Fuel efficiency has quickly become a very important factor when it comes to the latest road transport. Even though we are already living in an age of hyper-efficient engines and electric cars, fuel at this stage, is still the most important concern when it comes to professional drivers, especially as the fuel prices continue to increase. If your company has not invested in HGV licence training with modern aerodynamic kits, then the journeys that you take, still have to do with you as the actual driver. Here are a few important tips we would like to share with you to make sure you are using your fuel efficiently.
1 Master Block Changing
Block-changing gears are often something many drivers do without even giving it any thought, but most of us don’t do it as often as we should. It basically involves missing out on the gears that do not match up to how fast or slow you are travelling at. So rather than working linearly down or up your gears, you rather go straight into a gear that is needed. This may involve going from second gear into fourth. Or you may gear down from fifth gear into third gear. Research has indicated that the drivers that consistently block change their gears, especially when they move up, save on more fuel when compared to drives that change their gears linearly. Block-changing gears mean that the engine doesn’t have to work so hard to move through any unnecessary gears. This reduces your revs while helping you to save fuel. It will also mean that your hands spend less time on your gearstick which is an added safety advantage.
2 Use Cruise Control
Many of the latest vehicles include a built-in cruise control feature which means you should be using it. Cruise control will help to maintain a consistent speed. This helps to reduce unnecessary braking, acceleration, and revs. Each time you push on your accelerator, even when pressing lightly, this uses more fuel, while the slight fluctuations when you move your feet often also cause unnecessary revs. Over long journeys, this can help you to save on a lot of fuel.
3 Harness Resistance
Resistance is something that every driver experiences. When it comes to larger vehicles, the resistance is even larger. When you carry a heavy load over a long distance, resistance that comes from the gradient, rolling resistance, and air will result in more fuel usage to make sure your HGV is propelled forwards. While this may seem like something that is difficult to overcome, there are changes that you can implement to lower the impact. Finding routes that are less hilly is a great start since this reduces gradient resistance. You can also ensure you are using low-resistance tyres and make sure they are always inflated. These are specialist tyres that can result in a fuel saving of 6%. Every decrease in 10 psi decreases this efficiency by as much as 1%.
4 Avoid Standing Idle
It may seem tempting to leave the engine idling during winter to keep the heater running or to listen to your radio. Yet every minute you allow the engine to run you are wasting money. Studies have proven that the fuel consumption rates for an idling engine are quite alarming.