August 17, 2022

Most of us feel the pinch of inflation most when we’re filling up our tanks with gasoline, but we’re reminded of it with every gas station we drive past. Unfortunately, if your job is driving a truck loaded with lawn care equipment, there’s a limit to how much money you can save on gas. Still, even small amounts add up over time. Here are some ideas to reduce your fuel bills.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Most people don’t worry too much if their tires get a little low, but if all of them are at the right air pressure level, you can improve your gas mileage by as much as 3%.  That’s not much, but it’s more than nothing. You’ll also have better control of your rig, and your tires will last longer.  Tire pressure information appears on the sticker on the driver’s door and in your owner’s manual.

Give Your Air Conditioner a Break

You can’t do anything about the punishing heat, but you can park in the shade whenever possible and put up a sunshade.

Many of us idle the engine when we enter a vehicle to give the air conditioner time to get going, even though we all know that idling wastes fuel and air conditioners aren’t as effective when the vehicle isn’t moving. Instead, open the windows and start driving. The cabin temperature will fall faster as colder air coming out of the AC helps to push hotter air out the windows.

There’s an App for That

Making a living by driving around has one major benefit: You pass a lot of gas stations, and some of them are going to charge a lot less than others. A variety of apps can help you find the lowest gas prices near your current location, and each offers additional features that you might find useful.

GasBuddy is probably the most popular of these apps. Prices are updated by users, so you can see daily deals and price changes in real time. The company’s gas card will save you up to 25 cents a gallon every time you fill up. If you volunteer to supply price data, you’ll receive additional perks like entries into a daily prize drawing.

The 45,000 gas stations in Upside’s network offer daily specials, including per-gallon discounts when you fill your tank. Its savings program is relatively cumbersome, but if you like getting cash back more than saving up front, you can choose a bank transfer, a virtual gift card, or PayPal.

With Fuelio, you can collect all kinds of data about your vehicle’s gas consumption. It seems to be designed mainly for people who routinely make long trips, like truck drivers, but if you enjoy quantifying everything that you do, this is the app for you.

The amount you save won’t be substantial, but it will probably be enough to justify choosing an app and learning to use it. If you’ve thought of a gas-conserving tip of your own, or heard one that you’ve found useful, we’d love to hear it.