Taking the initial steps to make a truck fuel efficient can be taxing, but the enormous costs saved can be worth it.

Posted & filed under Carrier Connection.

As fuel prices gradually climb again, many carriers seek to outpace trends by cutting fuel costs. Fuel cards are the best way to save at the pump (just check out this article to see why ), but optimizing your truck for fuel efficiency is another fantastic way to save on your most significant expense.

Here’s how to make your truck more fuel-efficient.


  1. Install aerodynamic features.

Though installing new hardware on your rig is an investment, the modifications can quickly pay for themselves by saving you on fuel. Here are a few of the most compelling features:

  • Side skirts line the trailer between the front and rear wheels to increase airflow and reduce drag. Despite a high initial cost, some skirts can increase fuel efficiency by 7% and have a payback period of 7 to 14 months.
  • Trailer tails are installed to the rear of the trailer to guide a flow’s wake, increasing fuel efficiency by 1%-5%. They are fully collapsible, making them innocuous for deliveries.
  • Similar in function to skirts, fairings are typically installed on the front and rear of a trailer. Fairings help to smooth the airflow of a trailer’s boxy shape.


  1. Select fuel-efficient tires.

Fuel-efficient tires are crafted expressly to mitigate rolling resistance and help your truck move smoothly. Some of the best tires for saving on fuel include:

  • The Michelin Xline Energy Z tire is a top pick. Known for its durability, the Xline will typically outperform even premium tires with 20% greater mileage and 5% greater rolling resistance. For competitive pricing on the Xline Energy Z tire, click here.
  • The Hankook e3 Max DL21 long-haul tire sports 11% better rolling resistance than traditional tires. The DL21 has also been shown to achieve 35% better mileage, allowing truckers to pay for tires less frequently. For competitive pricing on the DL21, click here.


  1. Consider telematics and fleet management systems.

Telematics track significant trucking vitals like fuel efficiency and engine health.

There are a variety of telematic providers on the market that install systems directly to your rig. Though these systems come in various shapes and functions, they can provide truckers with critical information about fuel usage, including driver behaviors that may unintentionally inflate fuel costs. By integrating these systems, truckers can significantly reduce idling, ineffective speed control, and other fuel-guzzling practices.


  1. Investigate alternative fuels.

You may be aware that there are other fuel alternatives besides diesel, but you may need to learn that they can significantly impact your fuel efficiency.

Alternative fuels often require a semi-truck built to accommodate them, but the investment can be worth the initial cost.

Popular alternative fuels include:

  • Compressed natural gas (CNG). This fuel variety is known for producing a high energy output at excellent efficiency, even achieving 25%-30% greater fuel efficiency than diesel. CNG is also environmentally friendly.
  • Biodiesel and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) are comparable to diesel in fuel efficiency but produce drastically less waste.


  1. Invest in an APU.

APU stands for Auxiliary Power Unit. When carriers are on the road for extended periods, it can be tempting to idle a truck for heat, air conditioning, or other functions that require the truck’s power.

An APU is a generator that can be installed to allow electronics to continue without the engine being turned on. For long-haul truckers, an APU can make the difference of thousands of dollars.

If a carrier’s route spans several days, an APU can be one of the most significant investments in fuel efficiency.


Taking the initial steps to make a truck fuel efficient can be taxing, but the enormous costs saved can be worth it.


The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers various services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.