Braking’s impact on fuel consumption

In a typical fleet operation, braking losses account for about 25 percent of the usable fuel budget, according to Bob Johnson, director of fleet relations for NTEA, The Association for the Work Truck Industry.

He says there are a number of things that can be done to reduce these losses, with most of them falling into the category of good maintenance. The more stop-and-go driving encountered in the drive cycle, the greater the potential benefits.


Among the actions to take:

  • Keep vehicle brakes properly adjusted.
  • Make sure the brakes are fully releasing when not in use.
  • Make certain rotors and drums are not warped.
  • For vehicles with a driveshaft parking brake (common in some specialty applications), be sure that the brake pads/shoes are not dragging.
  • Coach drivers to avoid “riding” their brakes in heavy traffic situations.