As a truck driver, do you ever take advantage of cruise control when driving down the interstate? If not, you probably should. Cruise control is an excellent tool that can help you be more fuel-efficient and safer as a driver. In fact, learning how to take full advantage of cruise control could change the way you drive.
The concept of cruise control has not changed much since it was first implemented in passenger vehicles in the 1950s. The technology relies on a speed limiter that controls the flow of fuel into the engine based on the current speed of the vehicle. While modern cruise control may be based on digital technology and electronics rather than the analog components of the past, it still operates on the same basic principle.
The strength of cruise control is that it eliminates the systematic acceleration and deceleration drivers are prone to when traveling down an interstate or an empty country highway. This saves fuel, decreases travel time, and saves the driver at least some of the discomfort associated with maintaining the same seating position for long periods.
Here are four essential things you should know about cruise control as a truck driver:
1. Using Cruise Control Saves Fuel
Utilizing the cruise control in your truck definitely saves fuel. By setting your speed and allowing the system to take over, your truck is better able to maintain a constant speed over great distances. The system is also better able to accelerate more gradually when necessary, as opposed to the driver doing it manually. Both aspects of cruise control save fuel.
As an added benefit, using cruise control can help drivers avoid the temptation of speeding. Keeping at or below speed limits is yet another way to save fuel and, at the same time, increase margins.
2. Cruise Can Help Control Traffic
One of the truck driver’s biggest frustrations are the car drivers who don’t seem to understand that big rigs take considerably more time and distance to stop. They follow too closely and cut in front of truckers with impunity. But consider this: utilizing cruise can control the traffic around you.
By setting your cruise control just under the posted speed limit, you will be creating a natural buffer around your truck. Cars coming up from behind will get into the passing lane and overtake you while those in front will quickly put distance between you and them as they pull away. It is amazing the difference cruise control makes in this regard.
3. Cruise Control Can Be Dangerous in Weather
Cruise control is intended to be used under ideal weather conditions. Bear in mind that it can be dangerous when bad weather rolls in. Cruise control should never be used in icy conditions, during rain or snow storms, or when the winds are fairly strong. All inclement weather conditions require an alert driver who has total control over his/her rig.
4. Disengage Cruise Control with the Switch
When cruise control needs to be disengaged, use the switch rather than tapping on your brake pedal. Using the switch gives you more control over your rig; it also prevents panic behind you that might be caused by tapping on the brakes.
Cruise control is a great option to have inside your truck. If you do have it, consider using it on open stretches of the interstate. Cruise control will save fuel, make you safer, and decrease your travel times. Making use of it is one of the easiest ways to become a better driver with very little effort.