Wanted: Documentation of Dangerous Drafters...

Discussion in 'General' started by Chuck, Aug 6, 2008.


How many Instances of Close Drafting Semis to save Fuel Have You Seen the Last Year?

  1. Several times a day

    0 vote(s)
  2. Daily

    4 vote(s)
  3. Weekly

    6 vote(s)
  4. Monthly

    6 vote(s)
  5. Once in the last 3 months

    8 vote(s)
  6. Once in the last 6 months

    4 vote(s)
  7. Maybe once in the last year

    15 vote(s)
  8. None

    46 vote(s)
  9. I close draft

    7 vote(s)
  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    ...and you have seriously dodged my questions...
    • Your advocacy of this repels the general public from any kind of green driving - dodge
    • You are obsessed CleanMPG says tailgating=drafting, yet have a blind eye to Wikipedia (their audience is much larger than ours) says the same thing. Sorry, that makes your motives suspect when you have the ability to edit Wiki.

    /end of tweet.
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    I'm cool with the Sartre concept - posted the article back awhile ago.

    Again, it's the individual drafting CleanMPG has issues with.
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  3. sidfreak

    sidfreak Well-Known Member

    I have drafted on my motorcycle back in the 80s, mostly on cold mornings and have seen the benefits there but have also run into issues with road debris and potholes that come up too fast to avoid (I live just outside Buffalo NY, the pothole capital USA):flag:. Since i've gotten my hih i have tried it once, just to test it out but i've found that i got better mileage just getting into long glides and putting it into shm then i could possibly get by drafting. I loved the mother jones article. Wayne really took a beating in the after posts. I think some of the real serious haters should take a look at their own driving styles and calm down a little instead of wishing fiery death on someone who takes a turn a little fast. I'd say they are more likely to die from eating greasy mcdonalds food and sucking coffee then running into a hypermiler. Sounds like ptero has alot of experience driving and is most likely very safe at what he does, but i wouldn't think he would want to condone the average person to practice drafting. Things that you do that probably come natural to a person who drives that many miles took you years and hundreds of thousands of miles to be able to perform safely, i'm sure. Alot of useful and interesting info in this thread. thanx, John :flag:
  4. AlmightyEngineer

    AlmightyEngineer Engineering First!


    I believe you are a real hypermiler - an honest one.

    Finally, a hypermiler comes out of the closet.

    What is the reputation 'hypermiler' is earning? Is it a relaxed, calm, smooth driver or has it become associated with "rolling through stop signs", "ice vests," "turning off engines," "drafting trucks," and "pushing cars in the heat on the street?"

    The reputation of 'hypermiler' is enough that I prefer the term, efficient driver, since it is not burdened with the bad-boy reputation of extreme driving. Boring, old-man, efficient driver, that is me.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I took some beginners out in the Accord last year for some stories... It is a 24 mpg combined rated vehicle. One pulled 57 mpg to O'Hare and the other pulled 55 mpg coming back. No drafting so that equates to 133% increase. Apparently, following the speed limits and not drafting works far better than drafting ;)

    Good Luck

  6. Kwon

    Kwon Active Member

    drafting is ironic for me.
    before hypermiling = drafting often. not for FE purposes though. technically tailgating.
    now hypermiling = no drafting, often following at 1.5-3 car-lengths. the FE improvement is negligible at that distance. my scan gauge doesn't report any FE improvement.

    back before I hypermiled I often tailgated semis based on two observations that help me get to where I want to go quickly.
    1, people don't tailgate semis. there's always this nice 2-3 car length distance behind them.
    2, semi's are very consistent with speed, so it's the best place to be when traffic suddenly comes to a crawl (a phantom traffic jam most likely cause by some idiot hitting the brakes too often causing a sea of red lights).

    these days I follow semis for the same reasons above- they're consistent with speed, people generally avoid them so you don't get tailgated much, semi's glide alot, if you follow one you'll rarely hit the brakes even when traffic is slowed to a crawl, and if you follow one they'll do all the hypermiling work for you. when the go, when to stop, etc.

    I rarely see hypermilers that tailgate/draft.

    The people who I see that draft/tailgate are not hypermilers. its possible they're mistaken for hypermilers.... unless it out in the countryside they don't go very fast, not over 75. typically 70. basically is it like no speeding you're ever heard of.
    I used to be one of them, a special kind of driver unaffected by traffic. we'd make it anywhere in the same time whether it's midnight and there's no cars, or 7.30 am and it's middle of rush hour. tailgating semis is part of the arsenal of techniques we'd use to get around traffic. there's also dwb, rr, over inflation, nice-on, etc. it's very similar to hypermiling with similar driving techniques and when done correctly technically it is hypermiling. usually 5-20% FE increase but emphasis is placed on speed, not FE.
    the key to this is maintaining a constant speed regardless of traffic.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    xcel likes this.
  7. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    Wow, bump on an old thread. I see a lot here in the DC area, but I don't believe that I'm witnessing drafting. I believe what I see is just careless drivers tailgating. I myself rarely draft (and when I do, its at a safe distance) as I can very rarely find a truck going my ideal speed. I will not go faster than my predetermined speed just so I can draft. I may go slightly slower if the opportunity presented itself, but I will not speed up. I usually travel on the highway at 5 under to 5 over the speed limit, depending on traffic and road conditions. If I can find a truck traveling in that range, I may slip in a few carlengths behind, but most often the trucks are going at least 10 over, so I just let them go.
    xcel likes this.
  8. Jocko

    Jocko Active Member

    Hypermiling is not a big thing here in the UK. It is something I have only recently come upon by visiting sites such as CleanMPG. What is big over here is Semis, or Artics as we refer to them, driving in pairs. Sometimes as close as 6 foot apart. This is particularly a problem when the vehicles are from the same company. It also is common for pair of dump trucks doing the same.

    xcel likes this.
  9. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Why do these huge trucks drive so close?
    Just habit-heading to same location?
    I could see that perhaps dump trucks would want to "make lights" together
    or Concrete trucks-want to arrive as soon as possible and at the same time
    I think wet concrete has "shelf life" so I could see them taking chances to save time-and arrive together-but dump trucks?

    But I don't see much motivation for big trucks-professional drivers-to drive like that?
    Do they want to keep other vehicles from getting between them-inhibiting switching lanes

    Yeah why would truck drivers intentionally drive like that?
    Surely it isn't for the minor MPG improvement?
    at low speeds-drafting won't improve mpg much

    Yeah why do they do it?
    xcel likes this.
  10. Jocko

    Jocko Active Member

    I think it is to keep other vehicles from squeezing in between them. Here in Scotland, and huge swathes of the UK, our trunk roads and motorways are mainly dual carriageways (two lanes in each direction). And lots of motorists have a bad habit of slowing down before reaching their off ramp (no reason to, the max speed allowed in the UK is 70 mph and except when there are queues the slip roads are more than long enough to slow down comfortably), and the trucks don't want this slowing them down. The trucks all have speed limiters and I think they just like to keep up there. As their driving hours are limited and monitored they want to get where they are going with no hold ups.
    Don't get me wrong, it is not a huge proportion of trucks that do that. Just more trucks do it than cars do. And trucks also have a bad habit of tailgating cars who are travelling below the their 60 mph limit. If you are travelling at 55 mph it won't be long before you have a truck right on your rear bumper. I just ignore them. They are just trying to intimidate me, and as they can see far further ahead than I can they can probably stop quicker if a situation arises ahead.
    Not always though.
    xcel likes this.
  11. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Thanks-makes sense-time is money for trucks
    and having to needlessly brake-steals fuel and time
    takes lots of energy to push a truck back up to speed

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