Does Weather Affect Your Fuel Economy?

Truck in Winter Weather | FuelZ

It would be great if your fleet only had to operate in sunny skies and warm temperatures. However, your customers and your customers’ customers are relying on your trucking company to deliver their goods no matter what weather conditions your drivers face out on the road.

Still, weather conditions have a definite impact on your fuel economy. And, fuel economy affects how much your company spends on fuel.

While fleet managers cannot control the weather, they can be proactive and work with their drivers to control costs. Here’s the scoop on how weather affects fuel economy and how a fleet fuel card can mitigate the weather’s financial impact on your fleet.

How Temperature Affects Your Fleet’s Fuel Economy

The temperature of the air has a direct impact on fuel economy. During the summer months, when it’s warm outside, fuel economy is better. However, as temperatures drop during the winter, the air increases in density and air resistance rises. In fact, every ten degree drop in temperature increases air resistance (or aerodynamic drag) by two percent and this decreases fuel efficiency by one percent. Colder temperatures also cause tire pressure to fall and driving on underinflated tires contributes to lower fuel economy.

How Wind Impacts the Fuel Efficiency of Your Fleet

Depending on the routes being used by your drivers, wind can be a major factor in fuel performance. Headwinds and crosswinds impact a vehicle as it drives through the air. This creates a drag on the vehicle that forces it to push through to its destination at a higher speed. Driving at a higher speed burns more fuel. Depending on the aerodynamic design of the trucks in your fleet, and the type of roads the trucks are traveling on (interstate, intercity, rural, or urban), you can see a significant reduction in fuel efficiency. In fact, for every ten miles per hour of headwind or crosswind, miles per gallon are reduced by almost 13 percent.

How Rain and Snow Affects a Fleet’s Fuel Economy

The tires on your trucks have a hard enough time driving on roads made of concrete and asphalt. When they encounter rain or snow, vehicles meet even more resistance as they must push through precipitation on the ground. Driving through rain, water, snow, and slush increases rolling resistance and this causes the trucks in your fleet to use up more fuel.

A fleet fuel card offers fleet managers several ways to improve fuel efficiency and save on fuel expenses. The Fuelz card provides per gallon discounts and rebates at the pump, reports on fuel economy online, and customer support that makes it easier to manage your fleet. Contact us today at 855-GO FUELZ to find out more about what we can do for your business.