I noticed something very interesting yesterday about my fuel mileage

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

  1. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I'm not really sure that it's worth a lot of time and effort to increase mileage by a couple of mpg. I guess it depends on how much free time you have and how much you can do yourself. Lets assume you have a fairly local route and put 5,000 miles per year on your truck. At 12 mpg you'd burn 357 gallons of gas and at 14 mpg you'd burn 357 gallons. That's a difference of 60 gallons. At $4.00/gallon that's a savings of only $236.

    Yes, I know that some might consider $236 to be significant, but it only is if the cost of the mileage savings improvements is minimal and it does not increase the time or effort required to do the job. If it means you're going to be using portable ramps instead of a gate and taking the time to deploy them at each stop, or that you're going to spend a lot of time and money replacing or modifying your trailer it's probably not worth it. This isn't meant for Richard so much. I know he's pretty capable doing things himself and would probably do things on his "off time" not when he could instead be working.
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I just loaded everything up and took it for a ride without the ramps. 14.7 MPG and climbing. I'm surprised that adding 1800 pounds, give or take, only resulted in a small mileage penalty. I'm thinking that making the trailer shorter won't be worth the little bit of fuel savings. It's not the weight, it's the drag.
  3. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    oops, didn't mean to hit post on this one...forgot you had the ramps off now.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    When you consider that my F150 got 9.9 MPG and if I can get my Silverado to stay at 14.7 MPG, over the course of a season I will save $920 on truck gas alone. That is assuming $4 a gallon gas. For me as a solo, that is well worth it.
  5. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I didn't have the gates on this time. With the gates in place it's around 13 MPG. Without the gates there is little MPG penalty for adding weight. It's not worth the effort to shorten the trailer just to take off 300 or 400 pounds. I'd gain around 1/4 MPG.
  6. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

    OK, so i read partly through page 1 and was getting tired of all the nonsense. I found that if I just flip down my gates on my trailer it pulls a lot easier then having them straight up. I thought of this originally when I thought about pulling a sheet of steel on my ramps instead of expanded metal because I am tired of the welds breaking because my mowers weigh a ton a piece. I thought it would be a very bad idea making the rear of my trailer a 5ft by 7.5 foot sail so now I flip down my gates when I can.
  7. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,746

    yes true but not as much as a solid gate would.

    best thing is shortest gate you can have like the dovetail setup. then your mowers push the air up and over the gate of the trailer.
  8. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    Weight doesn't matter too much to my trucks. All heavy duty gas. Towing is always going to be 8-9mpg doesn't matter 10k lb load or empty load, and highway driving will always be 12-13mpg. Gas is money, just charge customers and no problem. My contracts have a fuel contengencies where the fee raises based on fuel price. I also charge 5 minutes minimum per stop to cover the drive= $6.67 per job.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    It doesn't have to be. The fuel mileage thing is the very reason I didn't get a 3/4 ton or 4X4.

    So what do you do if you only have a few customers that are only 5 minutes apart and the rest are 10 to 20 minutes?
  10. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,805

    Agree with your reasoning. Am guessing your mileage is higher than it would be if you had a tight route with lots of starts and stops.

    Gotta tell you the mileage you are getting now is excellent especially considering the size and weight of your trailer.

    Am in the market for a new 16' trailer. Will strongly consider the dovetail option with the shorter gate.

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