Modern road transport might be shifting its sights to electric cars and hyper-efficient engines. However, with most vehicles on the roads running on fuel, fuel efficiency still is a significant factor for professional drivers. And with the prices at the pump shooting up with each passing day, the concerns also seem to soar in equal measure.
For goods-transit companies, fuel efficiency reigns supreme unless they have invested in aerodynamic kits for their HGV training kits. Nonetheless, all things withstanding, the fuel consumption rate will essentially boil down to you as an HGV driver. Therefore, we shall be focusing on tips that can help you better utilise what you get at the pump to ensure you save something.
- Master Block Changing
Block gear-change is a habit that comes naturally to many HGV drivers. However, it is not something that they have learned to maximise. Block gear-change entails skipping some gears that bear no relevance to the vehicle’s speed when cruising. The driver will not work linearly up or down the gears but opt to jump gears and skip straight to the one needed.
For instance, the drive can jump from second gear to fourth or shift down from fifth gears to third. According to the experts, block-changing gears, more so when working upwards, saves more fuel than moving linearly up through the gears. The engines will not struggle much to transition through unnecessary gears. It is a practice that reduces the revs and saves fuel, which translates to fewer refill visits at the pump. Moreover, the block gear-change will have your hand more on the while than the stick shift, which can enhance safety.
- Hit Cruise Control
Many modern HGVs are fitted with cruise control options, meaning you have something tech-smart worth utilising. Cruise control will help you maintain a constant speed, reducing unnecessary acceleration, revs, and braking. You will use a bit of fuel with every press on the accelerator. At times, this can habit involuntarily. The tiny fluctuation in your feet’ movements will trigger unnecessary revs. Therefore, avoiding the revs and constant acceleration can save you significant fuel volumes, especially over a long journey.
- Harnessing Resistance
Every driver will encounter some resistance when operating their truck on the roads, and the bigger the vehicle, the more the resistance. Rolling resistance and air resistance will have you use up more fuel to get your truck moving forward. You can mitigate this by making a few changes to your vehicle.
For starters, consider taking less hilly routes to avoid facing gradient resistance. Also, change the tyres to low-rolling-resistance ones and ensure they are fully inflated before starting your journey. The changes can lead to substantial fuel saving by as much as 6%. Studies suggest that every ten psi drop in your tyres can lower fuel efficiency by 1%.
- Do Not Stand Idle
Most drivers tend to leave the engine idling, especially during the winter season, to keep the heater running when taking a quick break. Some do it to ensure they can listen to the radio without using up the batter. But idling the engine means throwing away more money. The engine will burn some fuel to stay running, and research on this has given some startling results.