Drafting behind a Truck - Fuelly Forums

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Old 09-21-2006, 05:13 PM   #1
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Drafting behind a Truck

I am still waiting to get my Yaris Hatchback, then I will get a scangauge. If I had my ride and my scangauge I would do this test myself.
Has anyone tried drafting a truck on the highway to see how much it improved their gas mileage? How close to the truck did you need to get?
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:00 PM   #2
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Better go with ACME

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner
I am still waiting to get my Yaris Hatchback, then I will get a scangauge. If I had my ride and my scangauge I would do this test myself.
Has anyone tried drafting a truck on the highway to see how much it improved their gas mileage? How close to the truck did you need to get?
Roadrunner
Unfortunately, the closer the better, but more dangerous. A study was done recently that showed that the bumper-bar on most trailers is insufficent, and is just the right height to slice your head off in a rear-end collision.

There's a safer "side-draft" technique that's still in the DOT's "No-Zone" as well -- position the vehicle in the lane next to the semi at about where the trailer attaches. This is a bad spot too because it will certainly irritate the truck driver and/or may merge into you.

The best way is the "ACME" claw arm, or the more expensive LECTRO-magnet system (worse for FE, I've found -- take a lot of juice to power up that bad boy).

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Old 09-21-2006, 06:12 PM   #3
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drafting behind a truck is for the suicidal, it isn't worth it to save a bit of gas, i hope no one here does this or promotes the idea.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:37 PM   #4
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I heard long distance drafting (around 1 second behind) still has some advantages. It still is dangerous but not as bad as being 5' behind.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:40 PM   #5
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You can benefit from 2 to 3 seconds behind trucks and in the lanes to either side of them and the more trucks form in front of you in a convoy fashion and the faster they go i.e. 70mph the more they knock down the wind in front of you and the further behind them it extends so you can safely follow in their wake. Unfortunately you have to breath the exhost fumes and in rainy conditions the dirt they throw up in the mist they create. As far as safety is concerned they usually don't stop suddenly so in that respect they are safe to follow but you need to make sure you allow them room to change lanes should they need to. Getting too close to them is also a great way to add holes to your front paint job and windshield as they do tend to kick up road junk and rocks. Jeeps and pickup trucks are the only vehicles which throw more rocks with their rear tires than semi's because they usually don't have any mud flaps and are jacked up pretty high exposing the rear tread. The first chips in my new xB windshield was from a pickup truck passing me and changing lanes in front of me too close on an empty highway.
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Old 09-21-2006, 06:43 PM   #6
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Drafting isn't safe and the truck drivers hate it. You'll know when they ride the outer line to kick trash/rocks up on your car. (I sometimes drive a truck for work as a last resort if they can't get anyone else-CDL)

That being said, I have done it at a fairly safe distance at around 65MPH in a 70 zone and gotten 42 with my Matrix when I normal got 37 on the same route. Even at a safe distance its still white knuckle driving that I don't find relaxing. I seldom do it anymore EXCEPT when the beer trucks pull out in front of me in the morning when I'm going to work. The trailers are MUCH more low profile and cut through the air making a great clear path AND remember, they cut in front of me which makes it OK to tailgate - not - its still not right to draft whether I do it or not ( ).
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanGeo
The first chips in my new xB windshield was from a pickup truck passing me and changing lanes in front of me too close on an empty highway.
I kid you not, 20 miles on the odometer of the TSX and a ratty old gravel truck merges onto the highway, hits a bump, and sends gravel flying. Now, I have scratches down to the primer on the hood and dimples in the bumper

I know you can't keep a car new forever, but c'mon!!!

No license plate on the truck, and we weren't getting any closer to get the hauler name. A little touch-up paint helped, but

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Old 09-21-2006, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher
Every time I go through Ohio some dingus either runs into me or throws up rocks that break my windshield. I hate Ohio.
OK, now it's personal. Born in Barberton, Ohio, Alma Mater: Muskingum College, New Concord, Ohio. Folks live in Ohio.

Yeah, come to think, I don't like it there either, that's why I moved away...

Nevermind...

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Old 09-21-2006, 11:27 PM   #9
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I always wanted to make a little grapple for the lower bar on the truck trailer...for my long trips it seems like a money saving opportunity
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomauto
I always wanted to make a little grapple for the lower bar on the truck trailer...for my long trips it seems like a money saving opportunity
...And it's technically carpooling

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