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I noticed something very interesting yesterday about my fuel mileage

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Richard Martin, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    My 99 F350 is around 12 mpg I pull a 22 GN with 3 mowers
    its manual with 373 gears
    My 02 F350 gets 8-10 pulling same load
    its auto with 373 gears

    I think more the truck vs tailgates
    But tailgates do drag a lot
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I went about 30 miles over the exact same roads that I use on my mowing route. Granted the sampling was small but I don't think there would be much variation of the results with a greater distance. If I was at 12.5 MPG and the rate was climbing then more driving was required to obtain a good result. The mileage was actually declining as I drove farther. I have instant and average mileage results from a Ultra Gauge. http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/index.htm
  3. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    Does your Chevy have one of those mileage computers?
    There is a wind speed where mesh becomes the same as a solid object depending on the size of the mesh.
    I looked into it when buying a big old "C" band satellite dish. My dish became "solid" around 60 mph. And sure enough when we'd get a wind storm with those kinds of winds I'd have to put some panels back in. But that satellite dish had lots smaller mesh than anything you'd find in a trailer tailgate.

    Aerodynamics only come into play at road speeds. I see very few highway miles when working. I figure you were up to speed on your trip to the lumber yard. The speed at which I tow something affects my mileage, much more than aerodynamics or weight.

    They've done wind tunnel test on those cab mounted wind deflectors they make to make your camper more aerodynamic. Some made it worse and even the best adjustable expensive ones didn't improve mileage enough to recover the cost of the deflector.

    When filling my truck I turn my back to the pump, and put the receipt in my wallet without looking at it. On April 15th of every year I ask my bookkeeper (wife) "Am I still making money?"

    These higher fuel cost are here to stay. I wouldn't waste a lot of time and money trying to save a few bucks at the pump. It could compromise my ability to earn more money.
    What if you swap trailers and only see 1 mpg improvement?
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I'm shooting for 15 to 16 MPG. Without the trailer the average is 18 combined highway and city. Due to the distances that I have to drive, my truck fuel is the highest regular expense that I have. If I can increase the mileage by 50% over the F150, it would be the equivalent of lowering the price of gas by 33%.

    I've looked at the price of 60" wide aluminum wings. They're around $550. That's not too bad and should be easily recovered by fuel savings. I'm going to mock a wing up out of some 5/8" plywood that I have here just to test it before I spend the money on one.

    I will still consider going to a 6 by 12 trailer. My 6.5 by 16 trailer weighs about 3400 pounds loaded up. A 6 by 12 trailer should be about 600 pounds lighter. I also won't have that extra axle to drag around too.
  5. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,022

    Why not get a 6x12 v nose enclosed for mowing?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. CreativeLawncareSolutions

    CreativeLawncareSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,025

    You never said your trailer didn't have sides. My trailer has sides.

    No sides, no bubble. Obviously.
  7. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Not to discredit your opinion...but I don't accept everything Mythbusters does. They debunked HHO gas when clearly this concept has been around for decades. Corporate sponsor of Mythbuster??? Probably connected to an oil company. My thoughts...
  8. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 920

    Bubble only works if sides are the same height as the tailgate.
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,871

    truck tailgate doesn't have mesh holes in it either so not the same concept. truck tailgate is solid but trailer tailgate has holes/mesh to allow air to pass through it instead of going over it.
  10. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Posts: 3,311

    Richard, had a couple more thoughts of things to test before springing for another trailer, etc. Could you rent a single axle from UHaul, etc for a week to see if it makes any difference? Wonder if there is a way to convert our endgates to something with a hinge in the center to cut the height in half. Might help reduce drag at highway speeds. Only other thing I can think of is how fast we drive. Gas consumption really spikes above 60 mph.

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