[note 2: Most of what I write isn't relevant to Instructables. My main blog is here: biodieselhauling.blogspot.com]
[note 3: Also save energy at home. See my energy guide: instructables.com/id/Not-your-average-save-energy-advice-use-less-en/ ]
Go 50-100% farther on a tank of fuel.
Due to its size and weight this truck is considered a commercial vehicle and is exempt from even light-truck CAFE standards. Even so, with the modifications I have made, I am getting higher mileage than CAFE standards for 2009 cars.
I read an article in Mother Jones Magazine about Wayne Gerdes, mileage champion, and was inspired. I have read that people tend to get between 10 and 16mpg on average in the same truck I have. I was getting around 15. After the mods described here, on a recent tank I got 30.28mpg.
The best thing to do is to not drive at all. Ride a bike, take the train, carpool.
If you do drive, buy the absolute smallest car you can. If you only need a big vehicle occasionally, rent one.
I bicycle or use my 70mpg 250cc motorcycle for personal transport, but my truck still gets a lot of miles, so I wanted to make it as fuel efficient as possible.
I use this truck for work, moving up to 3 tons of soil or broken concrete, entire 1 bedroom apartments worth of belongings (including furniture) in a single trip, etc.
I also need something with enough power to move my 7500lb RV trailer (which is also my home - a very efficient way to live: I use as much electricity in a month as the average American home uses in one day)
Most of these steps could be done to any vehicle, increasing mileage from 50% to 100% or more.
Step 1: The cheapest, and most important step
Single most significant difference, in any vehicle: "Adjust the nut behind the wheel"
(Drive more efficiently.)
Stay at (or below) the speed limit.
(Remember, you only save 7 seconds per mile going 75mph instead of 65mph, but stopping distance and wind resistance increase exponentially; twice as fast = 4 times the force)
(I have a much more in-depth look at speed at ecomodder.com/blog/slow)
Accelerate gently (Keep RPMs low whenever possible)
Never accelerate towards a stop light. (Every time you brake you are wasting momentum. Remember this with the rhyme: "if you have to break, you made a mistake)
Never idle. A popular misconception is that it uses more gas to start than to idle. This was true of older (carbureted) engines. This is not true of modern (fuel injected) engines.
More advanced techniques include actually shutting off the engine and coasting as often as practical. (This can change the feel of the brakes and steering, see step 4)
(PLEASE READ the entire instructable and all the comments before commenting about how dangerous it is to coast.)
NOTE: many automatic transmissions can be damaged by coasting with the engine off.
To find out if yours is one of them, consult this list: http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/dinghytowingguide/
If you have an automatic, and your car is on the list, you can shut the engine while moving.
If it is not, do so at your own risk. You may still benefit from shifting into neutral (engine on) when coasting downhill or towards a stop, depending on whether or not your car has automatic deceleration fuel cut off (DFCI) built in (many newer cars do).