Fuel efficiency and a well-maintained truck go hand in hand – you don’t get one without the other. A proper maintenance plan is crucial to save money on fuel.

Fuel efficiency and a well-maintained truck go hand in hand – you don’t get one without the other. A proper maintenance plan is crucial to save money on fuel.

From air filters to brake pads, cooling system and engine oil, each and every component plays its part in maintaining the truck’s fuel efficiency and overall performance. It’s why a regular maintenance schedule is vital for optimum performance.

“Without the right service plan, you could be looking at fuel bills that are 2-3% higher than necessary,” says Mike Furst, Director of Contract Services and Leasing Technology Solutions with Volvo Trucks.

" We get pretty aggressive on our maintenance schedule. We really like to be proactive instead of reactive."


The dollars are in the details

Fuel-conscious fleets keep an eye on every component when it comes to service.

“We get pretty aggressive on our maintenance schedule,” says Joel Morrow, senior driver and vice president for fleet equipment procurement at Ploger Transportation. “We’ll replace sensors and other components on an annual basis instead of waiting for them to fail out on the road. It’s a true preventative mindset. We really like to be proactive instead of reactive.”

For instance, engine oil can play a bigger role in fuel economy than you might think. It’s common knowledge that you need to use the engine oil optimized for the truck to ensure performance and reduce wear and tear. But not everyone realizes that failing to select the proper oil can raise fuel consumption by up to 1.5 percent.

The cooling system is also another important feature to consider. Optimal temperature is critical. If the thermostat isn’t working properly, you risk the cooling fan working overtime, using fuel unnecessarily and risking the engine overheating.

“As an example of the details we follow, we are also constantly looking at the pressure differential in the DPF. That’s where we see the backpressure rise that can affect fuel efficiency,” according to Morrow. “We have a target value for our fleet so we are constantly monitoring to see how close we are to that value. It lets us know whether we need to pull that filter out and either clean it or change it.”

Smarter servicing

Individual components in the truck work together like instruments in a symphony. Using Genuine Volvo Parts for regular scheduled maintenance is an excellent way to ensure performance. Volvo Trucks’ fuel injectors, air filters, fuel pumps, and turbos have all been designed and optimized to meet demanding quality requirements.

Furst says there is a concerted effort at Volvo Trucks to deliver better service recommendations. “It’s not enough to maintain a standard. We have to innovate. Our service contracts are a great example. New contract options will make it even easier to ensure the right service operations are performed at the right time to maximize productivity, delivering more cash to a customer’s bottom line.”

Protection Plans and Service Contracts

A key component of vehicle maintenance can be a contracted maintenance or protection plan. A wide variety of Volvo Protection Plans are available for Engine, Engine Aftertreatment System, Chassis, Transmission, Clutch, Towing, and Individual Chassis Components. The Volvo Blue Service Contract can cover services from basic oil changes and 74-point inspections, to more in-depth repairs.

Driving Progress

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