When it comes to important factors in modern road transport, fuel efficiency is right up there at the top of the list these days. It is true that we are living in an age where electric cars and hyper-efficient engines are emerging on the scene, however, for professional drivers, fuel efficiency is their main concern, especially as prices seem to be doing nothing but increase. However, unless you work for a company that has equipped your HGV training course with the latest aerodynamic kit, you as the driver are the biggest influencing factor on fuel efficiency. That is why this month we have decided to provide you with tips to ensure that you are saving pennies as you drive.
Be A Pro At Block Changing
We tend to do block changing gears without actually thinking about what we are doing, however, in reality, we do not do it enough. In a few words, we are talking about missing out the gears that are not related to the speed being travelled. In other words, rather than go up the gears one at a time, you miss out some and go right to the gear that you need. That means you may go from fifth to third or from second to fourth. When comparing drivers who change gears linearly and those who do block changing, especially when moving up, those who do the block changing tend to have better fuel efficiency. This is down to the fact that you are not making the engine work as hard going through gears that are not needed, this cuts down on the revs and saves fuel, hence saving you money. It also makes for safer driving since your hand is on the wheel longer than on the gearstick.
Make Use Of Cruise Control
Nearly all modern vehicles have cruise control built-in, this means you have no excuse not to put it to good use. It lets you keep the vehicle at the same speed so cuts down on un unnecessary revs, as well as braking and accelerating when not needed. Each time your foot presses that accelerator, even just a little bit, you are using fuel, in fact, even small fluctuations in your feet can cause revs you did not mean to cause. When you are travelling a long distance, you can save a considerable amount of money by following this tip.
Every driver comes across resistance and when you are driving a large vehicle you know all about it. Resistance from air, gradient and rolling resistance means that you need to use more fuel, especially when heavy loads are on board. Certainly, this is not an easy thing to combat, however, you can make a few changes that will help. Opting for routes that are not hilly will help, this will cut down on gradient resistance. Low-rolling resistance tyres will also help you combat the problem, especially by ensuring that they are always fully inflated. You can save up to 6% by using these types, however, each time psi drops by 10 the efficiency goes down by 1%.
Being Idle Is Not Your Friend
When the weather is cold it is very tempting to leave the engine running idle to keep the heater on when you are having a break. However, each minute eats into your fuel efficiency. Research that has been carried out on fuel consumption of idling engines is nothing short of shocking.