With professional drivers, fuel efficiency remains one of their top concerns even with things like highly fuel efficient and electric engines coming into the picture. With fuel prices fluctuating up and down it is a constant concern. If you don’t work for a company who equips your HGV with modern aerodynamic accessories, then the fuel efficiency is totally up to the driving performance of the individual. Here we offer tips to get the best fuel efficiency possible to save you money.
Block Changing Mastery
It is not uncommon to see professional drivers doing block changing instinctively. But because they don’t recognise they are doing it, they often don’t do it enough. This is the process of skipping gears you don’t need to be in. In some cases for instants, you might be in 5th gear and downshift to 3rd gear skipping 4th altogether because it simply wasn’t necessary. This can be done in reverse as well skipping gears as you shift up. This is the practice of shifting to the gear that is best suited for speed and circumstances rather than thinking you always need to go directly to the gear that comes next in order.
Studies show that doing this more consistently will lead to increased fuel efficiency. Block shifting is most effective when shifting up and doing this type of shifting more consistently will unquestionably cause your HGV to get better fuel mileage. It also means you are shifting less and keeping your hands on the wheel more which is safer.
Using Cruise Control
Newer vehicles have this feature and the driver is highly recommended to use it. Using the cruise control function helps keep the vehicle at a steady speed without unnecessary surges or slowdowns in speed. Even pressing the accelerator slightly burns more fuel. It might not even be something you are consciously aware that even tiny movements in your feet can cause enough fluctuation that it can cause excess fuel consumption. When on a long journey, the use of cruise control can have a significant impact on fuel economy.
Learning to Harness Resistance
With big and heavy vehicles, resistance is something that cannot be avoided. Carrying heavy loads means that every encounter with air resistance, the gradient you are on and rolling resistance causes you to burn more fuel just to keep your HGV moving. These things are always present and therefore not the easiest thing to combat. Nevertheless, there are things you can do to reduce their impact enough to get better fuel mileage. When possible choose a path that is less hilly. If possible, invest in tires that are low rolling resistant. Keep your tires properly inflated at all times. It is possible you might get as much as six percent fuel savings by using these tires and keeping them inflated properly.
Don’t Keep Your Vehicle Idling
Especially in winter, many drivers want to keep their vehicle idling to keep the inside warm while they take a break, eat or shower. However, this adds up to a lot of fuel being burned while going nowhere. Every minute your HGV spends idling, you are losing money in fuel cost. If your vehicle is 420hp it burns an average of 2 litres each hour while idling.
Most things drivers of HGV could do to improve fuel mileage are expensive and difficult to apply. With these simple tips mentioned above, one can improve fuel mileage and lower the cost over time which puts real money back into your pocket. When you go on long hauls remember that making these changes are not so difficult for you to do and yet can greatly improve the fuel mileage you will get.