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Do Truck Lids Really Improve Gas Mileage?
Home Autos & Trucks Trucks
By: Bobby Combs Email Article
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There are a lot of truck lid manufacturer s that say their fiberglass truck lids improve gas mileage.

So is this fact or is it fiction? Before we answer this question, it’s important to provide some background information on truck lids.

Truck lids, also known as tonneau covers, are flat lids that are placed over a truck bed. They help to protect cargo from the weather as well as theft. Typically you can get a truck lid made out of either vinyl or fiberglass.

So here’s what the manufacturers are saying… Manufacturers claim that truck lids reduce aerodynamic tailgate drag. This results in improved fuel economy.

So is this the truth or is it a ploy to get people to buy truck lids?

After careful research, we agree with the manufacturers. Here’s why.

Do you watch NASCAR races? If you do, you probably know that there is a truck racing series affiliated with NASCAR. It’s called the Camping World Truck Series. In it, teams race stock race trucks at NASCAR race tracks.

These trucks have been designed to reduce aerodynamic drag for more speed and better fuel economy. On a race track, fuel economy is important. There have been countless times where racing teams just run out of gas. Every drop of gasoline matters in racing.

If you look at the NASCAR trucks, you will notice their truck beds are covered similar to standard trucks with truck lids. In the end, it’s all about aerodynamics.

Wind blowing on the inner side of your truck’s tailgate will slow you down. You’ll need to use more gas to accelerate and maintain speed. This is known as tailgate drag, and it affects your gas mileage.

There has been research done on fuel savings. Here are some of the results:

  • A study by the Western New England College showed a gas mileage savings of 8 percent when a tonneau cover was added to a Ram pickup truck.

  • Auto Anything reports that you can see a gas mileage improvement of anywhere from 5 to 10 percent with a tonneau cover.
Tonneau cover fuel savings will vary based on the brand and style of your tonneau cover as well as the make and model of your truck.

In the end, the fuel savings is an added value that comes with the tonneau cover.

When purchasing a tonneau cover, be sure to discuss all the different available options and accessories. Some tonneau covers have the option of adding a spoiler.

Besides getting a tonneau cover, there are other things you can do to improve your truck’s fuel efficiency. If you’re really looking to save even more gas, consider following these tips as outlined by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Check Your Tire Pressure
  • Follow the Speed Limit
  • Remove Excess Weight from your Truck
  • Avoid Excessive Idling
  • Use Cruise Control on Long Trips
  • Replace the Air Filter
  • Use the Recommended Grade of Oil for Your Truck
All of these things will help to improve fuel efficiency in your truck. Now all you’ll have to decide is which tonneau cover is best for your truck.

ATC Truck Covers is a leading truck lid manufacturer that makes fiberglass truck lids and other accessories.

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