With fuel costs continuing to creep up, regardless of what oil prices or the economy does, it’s important for any professional driver to keep an eye on their spending. Many drivers simply treat fuel as a cost of the job, and to a large extent they are right – it would be impossible to deliver goods without fuel as a cost. But there are a few things you can do as a driver to reduce your fuel bills and increase the efficiency of your HGV for every drive. Here are just 4:
Resistance is one of the biggest problems you will encounter as a professional driver, and it can cost you a lot of fuel. But while it might seem like something you can’t avoid, there are a few ways you can negate it and save yourself some money. When driving, resistance tends to come from 3 places – the air, the gradient and the rolling resistance. To combat the gradient resistance, you can simply alter your routes slightly to avoid hillier areas. To combat rolling resistance, invest in a complete set of rolling-resistance tyres for your vehicle. These tyres will reduce resistance and add up to 6% in fuel savings. But be wary – every 10 psi you let them deflate will knock 1% off that.
Block changing is something many experienced drivers do naturally, but it can take some time to train yourself into it. Essentially, block changing gears means you skip the gears that aren’t relevant to your speed and move directly into the one you want. So instead of moving linearly through the gears, you would move directly from second to fourth. This reduces the energy your engine is using to move up the gears and eliminates the fuel consumption issues caused by higher revs.
It is very tempting to leave your engine on when you have quick breaks, and we’ve spoken to many a driver who has left their engine idling so that they can stay warm in the colder months. But if you knew just how much fuel this simple thing was costing you, you might think again. Studies show that a standard 420HP engine will consume fuel at a rate of 2 litres per hour when stationary and idling. So this winter instead of leaving the engine on put on a coat!
Cruise control is a wonderful invention, and know that most vehicles come equipped with it as standard there is no excuse not to use it. Using cruise control might not sound like a fuel-saving measure, but what it does is remove any fluctuations of acceleration, braking and speed from your long haul journey, and the excessive revving and fuel consumption that goes with it. By maintaining a constant speed, you are able to conserve fuel and make it go further, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Of course, there are many other ways in which you could save yourself fuel, but most of these will cost you a lot of time and money in the short term. There are specialist manufactures of HGV aerodynamic equipment, but many businesses will not invest in them, failing to see the benefits. So instead, you should focus on the differences you can make. These simple changes to your driving style could save you a lot of money over your driving career, so don’t take them for granted. For more information, get in touch with our team today.
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