Be A More Fuel Efficient HGV Driver With These 4 Simple Tips
Within the world of modern transport, fuel efficiency is becoming a crucial factor. It is true that we live in an era where electric and hybrid cars are starting to gain popularity, yet when it comes to professional drivers, fuel still remains their main area of concern and it seems like those prices just keep going up. If you work for a company that has equipped your HGV course with the most recent aerodynamic kit then you are petty much shorted, if not, then you as the driver play the biggest role in your fuel efficiency. We are going to share several tips that should ensure you can save yourself a few pennies and get the most out of the fuel you put in.
Be A Pro At Block Changing
Granted, we may block change gears without actually thinking about what we are doing but the truth is that most of us don’t tend to do it anywhere near as much as we should do. We are referring to the practice of skipping gears that are not related to the speed you are doing. It means that you don’t go up the gears one at a time but instead you go straight to the gear you need. So you may skip third when going from second to fourth or you may skip fourth when dropping from fifth to third. According to studies, it is the drivers that block change gears, especially when going up the gears, that save more fuel than their linear-loving counterparts. The reason that lies behind this is an engine that does not need to work so hard as it is not being constantly exposed to gears that are not needed at the time, hence fewer revs and more fuel in the tank. Another little bonus is that your hand stays on the wheel for longer which makes you a safer driver.
Be A Lover Of Cruise Control
Pretty much all modern vehicles have cruise control so there really is not an excise for not making the most of it. This handy little capability means that you can keep your vehicle at a constant speed, cutting down on revs, braking, and accelerating. Each time that foot hits the accelerator, even just a little, means you use more fuel, in fact, your feet may even be moving slightly without you realizing, eating into more fuel. When you use cruise control over a long journey you can really save those pennies.
Every driver will encounter resistance and when you drive a large vehicle, resistance will be more. Carrying heavy loads over long journeys means that you will face resistance from the air, the gradient and rolling resistance, hence your HGV needs to use up more fuel to move forward. You can do several things to tackle this problem. First, opt for routes that are less hilly, this will cut down on gradient resistance. Next, get a pair of low-rolling-resistance tyres and ensure that they are always fully inflated. You can save up to 6 per cent with these tyres but you will lose 1 per cent each time there is a 10 drop in psi.
Being Idle Will Cost You Pennies
During those cold winter months, it can be very tempting to leave the engine running so that you keep that cosy heater blasting out warm air for your break. However each minute it runs idle you are throwing away your fuel. Research on the fuel rates of idling engines shows rather scary results. Take a standard 420HP engine, it will drink its way through an alarming 2 litres of fuel per hour that it runs idle.