Several key factors affect the fuel economy for your vehicle fleet. Some vehicles are more predisposed to better mileage than others in their class. There are also upfits you can install which will make the van more aerodynamic, enabling it to drive more smoothly and allowing you to get more miles out of each trip.
One of the most critical factors for fuel economy is the tires. Unfortunately, it’s also the factor that is the most overlooked. Here are some ways that your tires may improve (or decrease) your fleet’s fuel economy.
Boost Your Fuel Economy from the Start
Tire treads can have a significant impact on fuel economy. The tread compounds, tread design, and tread depth are all important considerations. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by researching the right tires for your fleet of vans so that you can make smarter tire purchases.
The Importance of Rolling Resistance
You should also consider the tire’s rolling resistance. This is the drag force that is created by each tire as it travels across the ground. Specifically fuel-efficient tires, usually called low rolling resistance (LRR) tires, often have a rolling resistance that is at least 20 percent lower than other tires. It can give you a boost in fuel efficiency of up to 3.5 percent (when all tires are new). As the tires wear down, this fuel efficiency slowly decreases.
Proper Inflation is Essential
Under-inflation of tires is a common cause of low fuel economy. It also increases your maintenance and repair costs, since under-inflation can lead to a myriad of issues on the road. It can result in costly repairs and downtime, which will affect the productivity of your entire fleet.
Keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure will not only help you avoid these expensive delays, but it will also boost your fuel efficiency. You can improve the mileage achieved by your commercial van by up to three percent, though 0.6 percent is the average. Properly inflated tires also last longer too.
Keep Tires Aligned
Keeping your tires aligned is also critical for fuel efficiency. When tires are misaligned, they can’t roll freely; instead, they drag across the ground. And it can reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent. It will also cause the tires to wear unevenly and more quickly. Make sure to have your tires aligned as often as the manufacturer recommends, including tire rotation.
Your Quest for Better Fuel Efficiency
For operators of commercial fleets, fuel economy is essential. It reduces the overall cost of operating and maintaining the vans in the fleet. Purchasing and upfitting the right fuel-efficient vehicle is critical, but so is installing the recommended tires for that vehicle.
By researching tire treads, considering low rolling resistance tires, and keeping your tires inflated and aligned, you can extend the life of your fleet and boost your fuel economy. It will reduce your costs and increase productivity.