How True That Tonneau Covers Can Save Gas

By: Karl Cruz


You cannot deny it! The gas prices seemingly out-of-control today, and many manufacturers and retailers claim that adding a tonneau cover to your truck can save you money and that the cover can pay for itself in next to no time. Sounds good right? But have you ever wondered how true is this?

If you are currently seeking for the answer for this question, well, the answer is yes. The bed of a pickup is nothing but a very big bucket. While you are driving, air is swept over the hood and cab and it flows down into the bed where it gets trapped by the tailgate. That is why there is a drag. Having a drag on your tailgate will increase the need of fuel is just to maintain the vehicle’s speed. But if you have installed a truck tonneau cover, you can save gas.

The Ford Motor Company recently commissioned a study regarding on the wind drag among pickup trucks and how much gas mileage is improved by fitting a tonno cover. The study has shown that MPG could be increased by as much as 10% when a truck was fitted with a cover.

Another study made by the Specialty Equipment Market Association was the 13 different tonneaus that were tested on the four different trucks found that MPG was increased by nearly 8%.

Do not rely on the manufacturer's claims or those of a vehicle association alone. You must consider an independent body, the Western New England College's Department of Mechanical Engineers. They carried out independent studies and found that MPG was increased by 8%.

The evidence is so clear now. Just by installing a cover, you can save between 8 and 10 percent on your gas bill. Before, you never find that fitting a tonno has lots of advantages that can provide in terms of the payback on your investment. The price of truck tonneau covers has remained pretty much the same whereas the price of gas continues to rise.

Another question that some people ask is, does a one type of cover is better than another in terms of increasing MPG. The answer is simply ”No”! If the cover is fitted correctly is enough to lessen the drag at the tailgate of your truck. So it only means that, it doesn't matter if it's a soft vinyl or a hard fiberglass tonno cover, the savings on gas are the same.

Always take your time and think about whether you should buy a soft folding version like the Extang Trifecta tonneau cover or a soft rollup version like the Access Roll-up or whether you spend a lot more on lustrous, paint-matched fiberglass tonno like the Gaylord TL-Series.

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Karl Cruz writes articles for 4wheelonline, an online source of truck accessories such as tonneau covers, fender flares, nerf bars, bumpers as well as jeep parts.

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