Do Truck Bed Covers Help Improve Gas Mileage?

Over the years, gas prices have slowly crept higher and higher. Today, fuel typically accounts for a large percentage of the average person’s budget – especially if they spend a lot of time commuting or are frequently on the road for work.

Finding ways to improve the gas mileage of your vehicle can make a significant difference in how often you have to refuel. Even a small improvement in fuel economy can result in major savings.

While there are many ways to get better gas mileage, one that you may not have considered before is installing a truck bed cover. These covers are designed to fit over the bed of a pickup truck. In many cases, truck bed covers can improve gas mileage by making the vehicle more aerodynamic.

To understand why you first need to understand how wind resistance affects fuel economy. When a vehicle is traveling down the road, it encounters wind resistance. Essentially, this is the resistance that occurs when air tries to move around the vehicle. The force of the air against the vehicle creates drag, which can reduce gas mileage.

You probably have felt wind resistance yourself at some point in your life. For instance, when you ride a bike, you can feel the air creating pressure against your body when you are moving forward.

Similarly, if you stick your hand out of a car window when you are driving down the road, it will feel like the force of the air is blowing it backward. If you hold your palm straight up-and-down, perpendicular to the ground, the force against your hand will be much greater. If you turn it sideways, however, so that your palm is parallel with the ground, the air will have an easier time moving around it, resulting in less drag.

A similar effect occurs when you install a truck bed cover. Without a cover, air enters the bed of the vehicle where it swirls around and creates drag while driving down the road. When you install a truck bed cover, on the other hand, it makes the back of the vehicle more aerodynamic. As a result, wind resistance is reduced, resulting in less drag.

Since air has an easier time moving around a truck that has a covered bed, vehicles like these experience less drag. As a result, they get slightly better gas mileage than vehicles with beds that are not covered.

Typically, the difference in gas mileage is relatively small. Even a minor improvement, however, can make a big difference over time.

The level of improvement in gas mileage that a driver experiences after installing a truck bed cover depends on a lot of different factors, as well. Trucks that frequently travel at high speeds on the highway will generally see a greater benefit than trucks that are primarily driven in town at slower speeds.

Likewise, pickup trucks with longer beds may see a greater improvement in fuel economy than trucks with shorter beds. Ultimately, however, installing a truck bed cover can lead to better gas mileage, making these covers a worthwhile investment.

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