Author Topic: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?  (Read 646 times)

TheGadfly

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Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« on: March 20, 2019, 01:10:33 PM »
I'm moving from Massachusetts to Michigan next week using a 16-foot moving truck from budget (I believe the vehicle is a Ford F350, rated for 6-10 mpg). The truck will be full but not with anything particularly heady (no appliances or large furniture). I don't think the load will exceed 3500 lbs.

I have a route mapped out that will help me minimize fuel costs but it all depends on an average 10 MPG. Is that too ambitious? I'm thinking of playing it safe an estimating 8 mpg but that kind of messes up my plan.

I'm curious to know if anyone has calculated their average MPGs in a moving truck. Of course, I plan to drive 55 mph the entire way and do some drafting behind trucks (at a safe distance). Can I pull off 10 mpg?

ender

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 01:11:37 PM »
your plan depends on average MPG?

Might get more useful responses if you explain that.

TexasRunner

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 01:40:55 PM »
Fuelly.com is your best bet.

Also, U-Haul.com gives MPGs on their trucks on the page itself.

I would budget for 8mpg....  sheesh.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 01:43:20 PM by TexasRunner »

TexasRunner

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 01:42:55 PM »
your plan depends on average MPG?

Might get more useful responses if you explain that.

I think they are looking at a route with limited fuel stops.

OP, I wouldn't worry about it if thats the case.  Those moving trucks usually have 40 gallon tanks or more.  Even at 8mpg thats 320 miles between fuel stops, aside from certain stretches in Alaska and Canada, nothing in the US is that bad-  not even the western deserts.

TheGadfly

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 01:56:34 PM »
your plan depends on average MPG?

Might get more useful responses if you explain that.

Sure.  What I mean is that I'm assuming that the truck will take me 10 miles per gallon of fuel. Basically, I mapped out a series of gas stations between my origin and destination that have the lowest reported fuel prices. Each gas station is between 100 and 300 miles apart. Since the truck has a fuel capacity of 33 gallons, that means it has a range of anywhere between 198 and 330 miles (6 mpg x 33 gal = 198 miles AND 10 mpg x 33 gal = 330 miles).

If the truck gets 10 miles per gallon, that means (Scenario A) I can easily drive between two low-price fuel stations that are 300 miles apart BUT if the truck actually only gets 8 mpg, (Scenario B) I'll need to find another (higher priced) fuel station that is less than 264 miles away.








TexasRunner

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 02:09:21 PM »
your plan depends on average MPG?

Might get more useful responses if you explain that.

Sure.  What I mean is that I'm assuming that the truck will take me 10 miles per gallon of fuel. Basically, I mapped out a series of gas stations between my origin and destination that have the lowest reported fuel prices. Each gas station is between 100 and 300 miles apart. Since the truck has a fuel capacity of 33 gallons, that means it has a range of anywhere between 198 and 330 miles (6 mpg x 33 gal = 198 miles AND 10 mpg x 33 gal = 330 miles).

If the truck gets 10 miles per gallon, that means (Scenario A) I can easily drive between two low-price fuel stations that are 300 miles apart BUT if the truck actually only gets 8 mpg, (Scenario B) I'll need to find another (higher priced) fuel station that is less than 264 miles away.

I'm not so sure the truck you're thinking of is the truck you're thinking of.

The F-350 is one of these:


You are probably thinking of the F-650


But really I wouldn't want to stretch it that far...  365 miles is a reasonable assumption to plan on the cheapest fuel stops.

Also, if you are only talking 10 cents per gallon differences... That rate of return likely isn't worth the effort.  Thats only saving $3.30 per fill up, and $10.78 total based on a 865 mile trip...?  Not really worth the headache.  Now if you are talking 50 cents or more, it might be worth it.

TheGadfly

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 02:16:07 PM »

Yeah, it's an E350. My mistake.

And that is a great point. I'm not expecting to save a ton of money by going to one gas station vs another 10 miles up the road. This is mostly just for fun :)


JAYSLOL

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 04:52:07 PM »
The obvious big ways to reduce fuel consumption are

-Reduce weight (not really an option with a moving van)
-Drive slower (Do 55 instead of 65 on the freeway and your mileage should improve measurably)
-Accelerate slower (I'm sure you already were planning on this)
-Tire pressure (Shouldn't be an issue with a rental, but you can check they are topped to the right level before taking off)

Getting extreme

-Tape seams for better aerodynamics (tape up forward facing gaps in the body work and parts of the grille, google aerodynamic taping)
-Carry an extra gas can with fuel to be able to skip a longer route
-Drafing (drive really close to a vehicle in front of you, not legal, do not recommend but there it is)

nereo

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 05:11:48 PM »
um.... why not just carry a fuel can (or two) just in case.  That will ensure you can go another 50-100 miles "just in case".

TheGadfly

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 09:43:50 AM »
Thanks for all the pointers!! I appreciate it.

I actually just switched to a U-Haul truck with a 40 gallon capacity and (according to my estimates) it will reduce my fuel costs by about $20, mostly because I should be able to safely bypass all but one gas station in Pennsylvania (where I will only need to buy ~7 gallons of gas at $2.75 per gal) and fill up in Ohio for only $2.25 per gal.

