love the cruise but I like cash a little bit more. Besides, the minute I need to climb or whatnot I have to turn it off anyway. So far I'm still making my deliveries on time as well so nothing needed there but a bit more time management.
(03-11-2018 )dhirocz Wrote: [ -> ]I've been able to save an extra $200-300 a week doing this so far. I have to admit, it's a pain in the ass in the mountains though.
Unless I'm going down a steep hill, I tend to scrub off speed when I'm OOG. I'm thinking the trailer hub's are set kind of tight as it varies with which trailer I'm pulling. I've been trying to lightly press the gas going downhill lately...with the routes I run I'm kind of hesitant to go OOG while loaded.
I need to get these M726's off my truck and go to something like an M710.

I think your gonna find it's the rolling resistance holding you back when OOG (out of gear) if the trailer tires aren't fully inflated or yes those m726's are bad I just jumped to the m710's and now when I'm OOG I don't sluff of speed as rapidly. I used to get speed reduction on slight hill declines because of high rolling resistance and had to keep it in gear and actually drive it down the hill! Now it's maintaining speed easy OOG. It's a very noticeable difference.

When you slow down in speed another thing I noticed trucks don't really pass you all that fast on the hills, we all basically pull hills slow and on a long pull I'm last up it but really not by much. I see mostly guys flying by me on the flats (in my opinion, the easiest place to get fuel mileage). This is where the hammer dicks grab their radio muscles and usually scream all kinds of lovely names at me. "Rookie" and "stupid steering wheel holder" have been the newest and most popular lately. I've been at this 12 years and to battle these guys I ALWAYS win the argument by grabbing my CB radio muscle and turning it off and continue smiling while counting the money I'm putting in my bank account.
Hammer down driver!! hahaha
I just recently started slowing down myself and padding the pedal and seen a signifigant increase fuel milage.

I used to set the cruise at 70 mph and keep it in the very top hole. 70 to 80,000 pounds loaded and small ugly hills. Seen about 6.5 mpg during the summer which is the highest I have seen. Most of the time is and average though of 6 mpg even lower in the winter.

As of recently I slowed down to about 62 63 mph and I keep the top hole split down so the rpms are about 1550. Just by that I am seeing 6.7 6.9 mpg lately and that is with the cruise on! Been playing with the pedal more and seen 7.1 the other day. Seems to take longer and longer to empty a tank! LOL
Pages: 1 2
Reference URL's