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How to Get Great Fuel Efficiency

The integrated Detroit Powertrain

The new Detroit™ Powertrain integrates the most fuel efficient DD15®engine ever, with the technologically advanced DT12™ transmission and specifically designed Detroit tandem axles that put the power to the pavement.

But the Detroit Powertrain is more than that. It provides integration like only Detroit can, because the engine, transmission and axles are all engineered and designed to work together as one. Coupled with our cutting-edge technologies, state-of-the-art component communication and one-stop parts and service support, no other powertrain does more to deliver real profits to your bottom line.

With electronics calibrated to deliver greater horsepower and torque at lower RPMs, the flagship DD15® engine keeps your truck in top gear more often and cruises at a more efficient engine speed. We all know slowing down is the best way to save fuel, so we’ve designed this engine so it can cruise at the same road speed at lower RPMs, reducing fuel consumption and friction. This is made possible by integrating our fastest-ever tandem axle and made easy with our smooth-shifting DT12 transmission all working together in the fully integrated Detroit Powertrain.

Efficient Driving

As much as 70% of fuel economy is affected by factors that drivers and fleet managers can address and correct. Fuel and fuel efficiency represent one of the highest operating costs that fleets and owner operators face, so tracking fuel economy and taking action to optimize it is critical.

Detroit has long been recognized as the fuel economy leader in the trucking industry. As EPA emissions regulations have gotten tougher, our engineers have met these regulatory standards with innovations in emissions, electronics, and aerodynamics, all while maintaining performance, reliability and most importantly, fuel economy. With the addition of BlueTec® emissions technology, Detroit is ensuring its place in the market as the fuel economy leader. And we’re continuing to research and test to help you operate more profitably and efficiently.

Where can you find efficiencies?

Controllable Factors

  • Driver
  • Gearing
  • Aerodynamics
  • Maintenance
  • Powertrain Spec

Semi-controllable Factors

  • Route/Application
  • Engine Break-in Effect

Uncontrollable Factors

  • Weather
  • Environment

Driver Training Is Critical

When it comes to maximizing fuel economy, nothing is more important than having a good driver behind the wheel. Optimizing driver habits alone can improve fuel economy by up to 30 percent. It’s critical to educate drivers on the role of reduced highway speeds, shorter idle times, proper gear selection, and regular maintenance in improving fuel economy. These tips show all the ways you can operate more profitably.

Top Tips for Fuel Economy

  • Slow down
  • Keep RPMs low
  • Anticipate hills and traffic
  • Reduce stops
  • Avoid idling
  • Minimize accessory loads
  • Reduce trailer gap
  • Use progressive shifting
  • Stay in top gear
  • Use cruise control

Aerodynamics Cut through Drag

As your vehicle moves down the road, gravity and wind resistance work in opposition. This is known as drag. Aerodynamic drag grows exponentially with increased vehicle speed, and has its greatest effect on long-haul applications where trucks are traveling at higher speeds over a longer period of time. That’s why the reduction of aerodynamic drag for on-highway vehicles is even more important, as it greatly decreases the energy output required of the engine, resulting in improved fuel economy. See our Fuel Economy brochure to learn more.

Truck Maintenance Makes a Difference

  • Tire Inflation and Wear – Every 10psi of under-inflation reduces fuel economy by approximately 1%. Over time, that can mean many gallons wasted. Matching your tire to the application is also critical, as aggressive treads can reduce your miles per gallon average.
  • Axle Alignment – No matter your type of axle, keeping it aligned properly not only affects fuel economy, it also dictates how your tires wear.
  • Air Conditioning Compressor – About 50% of total fan-on time is from using the air conditioning compressor. The more you operate your vehicle with the fan on and AC compressor running, the more power you’ll need from the engine. This means the engine has to work harder to move the load so it uses more fuel.
  • Lubricants – Synthetic lubricants increase the functionality and efficiency of your engine. Their superior temperature stability and improved viscosity at low temperatures reduces pumping and spin power losses.

To see additional maintenance suggestions, see our Fuel Economy brochure.


Fuel Economy Chart

ACRS Fuel System