I'd like to avoid buying a gas can that I'll probably never use again (I am an apartment dweller and have zero storage). Instead, I'm trying to map a route where I can have about 2 gallons (minimum) left in the tank when I stop to refuel.

I'll be sure to post my results after the move just in case anyone is curious (about this financially trivial matter).


JLee

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 09:54:05 AM »
your plan depends on average MPG?

Might get more useful responses if you explain that.

Sure.  What I mean is that I'm assuming that the truck will take me 10 miles per gallon of fuel. Basically, I mapped out a series of gas stations between my origin and destination that have the lowest reported fuel prices. Each gas station is between 100 and 300 miles apart. Since the truck has a fuel capacity of 33 gallons, that means it has a range of anywhere between 198 and 330 miles (6 mpg x 33 gal = 198 miles AND 10 mpg x 33 gal = 330 miles).

If the truck gets 10 miles per gallon, that means (Scenario A) I can easily drive between two low-price fuel stations that are 300 miles apart BUT if the truck actually only gets 8 mpg, (Scenario B) I'll need to find another (higher priced) fuel station that is less than 264 miles away.

Everybody else hit some good points already, but with this philosophy you're one good traffic jam away from running out of fuel.  Probably best to build in some extra safety net.

Ecky

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 10:57:08 AM »
I've found that weight doesn't have a tremendous impact on fuel economy. It's mostly aerodynamics and drivetrain. E.g. driving 50 instead of 75 can result in 50% or more improved economy, while an empty truck may only give 5-10% better economy than one loaded to the max.

researcher1

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2019, 11:48:37 AM »
I actually just switched to a U-Haul truck with a 40 gallon capacity and (according to my estimates) it will reduce my fuel costs by about $20, mostly because I should be able to safely bypass all but one gas station in Pennsylvania (where I will only need to buy ~7 gallons of gas at $2.75 per gal) and fill up in Ohio for only $2.25 per gal.

I'd like to avoid buying a gas can that I'll probably never use again (I am an apartment dweller and have zero storage). Instead, I'm trying to map a route where I can have about 2 gallons (minimum) left in the tank when I stop to refuel.

You are spending WAY too much time/effort/energy on this!

Even with all this ridiculous planning, your strategy is unlikely to work...
- What if the truck gets 9 MPG instead of 10 MPG? 
- Or if the low fuel light comes on with 10 gallons left in the tank? 
- Or when gas prices inevitably fluctuate and your pre-determined fuel stops are now more expensive than another?

Wasting a stop to pump only 7 gallons of gas?  Running the tank down till you only have 2 gallons left?  This is dumb.

Just get in the damn truck, drive until the gas gauge is between 1/4 and 1/8, then stop for gas at whatever gas station the Gas Buddy app says is the cheapest within the next few exits.

dcheesi

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2019, 12:01:45 PM »
I actually just switched to a U-Haul truck with a 40 gallon capacity and (according to my estimates) it will reduce my fuel costs by about $20, mostly because I should be able to safely bypass all but one gas station in Pennsylvania (where I will only need to buy ~7 gallons of gas at $2.75 per gal) and fill up in Ohio for only $2.25 per gal.

I'd like to avoid buying a gas can that I'll probably never use again (I am an apartment dweller and have zero storage). Instead, I'm trying to map a route where I can have about 2 gallons (minimum) left in the tank when I stop to refuel.

You are spending WAY too much time/effort/energy on this!

Even with all this ridiculous planning, your strategy is unlikely to work...
- What if the truck gets 9 MPG instead of 10 MPG? 
- Or if the low fuel light comes on with 10 gallons left in the tank? 
- Or when gas prices inevitably fluctuate and your pre-determined fuel stops are now more expensive than another?

Wasting a stop to pump only 7 gallons of gas?  Running the tank down till you only have 2 gallons left?  This is dumb.

Just get in the damn truck, drive until the gas gauge is between 1/4 and 1/8, then stop for gas at whatever gas station the Gas Buddy app says is the cheapest within the next few exits.
This. OP is overthinking it. So many things can go wrong in a move like this that it's pointless to spend a lot of time hyper-optimizing this one aspect. Better to spend your time trying to address the issues that might really cost you big bucks (hidden fees/overages, accidents/insurance, damage to belongings, etc.).

dycker1978

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2019, 12:25:28 PM »
My issue with the low reserve of 2 gal that you are thinking of is what happens if you happen to hit a strong head wind for 200 miles and this reduced the millage from 10-7 MPG?

It seems way to risky to save $20.

Aggie1999

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2019, 02:56:20 PM »
I've done a lot of self moves with the larger 20'+ UHaul, Budget, etc trucks. They get around 6 - 7 mpg loaded down on relatively flat terrain. Not sure about the smaller 16' ones.

Side note: IMO experience Penske has the nicest trucks. Budget/UHaul trucks are usually ragged out with the AC half working, etc.

JLee

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Re: Max MPG with Budget Moving Truck?
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2019, 02:56:48 PM »
I've done a lot of self moves with the larger 20'+ UHaul, Budget, etc trucks. They get around 6 - 7 mpg loaded down on relatively flat terrain. Not sure about the smaller 16' ones.

Side note: IMO experience Penske has the nicest trucks. Budget/UHaul trucks are usually ragged out with the AC half working, etc.

+1 to Penske.  They're beautiful trucks compared to U-Haul.