Let's talk fuel efficiency. I come with a friendly reminder that the way you drive considerably affects fuel consumption. Though fuel-efficient truck models are being rolled out regularly, if you’d rather not buy a new vehicle, these helpful techniques will make your driving more environmentally friendly. Temperature-Conscience Driving • If it's below 0, don't rush to go During those cold months where the temperature is below 0°C, turning the engine on and letting it gradually heat up will avoid straining the engine. Wait a few minutes before revving and then you can be on your way! • If you're driving slow, keep the windows low As you know, air conditioning systems are engine-powered. Having the air con on when driving slowly will unnecessarily overwork the engine. In this situation, it’s best to wind the windows down instead. Though when you do start picking up speed, close them again as open windows cause drag. To maximise your fuel efficiency, remember to open your windows when travelling slowly, and have the air con on at high speeds. This could reduce your fuel consumption by 10%. Monitoring Your Speed |
• For fuel efficiency, accelerate smoothly I know it seems contradictory but both too abrupt and too slow accelerations consume excess fuel. The best way to accelerate is to start in a low gear and then, as you start gaining speed, make quicker shifts to higher gears. When you reach optimum fuel-efficient speed, simply maintain a steady pace. • Be environmentally friendly, don’t break suddenly Improve your fuel efficiency by avoiding excessive breaking. If you anticipate road conditions, you should avoid having to suddenly slam your breaks and instead slow down gradually. By maintaining momentum and reducing gear changes, you’ll use less fuel.
• Make your fuel last, don’t drive so fast Never forget that fuel consumption is directly linked to speed. When you drive too fast, you’re only creating more drag and straining both the engine and transmission. Basically, you’re consuming excess fuel. Take my advice: save on running costs by monitoring your speed. A simple gesture, like reducing your speed from 56mph to 50mph, can decrease fuel consumption by 22%.
• If you’re idling, don’t keep the engine running A 420hp truck consumes about two litres of fuel per hour when idling. Remember to switch the engine off if you are stationary (this obviously excludes situation where you are stuck in traffic). When you’re parking, or remaining stationary for any reason, leaving the engine on just wastes fuel.
Using Your Gears
• Improve your millage, reduce gear changes It’s important to note that dropping a gear increases your fuel consumption. Remain cautious while driving and try to avoid excessive gear changing. Remember: moving slowly uses considerably less fuel than being at a standstill.
• Drive further, change gears quicker As most drivers know, it isn’t always necessary to use every gear. In fact, the quicker you change to a higher gear, the less fuel you use. Simply moving up a gear can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 30%.
And there you have it, a few friendly tips on how to increase your fuel efficiency!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange is the leading service for matching haulage jobs with available vehicles. They also provide expert articles on fuel efficiency and other issues in the freight industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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