Fuel economy primer
ProPickup article highlights techniques for improving fuel economy
By Bruce W. Smith
Sit in on any jobsite conversation in the country where pickups and performance are the topic and once the my-truck-will-out-pull-yours bravado settles down the conversation inevitably turns to fuel economy.
Fuel economy weighs on just about anyone who drives a pickup –more so on the minds of those who have fleets of pickups to deal with and weighty fuel bills.
“I drive a 2008 GMC 2500 Sierra Crew Cab 4WD Duramax diesel everyday,” says Doug Dabney, Vice President/General Manager of Watson Construction Company Inc. based n Newberry, Florida.
“We’ve installed [torsion bar leveling] keys to the front and air bags in the rear to level it and accommodate the Nitto Trail Grappler 35/12.50R17 tires,” says the veteran heavy construction contractor who has close to a dozen diesel pickups in his fleet.
“The mpg is in the 12.7- to 13.5 range, driving normal. Our Fords get about the same. Our corporate fuel bills are huge. What modifications can I make to this truck, and to the others in my company, to increase fuel economy?”
MPG SILVER BULLET
Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet for Dabney and the tens of thousands of contractors out there who need more ground clearance, better traction, more power or other improvements to make their trucks more efficient in the work they do.
The harsh truth is simply this: Most of the upgrades we make to our pickups hurt mpg. It’s a purely a matter of physics. Read More…