Your truck accessories – can they impact fuel consumption?

| 3 min
Aerodynamics play a crucial role when it comes to fuel consumption, which in turn has a huge impact on the profitability of a transport business. As a rule of thumb, each accessory increases the fuel consumption with one percent.

Calculating the impact of accessories on fuel consumption

This doesn’t only go for obvious items, such as a protruding Michelin man, but also more discreet objects. Since fuel accounts for approximately one third of the total costs in trucking business, it can certainly add up to surprising amounts, especially if you have several accessories.

Undoubtedly there are cases where you may need to add, for instance, extra lights for safety and security.

Bullbars may add a feeling of extra safety if you’re driving in areas with a lot of wildlife. But take into account that bull bars, as well as extra lights, don’t just have a negative effect on aerodynamics, but may also affect the airflow through the radiator in a negative way. This requires the fan to engage more, which will increase fuel consumption.

There are also additions to the truck that can save fuel. Some of them are features that you include when you order the truck, such as a roof spoiler (can save up to 5% of the fuel), front spoilers, side fairings, side skirts and aerodynamic wheel covers. Fuel-saving accessories include air deflectors for side windows and mudguards.

Don’t get me wrong – of course you should have a personalized truck or truck fleet. Just be sure to include all the extras when you calculate the fuel consumption and make smart choices accordingly.

Are you interested in finding out more about how truck accessories might impact fuel consumption? Then download my guide which gives:

  • An overview of how each part of your truck contributes towards fuel consumption
  • An outline of how different aspects of driving can impact the amount of fuel your truck consumes


Johan Eknander

Johan Eknander is a System Engineer at Volvo Trucks.

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