Fuel economy tips for HGV driving this summer
Fuel economy is one of the most important components of a trucker’s job. After all, poor fuel economy will drive up the cost of transportation and will, in turn, lead to a reduction in profits. Poor fuel economy may even eliminate those profits completely. Thankfully, with the right methods, you have the potential to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20%. On this page, we are going to share a few tips ‘for the summer’, although, to be honest, these tips are going to be useful no matter what time of year you are driving.
Saving fuel will start before you even so much as step into that vehicle. Vehicles which are in a poor condition are well-known for being huge gas guzzlers. Before a vehicle heads out on a long journey, you should always inspect it for the following:
- Fuel leaks. The tank should always be inspected for leaks. You should also check to ensure that the fuel cap is securely held in place.
- Loose bodywork will increase fuel consumption due to increased drag. Loose curtains on the vehicle will also increase drag. Everything needs to be secured in place, perfectly.
- Tyres should always be inspected for missing valve caps and incorrect tyre pressure.
- The positioning of the load.
- Any strange noises when the vehicle is started, particularly if there is smoke involved.
- Poor vehicle traction.
- Poor steering
- Poor braking.
Driving on the roads
It should, hopefully, go without saying that HGV drivers should always drive defensively. They need to always be aware of their surroundings. Not only will driving defensively result in better fuel economy, but it is always a great deal safer. You need complete control over that vehicle. It will allow the driver to make better decisions and ultimately reduce their fuel consumption.
In addition to this, drivers need to undergo regular checks to ensure that they are alert enough to drive. Tired drivers tend to make mistakes which are not only unsafe, but can result in a poor fuel economy. Whilst it may be brilliant getting to the ultimate destination sooner as opposed to later, it may be better to take short breaks from time to time as this will ultimately help a company save money. This is especially important in the heat. Being cooped up in a hot vehicle can very quickly lead to tiredness.
Did you know that driving at 50mph will be far better for fuel consumption than driving at 56mph? In fact, it is estimated that you can reduce your overall fuel consumption by as much as 22% by reducing your speed by just 6mph. Sure, you will take a touch longer to get to your destination, but the profits will be a great deal higher.
Momentum of Vehicle
Starting up a HGV will require a decent amount of fuel. It is, therefore, suggested that you keep that vehicle moving as much as possible (do not sacrifice your breaks for it though!). Instead of stopping at traffic lights, anticipate where they are and gradually slow down. You may not need to stop completely. It will save a small bit of fuel, not much, but every little will help.
As summer approaches, the roads will become busier, particularly heading into the main cities. A route which may have been ideal before may be less-than-perfect now due to heavy traffic. Heavy traffic will result in almost constant stopping and starting which will greatly increase fuel consumption. Whenever a driver is heading out on a route, even if they have travelled that route before, they should always check for potential traffic. If traffic is high, a new route should be planned, even if it ends up taking slightly longer.