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How Tires Affect Your Fuel Savings

Learn how to improve fuel economy and increase fuel savings by taking care of your tires and reducing rolling resistance.

Can tires affect your fuel savings?

There’s a lot riding on your tires - literally.

All drivers should know how to improve the fuel economy. Fuel economy of a vehicle is the distance traveled by a vehicle and the amount of fuel consumed for that distance.

Your tire of choice can often affect your ability to get the best gas mileage and help you save money at the pump. You may be familiar with some common ways to maximize fuel economy, but you probably haven’t thought about rolling resistance.

What is rolling resistance and why is it important?

Simply put, rolling resistance is the pressure a tire puts on the road while the vehicle is moving. In other words, think of rolling resistance as a force that works against your truck’s speed. Several pre-manufactured things can also change a tire’s fuel efficiency, including its internal construction and rubber exterior. Tires that are specifically built for lower rolling resistance (LRR) tend to have thinner sidewalls, shallower tread blocks, and custom rubber compounds. Together, these things reduce the energy it takes to get your tires moving, increasing fuel efficiency and your savings.

The more resistance your truck and tires face, the more fuel it will burn through. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 5% to 15% of U.S. fuel consumption is directly related to rolling resistance.

Here’s how to reduce rolling resistance and get around more efficiently:

Vehicle manufacturers need to meet average fuel efficiency targets each year with the trucks and cars they make. However, doing your own research can help you get to your destination faster with less money spent at the pump!

  • Tread rightly: Treads are designed to keep your vehicle stable under various road conditions - wetness, snow, sand, or mud. You have to monitor the tread depth of your tires. Shallower treads translate to greater fuel savings.
  • Tire size: As you might expect, smaller tires work better on smaller vehicles because they weigh less and cause less friction. Larger wheels are great for highway drivers, including truckers.
  • Tire pressure: It’s good to remember that deflated tires can increase rolling resistance. Although you can’t always tell, make sure to check your tires’ air pressure on a monthly basis. Proper inflation depending on your truckload will decrease unnecessary stress on your tires.
  • The basics of your axles: Axels are used for steering, driving, and braking. Basically, axels are the source of power from your engine to your wheels. They have to carry the weight of your truck and your cargo. Because of that, trailer axels are best equipped for tractors/trailers and providing fuel savings.

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