Fleet vehicles use a whopping amount of fuel. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that the average delivery truck travels approximately 13,000 miles per year, a police car slightly over 15,000 miles, and a light truck nearly 12,000 miles. Multiply those numbers by the size of each fleet and the numbers roll up.
Whether it’s a police cruiser, an appliance repair truck, or an executive transport coach, optimizing idle settings is key to slashing overall fleet fuel consumption. The average fleet vehicle spends a monumental amount of time idling. A fleet manager can see a substantial reduction in fuel costs by implementing some simple changes. Yet it’s rarely done.
Adding a front lip was one of the first aero modifications I made to my 1999 Honda Civic HX Coupe (a.k.a. SLAMBO). I used heavy duty agricultural plastic to get the job done, cutting down a sheet of bamboo root barrier. Bamboo root barrier comes in a variety of widths and weights. The lighter the weight, the easier it is to make the bends. You won’t find it locally, though, and it tends to be expensive. Most folks use lawn edging like this Five-inch wide Master Mark Plastic Landscape Edging. I’m not sure if this stuff is too heavy to make tight bends, but it looks similar to the material that Mighty Car Mods used in their recent D-I-Y Lip episode.
When the cold weather hits, fuel economy inevitably takes a dive. Lower temperatures impact gas mileage in a number of ways, including winter gasoline blends, lower intake air temperatures, longer engine warm-up times (to reach optimum efficiency), increased air conditioner use (with defrosters), and idling. Keeping your car in a garage will help decrease warm-up time, as can an engine block heater. A grill blocker can help keep under hood temperatures up while you’re driving in the coldest weather. But the biggest trick is keeping the driver warm while reducing the amount of idling at start-up and throughout the day.
I’m testing a Milwaukee Tools M12 heated hoodie this winter, to see if I can reduce idling. I’ve posted the first part of a two-part video review:
I’ve spent a whole lot of money on car parts and supplies over the years, and I’ve learned (the hard way) how to control costs. While the game was built to extract profit from the unwitting, the Internet leveled the playing field. A little knowledge goes a long way. If you do just a little bit of homework before you head out to the store, you’ll get a better deal and keep more cash in your pocket.
We’ve all been there. You have basic transportation needs and a budget tighter than a screw cap on a cheap bottle of wine. An inexpensive used car can help you meet your needs without resorting to taking out a high-interest loan. Knowing which car to buy is key, but the answer is too often locked away. We’re here to cut through the bombardment of advertisements and get right to the facts. When you buy the right cheap used car it will set you free. Buy the wrong one and you’ll enter a new world of pain.