Independent truck drivers who own their own truck should be very careful when they're in the market for a new one, since of course your truck will probably be the most expensive investment you'll make in your business. You want a truck that will be able to manage the typical load you haul, but you also want something that is as fuel-efficient as possible. Note a few quick tips for choosing the best heavy-duty truck and its features when you're in the market for a new one.

1. Cab

A day cab is very light since there is no sleeper compartment in the back; if you only make local runs, this can mean not adding the extra weight of a sleeper and, in turn, can be the most fuel-efficient option. However, if you have a very tall trailer, you want what is called a roof fairing on the cab. This is a curved part that goes over the roof and which allows for less wind resistance between the cab and the trailer. A fairing or raised roof cabin is also good for if you haul refrigerated cargo, as this added blockage can mean less heat exposure to the cab itself. 

2. Trailer gap

The smaller the trailer gap, the more fuel efficient your truck will be; a larger gap means that the weight of the trailer is further behind the cab and centered down its middle, so your truck needs to work harder to drag it along. If you will haul different types of trailers that may mean a varying gap, consider a sliding fifth wheel truck hitch so that you can move the trailers as close to the cab as possible. This can mean a more fuel-efficient run no matter the trailer you're pulling. 

3. Tires

Wider single tires are actually more fuel efficient than dual tires since they're lighter overall. However, note that dual tires are better for traction control. If you need to overexert your truck to get through muddy or snowy conditions, this can mean less fuel efficiency with single tires. Remember too that having a blowout with single tires means that you're stuck until you can change it; with dual tires, you can typically continue driving at least until you can get to repair shop. You also want to choose tires with the right specs for your trailer; opting for undersized tires because they're lighter, which might save on fuel, can mean more wear and tear on those tires and having to change them sooner rather than later. Keep this cost in mind, not just fuel economy, when choosing tires for your heavy load truck.