5 best semi trucks for fuel economy: 2023

In the transportation and trucking industry, fuel efficiency plays a vital role in both reducing operating costs and minimizing environmental impact. As the demand for fuel-efficient solutions continues to grow, truck manufacturers have been developing innovative technologies and optimizing designs to maximize miles per gallon (MPG). In this article, we will explore how to improve fuel efficiency as well as determine the top five fuel-efficient semi trucks for 2023.

How to improve fuel efficiency

Before diving into the most fuel-efficient semi trucks, it's essential to understand how to enhance fuel efficiency for any truck. By examining the following features, truck owners and operators can achieve significant fuel savings:

1. Aerodynamics
Improving the aerodynamics of a truck can have a substantial impact on fuel consumption. Features such as streamlined designs, wind deflectors, and side fairings help reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency.

2. Tire selection
Choosing low-rolling-resistance tires can minimize friction and improve fuel economy. These tires are designed to reduce energy loss and provide better traction, resulting in reduced fuel consumption.

3. Weight optimization

Carrying unnecessary weight adds strain to the engine and increases fuel consumption. By eliminating excess weight and adopting lightweight materials where possible, truck owners can boost fuel efficiency.

4. Proper maintenance

Regular maintenance, including tune-ups, oil changes, and air filter replacements, ensures that the engine operates optimally. Properly maintained engines run more efficiently and consume less fuel.

5. Driver training
Educating drivers on fuel-efficient driving techniques, such as minimizing idling time, maintaining a consistent speed, and avoiding aggressive acceleration and braking, can significantly improve fuel economy.

5 best semi trucks for fuel efficiency 

Freightliner Cascadia

The Freightliner Cascadia has long been recognized as a fuel-efficient semi truck. Its aerodynamic design, lightweight components, and advanced engine technologies contribute to its impressive fuel economy. The Cascadia features a range of engine options, including Detroit Diesel and Cummins, which provide excellent performance and fuel efficiency. With its state-of-the-art fuel management systems and optimized powertrain, the Cascadia offers substantial fuel savings for trucking companies.

Average MPG: 10 miles per gallon (based on Freightliner Cascadia Evolution)

Volvo VNL

Volvo is renowned for its commitment to fuel efficiency, and the VNL model exemplifies this dedication. Equipped with Volvo's advanced engine technologies, including the Turbo Compound technology that recovers energy from the engine's exhaust gasses, the VNL achieves remarkable fuel economy. Additionally, the VNL incorporates aerodynamic enhancements, such as chassis fairings and side extenders, to further reduce wind resistance and optimize fuel efficiency.

Average MPG: 6-8 miles per gallon (based on the Volvo VNL 760 & 860)

Kenworth T680
The Kenworth T680 is another industry-leading semi truck known for its exceptional fuel efficiency. Its lightweight design, advanced aerodynamics, and fuel-efficient engine options, including the PACCAR MX-13 engine, contribute to its impressive MPG figures. The T680 also features predictive cruise control and driver assistance systems that optimize fuel consumption by analyzing road conditions and adjusting the truck's performance accordingly.

Average MPG: 9 miles per gallon (based on the Kenworth T680 Advantage)

Peterbilt 579
The Peterbilt 579 is a popular choice among trucking companies seeking optimal fuel efficiency. With its sleek aerodynamic design, fuel-efficient engine options, and advanced technologies like the SmartAir system that reduces idle time, the Peterbilt 579 offers significant fuel savings. Additionally, the 579's lightweight components and optimized powertrain enhance its overall fuel efficiency and performance.

Average MPG: Just under 10 miles per gallon

International LT Series
The International LT series combines fuel efficiency with reliability and performance. Its aerodynamic design, coupled with advanced engine technologies like the International A26 engine, ensures excellent fuel economy. The LT series also incorporates advanced telematics systems that provide real-time data on fuel consumption, enabling fleet managers to optimize efficiency and reduce fuel costs.

Average MPG: Approximately 7.5 miles per gallon

The bottom line

Fuel efficiency is a crucial consideration for trucking companies, as it directly impacts operating costs and environmental sustainability. By implementing various strategies to improve fuel efficiency and selecting the right semi trucks, you can achieve substantial fuel savings. With ongoing advancements in technology and design, the future of fuel-efficient semi trucks holds even greater promise for the transportation industry, allowing for more economical and environmentally friendly operations.

If you're interested in further streamlining your trucking business, Rose Rocket's Transportation Management System (TMS) can help improve operational efficiencies and practices. Book a free demo below to learn more.

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