CleanMPG and Drafting

Discussion in 'General' started by Chuck, May 17, 2008.

  1. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Sadly the media has give a dispropornate amount of attention to drafting semis - infamously half of the video in this story > Danger, Danger - Will Robinson!!! Hypermiling!!! Whatever the motives, they are making a flea the size of King Kong - sensationalizing a road hazard way out of proportion.

    This sticky is to educate our membership CleanMPG does not endorse drafting. The circumstances you could do this are rare - you would have to be on a freeway out of traffic with the trucker traveling at a constant and moderate speed. It's likely the trucker will shake anyone tailgating off as drafting has been mentioned frequently in their circles....many of them join to rant about this and we tell them we are not promoting this!

    This term is now in the glossary so nobody will have any illusions of where we stand on this.

    Other things to be elaborated in more detail is CleanMPG promotes friendly driving
    • letting others know your intentions whenever possible
    • letting drivers from behind pass in any way possible
    • obstructing others a little as possible by staying in the right lane, reverse passing, avoiding rush hour, etc.
    Last edited: May 17, 2008
    08EscapeHybrid likes this.
  2. 99HXCivic

    99HXCivic Well-Known Member

    I don't like drafting semi's because I'd get decapitated by one if I ran into it. Would do 3+ car lentgh behind, and I upgraded my front brakes for insurance in drafting. Speeding 70 mph Metro buses are my favorite, and I break 50+ mpg doing them!
  3. Jaral

    Jaral Well-Known Member

    Can we add to this something about road courtesy and folowing lane usage laws? That is the other main complaint I get. When I tell people about hypermiling, their first reaction is "Oh! So YOU are that nitwit who drives 15mph under the limit in the left lane!" No, thats stupid and dangerous, illegal in most states, definately not me, and Im pretty sure it isnt most of you. If there is a right lane, we are in it. If there is only one lane, we stay fairly close to the speed limit if people are behind us, unless there is a good reason not to such as a red light ahead. Nor are we the people who pull out 50ft in front of you when you are doing the speed limit and force you to slam your brakes because they forget to use the blessed Tall Skinny Pedal.

    I would like to think that we are not advocating the "screw you, Im going to do what I want" attitude, because that is the exact same attitude that GSP drivers have when they tailgate, race around and generally have no regard for other drivers. We are not them; are we?

    Edit: in the definition, just for grammer: "It's" is a contraction of "It is". The first time it is used correctly, the second time I believe you want to say, "It has."
    Last edited: May 17, 2008
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    This sticky is a works-in-progress.

    Among other things, poking in the passing lane is not encouaged here.

    In fact, he promote letting drivers every opportunity to know our intentions and to pass us whenever possible.
  5. desdemona

    desdemona Well-Known Member

    CleanMPG doesn't advocate it. But its got its advocates. I am guessing there are a lot of 20 somethings doing it. I saw a bumper sticker that said: "I'm not tailgating, I'm drafting". So that's the reason. :-} (The advocates don't include those wild and crazy guys on Mythbusters who determined it worked but it was way too dangerous to even consider.)

  6. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    It should also probably be made a sticky in this case.
  7. xcel

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

    H PDK:


    ___Good Luck and thanks

  8. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    We should compile a list of all our complaints and recalling occasions when a hypermiler was tailgated by a semi or other large vehicle.

    When a news organization makes a hypermiling report and focuses on drafting we should send the list to them, of all the occasions where WE were tailgated by a semi truck.

    And then mentioned that CleanMPG does not endorse drafting.
  9. fanamingo

    fanamingo Well-Known Member

    Perhaps we should change the options in the Mileage Logs to reflect this philosophy. Remove "L = Close-In Draft" and possibly "C = Drafting-Forced Auto Stop" as well. New members entering tank data are likely to come across these options (the existence of which implies endorsement) before they run into this sticky (in just one of the currently 52 subforums on CleanMPG).
  10. abcdpeterson

    abcdpeterson Well-Known Member

    Wow your right “close in draft” in an option when logging tanks (ya I have not logged my tanks yet). I totally agree, with that even being there it gives me the impression it IS indorsed or accepted.

    You may not like this idea, but I will put it out there.
    You could leave it, but change it. Put a note next to it stating something to the effect “if you check this box you will be excluded from obtaining Hypermiling status”
    This would allow you to clarify that is dangers and unlawful, and still track how often this technique is used.

    Or… maybe better.

    Add a section of “Dangers and sometimes Unlawful techniques”. Do not make anything in this section checkable, just have it there as an reminder of things NOT indorsed.
  11. fixedintime

    fixedintime Well-Known Member

    I said the same thing earlier this week or late last week and Wayne was going to delete the close in drafting, then a couple of people said they wanted it to cover when they were forced to draft by those cutting in front of them. I said delete it anyway. I think the issue is still open. But I sure would like to see it go.
  12. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    Personally, I don't think that situation really counts. To me, using a hypermiling technique (and checking a box) implies that it was done intentionally.

