Was Hesitant to Join

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by Phantom409, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Phantom409

    Phantom409 New Member

    Well, here goes. Not sure how I will be received on here, but i'm gonna take a chance and stick my neck out, and see what happens.

    I've been "HyperMiling" since long before anyone coined a phrase for it. Admittedly I'm a former HotRodder, and backyard mechanic. Most of my vehicles over my lifetime were big V-8's, think Ford 460's etc. and Big Cars, Mustangs, Lincolns Etc. I've always been an automotive enthusiast, and honestly every job I've ever had that I cared about involved driving. I remember as a teenager, just cruisin around for hours on end as hobby, and to relax.

    To make a long story short, My wife and I own a small Transport company, and have since 2001 (probably the worst year to start such a venture, but it was before 9/11) Sometimes I actually feel guilty because my career, ( don't even want to think of my carbon footprint ) and the clients that we serve, are so non-eco-friendly.
    Not Only do I use tons of fuel trucking across 48 states, but what I move uses more fuel in a weekend than probably all of the vehicles on this site combined. Its not uncommon for one of my clients to spend 3 or 4 thousand dollars on a weekend just in fuel. Unfortuantely I haven't thought of a new occupation yet that will cover my housepayment etc, but I'm still looking, as I'm not sure there will be any crude oil reliant jobs to be had in the near future. Besides what its doing to the enviroment.

    I guess here is where I should tell you that I drive a 2005 Dodge Ram 3500, Crew Cab, Dually, 5.9 Cummins Turbo Diesel, Manual 6 speed, weighs in at about 8000 lbs. I'll go into the modifactions etc later in another post, if I'm not booted out of here for choice of vehicles, ....

    Well I began realizing that If I slowed down, and implemented a few other techniques, I was not only saving wear and tear on the truck, which of course I own, and have to repair myself, but I was also saving money on fuel, and not extending my travels times that greatly. Also began to realize how much less stress I felt than when I was barreling down the road trying to psychicly PUSH the slower moving vehicles out of the way. So here I am, years later, glad that I found some like-minded individuals to interact with, but not too sure that I will be welcomed.

    I'm definately not received well alot of the times on the freeway, but I absolutely make staying out of others way, my priority, along with safety of my cargo.
    It started out just trying to save money on fuel, then it became a personal challenge, watching the EFD ( i think you called it, Electronic Fuel device ) Face it, there's only so many times you can drive from Michigan to Califonia before you've seen most of what there is to see on the freeway, and the trip gets long and boring, so this became another way to add interest and a fresh perspective on many long, lonely hours of driving. You'd be surprised at the number of profesional drivers (semi-truck) that actually think along these same lines. You have to, when you only get about 5 mpg. But of course you've still got the idiots that want to go out there and do 100, just because they can.

    Currently I can get about 36 mpg when I'm bobtail (NO LOAD IN TOW) and about 22 mpg with a full load. I've got some modifications done to the truck, and am looking to add one or two more, just to cool my exhaust gas temperatures, and increase mileage.

    So, enough for my introduction, I'll just leave it at that, and see what happens.
    Great job on the site by the way.
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Welcome, Phantom! We have no issue with your choice of vehicle -- especially since you use it for real work. :)

    If you don't mind me asking, what do you transport?

    The techniques we use can be applied to any vehicle, and they don't require modifications to the mechanics other than raising the tire pressure and putting a good quality synthetic oil in (and keeping the air filter clean!). We know there actually are people out there who use large vehicles for their intended purposes -- that's what they are for! We also know that some people are stuck with what they have and just want to try to improve their fuel economy while they get together resources to purchase something more appropriate for their needs (doesn't sound like this is you?).

    Whatever you own and drive, if you want to improve we can help you. :)
  3. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    HI and welcome to the forum.

    36/22 MPG sounds preety good for the truck you are driving. I would be interested in how you do that.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    Welcome to CleanMPG!

    I can definitely understand your concern with fuel running a transport company and it's definitely challenging these days.

    Pound per pound of payload you are getting better fuel economy than myself or most of us will ever realize. Things on the internet can be misunderstood too easily...I have never had problems with guys getting paid to drive a truck...I admit to venting about trucks but it's the poseurs driving them just to be macho - big difference.
  5. Nikki

    Nikki Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CleanMPG! Driving a large vehicle that is needed for work is appropriate and not a problem. Folks here can help you get better mpg from any vehicle you drive.
  6. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Welcome! We welcome anyone with any vehicle. You have a valid reason for the ones you drive, so no shame there. You can also make a much bigger difference than a number of us with our smaller vehicles. Just by slowing down, you'll save more gas in one trip than I do in a month. Thank you for thinking about this and joining.
  7. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    welcome. no guilt required, you use your truck for business, and realize the state we in this country have driven ourselves into.......

    we have a member who drives a semi, and he hypermiles that, so no worries about your choice of work vehicle.

  8. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CleanMPG.
    NO problem at all with your vehicle since you use it for the purpose it was designed for. We have a lot of weekend cowboys around here that have a truck like yours to pull 1 or two horses in a trailer a couple of times a month and the other 28 days , it is used for a daily commuter.

