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Do Grille Guards Affect Aerodynamics and Fuel Economy?

When you spend hours and hours on the road and it is your livelihood to transport cargo from Point A to Point B – fuel costs play an important role in profitability and every advantage you can find helps. RIGGUARD Grille Guards provide the protection you need on the road, but high-quality steel means adding weight to your truck and impacting the aerodynamics of your rig, which all impact fuel economy. When many truckers and trucking companies consider the purchase of a grille guard they want to know – do grille guards affect aerodynamics and fuel economy? We can help answer your grille guard questions here at RIGGUARD!

How Much Do Grille Guards Affect Fuel Efficiency?

Yellow Diesel Fuel Sign on a Gas Pump

Where weight is concerned, ounces are in pounds and every little bit helps. The weight of your truck and trailer have a direct correlation to fuel economy and adding weight – even a little bit – can have an impact on your fuel efficiency and fuel costs. The addition of a RIGGUARD Grille Guard to your rig – while it provides additional protection on the road – may have an affect on your fuel efficiency. But how much does a grille guard affect fuel economy?

MVT Solutions provides fuel economy testing and consulting for trucking companies and has done research on the effects of a grille guard on fuel economy. The fuel economy testing was performed with International LT trucks with the Cummins X15 15-liter engine and a 46,000-pound cargo load – both with and without grille guards. Within this test, results showed that the grille guard used has minimal impact on fuel economy.

How To Calculate Fuel Economy Costs with a Grille Guard

MVT Solutions determined that the International LT truck with a grille guard used an estimated .58 gallons of fuel more per 1,000 miles than the same truck without a grille guard. Remember that this may fluctuate based on your truck, engine, cargo load, road conditions, and the weight of your grille guard – but the research provided by MVT Solutions gives us a rough estimate on how much more you may spend on fuel with a grille guard.

With that estimate, annual mileage estimates, and current costs of diesel fuel, you can calculate how much more you may spend on fuel with the additional weight of a grille guard. A truck equipped with a grille guard that travels 100,000 miles in a year will use an estimated 58 gallons of fuel more than a truck without a grille guard. The average price for diesel fuel in February 2024 is $4.06 in the United States and with that estimate, you would spend an extra $258.48 on fuel over the course of the year. A minimal cost when you consider how much a grille guard can save you on repair costs in the event of a collision.

READ MORE: What Are the Benefits of a Grille Guard?

If you spend hours and hours on the road in your truck each year and fuel costs are important to your bottom line, you may want to know – do grille guards affect aerodynamics and fuel economy? We hope that this breakdown created by the RIGGUARD Team will help answer your questions. Contact RIGGUARD today to learn more about our products!