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Hyper-miling... when fuel is worth more than life

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posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:10 PM
It's all over CNN and the news clips on the various talk radio stations on XM. Hyper-miling. Getting the most out of every drop of gasoline. I just today heard a segment on a guy who regularly gets 50 MPG. How?

Cutting the motor when stopped. Shifting into drive quickly. Anticipating traffic. Avoiding braking and fast starts. Slowing down. Drafting trucks... WHAT?!?

For the last 7 years, I have driven a semi truck Interstate. I have seen 43 of the 48 contiguous states, plus Ontario. My distance travelled in that time is rapidly approaching a million miles, with only two accidents, neither at fault, and no tickets. I am also getting a reputation of having one of the best fuel milages in my fleet. So I think maybe I'm qualified to talk about this.

Yes, you can save fuel by driving carefully. You can do some of the above safely, like anticipating traffic and minimizing brake use and fast starts. You can also time the traffic lights, adjusting your speed so the light is green when you reach it. Some of the others are downright dangerous, and could kill you.

Turning off your motor and coasting is not only dangerous (you lose power-assisted braking and steering when the motor is off), but also illegal in many places (possibly the nation as a whole, but I am not sure of that). It's one thing if you will be stopped for several minutes or more, but otherwise, keep that motor running.

Slowing down is a great idea, if you don't overdo it. Traveling 3 or 4 miles below the speed limit or below the traffic flow is fine, but anything over 10 mph below is a road hazard. (I should know; I have to drive one... company policy.
) As for slow starts, every car has a 'sweet spot' on both speed and acceleration, a range where you get the most for your gas. Find that sweet spot, and you'll save a bit; go beyond it and you could actually use more gas.

Air conditioning uses less energy than the drag produced by open windows, as long as you're not making popsicles in the glove box. just keep the temperature to a reasonable level and don't worry about it.

Pickup trucks, keep the tailgate up. Stuff won't slide out nearly as bad, and you are creating an eddy current in the bed that actually helps push you through the air.

And finally: never, never, never, NEVER! try to draft a truck! You cannot see what's coming up because of this huge thing in front of you, and if the driver has to make an emergency stop, you are S C R E W E D big time. ICC requires that all trailers have a bumper at the proper height to prevent a vehicle from running underneath it, but these things have a breaking point. Should it break or bend in an impact (which they usually do), the bottom of that trailer is at the same general level as your shoulders. I know many people don't seem to use it much, but keeping one's head attached to one's body is considered by 9 out of 10 doctors to be a good thing.

You also upset the driver when he can tell something is behind him, but so close he can't see it. This can cause him to lose concentration and create an accident another way, and of course, you will be involved at that distance.

The other day, I was driving down the Interstate looking for a place to make a pit stop. I found a wide shoulder with plenty of acceleration room to merge back into traffic, so I pulled off. As I stopped, I looked in my mirror and saw a white SUV had actually followed me onto the shoulder! He finally figured out I had stopped and pulled back into traffic, burning several times what he might have saved by drafting me, just by accelerating back to speed. Folks, this is stupid! 1st rule of survival: don't do stupid s###!

Your life is worth more than a drop of gasoline. please, drive like it. The Illuminati don't need your help thinning out the population.

(P.S.: I know this isn't much of a conspiracy, but it needs to be said. Mods forgive me)

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