1300 miles / week in a Toyota Tacoma 4x4

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by tweakt, Nov 11, 2006.

  1. tweakt

    tweakt New Member

    I have a 2006 Toyota Tacoma pickup. Four door, long bed, 4WD, 4.0L V6. I chose this truck because it was the biggest Toyota pickup without getting a V8. I am a luggage courier and I need the cargo capacity -- I regularly fill the backseat and capped bed with suitcases. I often carry heavy loads, probably over the half-ton limit. In the seven months I've owned this truck, I've driven it 47K miles. Since I'm the one paying the gas bill, I'm willing to work on raising my MPG.

    I've already started slowing down. My 45 mile one-way commute used to be above 80 MPH, now I'm usually poking along at 65, cruise-controlled.

    Will raising the PSI affect my load capacity? I know to check the pressure after carrying heavy loads (even if I don't always...)

    I'm shopping for new tires. While I'll probably go for a meatier tread for the winter, what should I look for, aside from wear rating, for a regular all-season? I haven't decided whether I'll get something like an all-season like the Cooper Discovery or if I'll get snow tires. I drive through all of New England's weather -- blizzards, monsoons, anything. I rarely use 4WD in anything but the most extreme weather.

    My delivery runs can be anywhere from 200 to 500+ miles. Mostly I head out of town, but I will do local deliveries in the Boston area. I avoid driving during hours when there's any sort of traffic.

    I use Mobil 1 and change my oil religiously at 5000 miles. I'm looking to change to a higher-mileage oil since I do 5000 miles every month. I'd go with the 7500 but still get oil changes every 5000. Just extra protection. I'm not comfortable with lowering the oil viscosity -- I feel it needs the protection because of the heavy hauling. I plan on keeping my truck for 300K miles.

    Deliveries are time-sensitive so I don't always have the option of taking it easy. I do usually set the cruise slow on the drive home, unless I'm trying to get home before rush hour or I fall asleep behind the wheel. 20-hour work days aren't uncommon and though I have no problem sleeping in my truck, my bed is much more comfortable.

    I calculate my MPG at every fill-up. I average high 19's to 21. Max was about 22 with long stretches of highway on a trip to Maine. EPA is 17-21.

    The truck's transmission is very shifty. If I set the cruise and don't speed up before even a small hill, it'll shift and rev the engine over 4000 RPM.

    What else can I do?
  2. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    is your car a manual or auto?

    your achiving 100% EPA rating so that makes you a hypermiler!

    i guess your commute varies a lot eh? that's going to be tough weaving through traffic on a daily basis.
  3. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Raising the PSI will increase your load capacity. Look at DWL (Driving with load) it will help prevent the transmission from shifting. DWL will however mean you probably won't be using the cruise control much (which most hypermilers don't use anyway).

    BTW, sounds like you are doing great to start as 21 appears to be epa for your truck. Now lets try to get you an additional 20% or more ;)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
  4. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    WRT downshifting -- most cruise controls are way too aggressive
    on the throttle simply because their job is to keep the car at
    a constant speed. So if you turn it off, say, on an uphill and
    give it a little less throttle than the CC would have, you
    should be able to stay in the higher gear and just let your speed
    drop back a little. You can regain it on the downside, and
    meanwhile you haven't had that big fuel-eating RPM surge.
    It's tough with an automatic, but there's probably a lot you
    can do with your right foot..
  5. xcel

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

    Hi Tweakt:

    ___I would love to have a job like yours … For about a week :rolleyes:

    ___Speed kills FE and if you can avoid it, do it. What is your average speed. Not your top travel speed but average from load point to drop off?

    ___Tom answered your question on tire pressures and load. You are better off going to max sidewall with those kinds of load vs. the posted door pressures.

    ___For a truck, have you considered the Ford Escape Hybrid’s specialized LRR Conti-Trak’s? Decent traction but lower rolling resistance then the std. Conti’s as can be found on the regular Escape and Ranger P/U’s. The FEH drivers have not complained much about traction in the winter months while using them that I have read anyway? I hope the tire/rim size matches your Tacoma’s?

    ___5,000 miles with 1,300/week? You are throwing away a lot of money here. If you want, do an oil analysis and you are going to find intervals out near 15,000 more the norm. Many European automobiles run 10 - 15K mile intervals as OME recommendations and there is not a difference between the US and the EU other then the 3,000 mile oil change myth. Do the analysis at 10K and I am positive you will find plenty of life left. I am running 15K change intervals on my own Mobil1 0W-20 fills in the Accord and it still comes out a mid-colored brown vs. black as in non-synthetic from years gone by with much shorter change intervals. The oil analysis will prove it for you.

    ___Sleeping in the truck is a good idea when you are beat or there is no chance to make it home. Saves quite a bit of fuel being able to manipulate your driving times to avoid the rush and may even save your life someday! I have a Slumberjack Esplanade (0 degrees F) and it works spectacular for cold weather naps/nights in the car when it come to that.

    ___As has been mentioned, at the speeds you are traveling, you can DWL, FAS on any larger downhill (to advanced for the beginner) and or find route or timing alternates around any traffic ahead. It sounds like you are doing a great job at that already! Any type of draft can help. Never touch the brakes whenever slowing will help tremendously also.

    ___Good Luck

  6. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    Good to have you on "board," tweakt!

    Definitely inflate to max sidewall - with all of that steady cruising, it'll squeeze a few more MPGs out of that truck. Good choice, too - the Toy should last you 200K+ with regular maintainance.

    Using CC on flat surfaces is alright; however, when encountering hills, make sure to DWL. No sense in running through your fuel only to coast down the other side.

    Sounds like you're on the right track! :)

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