Hybrid electric vehicles require an algorithm that controls the power split between the internal combustion engine and electric machine(s), and the opening and closing of the clutch. Optimal control theory is applied to derive a methodology for a real-time optimal-control-based power split algorithm. The presented strategy is adaptive for vehicle mass and road elevation, and is implemented on a standard Electronic Control Unit of a parallel hybrid electric truck. The implemented strategy is experimentally validated on a chassis dynamo meter. The fuel consumption is measured on 12 different trajectories and compared with a heuristic and a non-hybrid strategy. The optimal control strategy has a fuel consumption lower (up to 3%) than the heuristic strategy on all trajectories that are evaluated, except one. Compared to the non-hybrid strategy the fuel consumption reduction ranged from 7% to 16%.