    One of the weird things about drafting is that it's possible to do it unintentionally, whether by someone cutting you off or the imperceptible speed changes that bring you from >2s following distance to <2s following distance. I wouldn't call those situations drafting (though I don't know what I would call them either).

    Besides, it's very hard to unintentionally do other hypermiling techniques, maybe FAS if your engine unexpectedly stalls, but that's about it.
  13. naeallen

    naeallen Nate

    Close-in drafting is unnecessary. I recently started trying out drafting as a technique to improve my FE and have achieved nearly 50 mpg with hardly any close-in drafting. A 2 second spacing between you and the truck in front of you is enough to achieve significant improvements in your gas mileage. 2 seconds doesn't sound like much, but it is a safe distance on a rural interstate. The only time it becomes dangerous is if you are driving distracted, like talking on your cell phone or taking in the scenery. Whenever drafting, I keep my eyes fixed on the tail lights of the truck in front of me AT ALL TIMES. As long as you stay alert to the truck in front of you, I believe drafting is a perfectly safe and very effective method.
  14. psychojuggalo17

    psychojuggalo17 Well-Known Member

    theyre talking about closer than 1 second drafting, like some fast n furios stuff where there would be a scene of a guy crawling on the hood, latching a grappling hook to the semi, attaching it to the car, and the driver doing a FAS.

    maybe thats a lil exaggerated.

    its 6 am tho and i havent gone to bed yet.
  15. SpartyBrutus

    SpartyBrutus Hypofueller

    It would seem that there are FIVE references to drafting in the mileage log techniques used "menu" as well as a couple of shutdown/FAS ones. This may give some the impression that this site does promote these techniques.

    Interestingly,some basic techniques are not posted on the menu - driving at/below speed limit, avoiding hard breaking/acceleration, tires up to max sidewall pressure... I guess this is because these are basic techniques already practiced by most on this site.
  16. fanamingo

    fanamingo Well-Known Member

    Spelling corrected ;)
  17. BackOffMyTruck

    BackOffMyTruck generic non-offensive saying

    On the topic of drafting I have to speak up and ask you to pull down the picture of and reference to "surf drafting" as well. at least 3 times a week some road problem develops that calls for a quick lane change. I hit the signal, check my mirror, and there's somebody hanging our right off the back corner of my trailer.
    My truck gets 6.5 MPG on a good day. I don't want to brake unnecessary either. What ends up happening is I ease the throttle to get my "shadow" to pass so I have a clear piece of road to change lanes, but the nit-wit is surf drafting so he slows down too. In the end I have to hit the brakes, throwing away all that hard won momentum.
    If you hyper-miler types want to use distant drafting I won't fuss, But hanging out right off my back corner one lane over in unacceptable. It blocks the passing lane and robs the drivers of large vehicles of options in an emergency. Surf drafting is not quite as dangerous as close in drafting, but it is every bit as rude, annoying, and troublesome.
    Another thing to factor into the question of surf drafting is tire failure. A 22.5 inch truck tire inflated to 105 psi is a LOT of stored energy. Truck tire repair shops inflate those tires in a steel cage because the energy released when a tire fails can be lethal. A tire also tends to pitch large very heavy chunks of rubber at high speeds. People have been killed by tires.
    I work very hard at operating safely. I recently won a safety award for 500,000 safe, accident free miles. I'll try very hard not to hurt you out on the highway, but when you insist on remaining so close you may exceed my ability to save you from your own foolishness.
  18. locutus

    locutus MPG Centurion

    "Surf drafting" just seems like hanging out in someone's blind spot to me. I know it's a nasty surprise when I go to change lanes and have to abort because someone was hanging just out of my normal view. When the "someone" in question is a semi I agree it goes from being merely annoying to dangerous. The defensive driver in me won't let me intentionally surf draft for the few MPG it might gain me.

    Huge congrats on the safety award - that's quite the achievement! Thank you for setting an example out there. :flag:
  19. xcel

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

  20. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    I try to avoid drafting anyone for any reason let alone FE. It's too much stress, and it's too dependent on the other drivers' actions, 2 things that I try to avoid in my hypermiling experiences.

    The information is important enough to be there so that, at the very least, people can recognize a draft situation. Since drafting is dependent on the actions of others, it's also possible to draft unintentionally.

    Also, a fuller view of information is nearly always a good thing. If we don't present and frame information regarding drafting, someone may hear about it elsewhere as a "great fuel saving technique" without understanding the consequences.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008

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