    What mods have you done to the truck? Your LOW number exceeds what most get. One of them must be a power tuner of some sort???
  9. Phantom409

    Phantom409 New Member

    Thanks guys, I appreciate the welcome, hopefully we'll have lots of information to share between us. I'll post more about my truck, and the mods, and some of my personal applied techniques later when I have a little more time, gotta get ready to run out the door.
    Meanwhile I was curious if any of you are old enough to remember good old dial indicator vacuum guages ? I always had one hooked up on my hot rods, and I said to my wife about a year ago, ya know, if everyone had even something as simple as a good old style vacuum guage, they'd realize exactly how much fuel their using under certain driving conditions, then she reminded me that some people can't even read a oil pressure guage, and thats why so many vehicles have "dummy lights" as we call em. Even still if someone with any older style vehicle didn't want to spend a lot of money, and still assess technique, this could be easily installed for around 20 bucks.

    I constantly watch, and reset the display on my truck occaisionally. I've heard people talk about their efd giving them crazy readings and reminded them that sometimes you may have to reset them.

    Bought the truck used in Tenn. with about 35k miles on it.

    Brought it home and immediately made modifications to the intake, cut out a lot of restrictive noise baffling, and added a K & N filter.
    Changed the exhaust, the truck breathes a lot better now.
    Added a Diablo Sport Predator programmer, if ya wanna increase fuel economy on a diesel you HAVE to enrich the system. They are radically detuned from the factory, and all this means is that it has to work twice as hard to get the poor thing moving. Not very economical in the long run.
    I installed a gearvendor unit on my last truck, a 2001 Ford F550 with a 7.3 litre diesel, because it had a 488 rear end gear, and couldn't handle even 50 on the freeway without spinnning the motor hard. This truck has a better gear, (and a six speed manual) but I'm still considering adding the gearvendor at some point, it will reduce wear and tear, and further increase my mileage. You have to be careful when you add taller tires or actually change out the ring and pinion, because while it helps at cruising speeds by lowering RPM, you don't want to make it so difficult to get the vehicle moving that you just negated whatever gains you sought to add. Inertia is a bugger in the heavyweights.

    Anyways more later on, thanks again for being so receptive.
  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I have to ask, the 36 mpg is that over an entire tank of fuel done with the actual fuel used(pumped in) and then you do the division or is it a digital readout? How fast do you drive when you get 36 mpg?

    Just how tall is your final gearing? Guess I'm really curious how many RPMs you turn in 6th gear at 60 mph?

    Those are very good numbers; how do you do it? I've heard of folks getting 25 mpg(no load, no tow) with the 6 speed manual Cummins( not duallys), but never 36 mpg. Have you modified the body in some way to make it cleaner?


    PS- Just saw your post above mine; yep we - many of us - are partially reformed hot rodders from the 60's 70's so we remember vacuum gauges. Heck, I probably still have one somewhere; probably still have my old dwell meter and maybe mySears timing light. Many years ago I managed to slice the wiring on the timing light ( fan blade) but nothing a half assed repair with electrical tape couldn't repair.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  11. Vooch

    Vooch Well-Known Member

    welcome 409 !

    There are a number of people who use their machines for work who use this site - and quite a few heavy metal drivers. 10% savings is a lot more $$$ than 10% for the rest of us.

    those are incredible MPG numbers !

    Look forward to your mileage ogs and hearing your tips !
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Vac gauge? I did my last in dash install in the early 80's in a Chevy truck. I tried my Sears timing light (not inductive pick-up) last year on an old bike and it doesn't work anymore. I left it in the drawer by the dwell meter and misc. old sets of points
  13. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    msirach- hah, you cheaped out on the timing light - mine was inductive - and I managed to let the inductive clamp wire get sliced by the fan on my 1971 383 Cuda' in 1975.

    Or maybe you are absolutely ancient and you bought it in the early 60's ?
  14. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    It was both. I was very young in the late 60's and I think I got it around 1970 as a gift.
  15. koreberg

    koreberg Junior Member

    I have a vacuum gauge in my car. Certainly helps when DWL up a hill. I've also seen a difference in vacuum level when my car was cold, vs warm. However I would much rather use a scan gauge if I could.
  16. 98CRV

    98CRV Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the crew. I'm glad you are hypermiling what you have.
  17. TXLovin

    TXLovin New Member

    Finally another Cummins! I know how you can feel a little out of place... I cannot believe you're getting 36 mpg, that is awesome! I cannot seem to get over 20 but I have a sg on the way so my new goal is 27. I cannot wait to hear about your mods, God Bless.
  18. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Welcome to CleanMPG!

    Nothing wrong about the transport business or using a truck as it was meant to be.
  19. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    My wife's 76 Matador had a factory vacuum gauge, IIRC it was labeled a "fuel economy" gauge.

    I'm into Mopars, the mid 60s Chrysler 300s had a vacuum gauge, except they called it the "Performance Indicator", the opposite of what you'd think. :eek:
  20. bill717

    bill717 Well-Known Member

    Hey Phantom409,

    Those are some great numbers you're pulling with a Ram 3500. I've taken my dads '03 Ram 3500 Auto diesel to make a few deliveries for him but the best I could do with some pulse and glide (gliding in gear only) was 19mpg. 36mpg with no load is pretty amazing, thats what most people get in something like a honda civic...good job!!!

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