10 Tips to Improve Your RCO

A new study from FreighlinerTrucks provides helpful information for owner operator drivers. What they found was that each driver’s style and habits are important factors in lowering Real Cost of Ownership. Reducing speed, keeping RPMs low, cutting idling times and anticipating hills and braking are all things drivers can do that will add up to big fuel savings. Here is a list of ten things to consider that can help improve your RCO.

1. STAY ON SCHEDULE:

Every truck is different, so make sure you work with your dealer’s service department to identify when and how to maintain each component. Not only will paying attention to maintenance schedules keep your truck running at its optimal performance, it could help to avoid costly downtime for repairs.

2. KNOW YOUR ENGINE:

Running your truck’s engine in its “sweet spot” and staying in that RPM range as much as possible increases fuel efficiency. Decreasing idle time is also a major factor. Ask your dealer or engine representative to verify the specs and programming that will maximize your fuel economy potential. Selecting the idle reduction system that best suits your operation is key.

3. WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD:

Consider low-rolling-resistance tires. Wide-based tires are lighter weight and provide lower rolling resistance than most dual-tire combinations.
4. GET PUMPED:

Monitoring tire pressure while driving and spotting dramatic pressure changes can help prevent a blowout and improve tire life. For wide-based tires, tire pressure is critical to long tread life and low rolling resistance. Tires typically rank as the top maintenance cost and account for most roadside issues.

5. MIND THE GAP:

Reducing trailer drag boosts fuel efficiency. Make sure your spec calls for a trailer gap that is as tight as possible, while still allowing room for trailer swing and back-of-cab access. A gap of 36 to 48 inches is recommended.

6. IMPROVE THE FLOW:

Consider aerodynamic enhancements to your trailer such as side skirts and tails. Choosing a U.S. EPA SmartWay®–certified trailer will help reduce the drag of your overall tractor/trailer combination. REDUCE THE DRAG: Little things mean a lot when it comes to aerodynamics. Bug deflectors, antennas, visors and even a license plate that hangs below a cab or a trailer increase drag, which cuts fuel mileage.

7. UNDERSTAND WHEN AND HOW TO LUBE:

Spec’ing low-lube or non-greasable components will cut down or eliminate lube intervals, saving you money over the long run. Consider non-greasable driveshafts, brakes and fifth wheels. When you do have to lubricate, synthetic fluids and greases can extend maintenance intervals and, in the case of the drivetrain, cut down on energy lost due to friction.

8. PICK THE RIGHT LIGHTS:

The service life of LED lights far exceeds that of incandescent lights. Not only will you increase uptime and reduce labor for bulb replacement, you will also avoid potential citations from law enforcement.

9. BE SMART:

Requiring SmartWay Certification on your spec guarantees you will have an aerodynamic cab and low-rolling resistance tires.

10. INCREASING PROFITABILITY BY LOWERING YOUR REAL COST OF OWNERSHIPS

Resource: FreightlinerTrucks.com/RCO