The optimization of the fuel efficiency of vehicles is an essential aspect for the organizational success in the transportation sector. In fact, recent research by industry experts has shown that Fuel is almost 30 percent of the total cost of ownership in the average commercial fleet. With this in mind, it is clear that taking measures to improve the fuel efficiency of your fleet can lead to a significant increase in profits. In addition, maximizing fuel efficiency helps protect the environment by limiting carbon emissions and pollution.
The best way to optimize the fuel efficiency of vehicles in your transportation or transportation organization is to implement smart driving initiatives. Whether they operate a truck, bus, or van, give your drivers the following guides to improve the fuel efficiency of your commercial fleet.
How to improve fleet fuel efficiency
The next time your drivers hit the road, give them these six tips to make sure their ride is economical:
- Anticipate other drivers – One of the most important qualities of an intelligent driver is the ability to anticipate potential hazards on the road. If drivers do not prepare for possible dangers, they are more likely to resort to stop-go techniques of sharp braking and frequent acceleration. This poor practice of repeatedly depressing the vehicle’s accelerator pedal results in higher fuel consumption. By recognizing hazards earlier and allowing enough braking distance, your drivers can avoid such frequent accelerations and improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
- Use momentum – Most modern vehicles have technology that detects when the impulse from the vehicle is driving the engine forward and not the engine driving the vehicle (e.g. when driving downhill or slowing down). A fuel cut-off switch is normally activated when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal and stops the flow of fuel to the injectors. This means that it is more economical for the driver to stay in the correct gear and take their foot off the accelerator pedal when going downhill or slower than “rolling” in idle. If the vehicle is left idling, fuel will still be burned to keep the engine ticking. Note that this method is not effective when you are slowing down at low engine speeds (e.g. when driving through stop-start traffic). At low engine speeds it is more economical for the driver to shift into neutral or to dive into the clutch.
- Accelerate – Air resistance (also known as air resistance) increases as the speed of a vehicle increases. At highway speeds, most of the fuel a vehicle burns is used to overcome drag. This means that rapid acceleration and high cruising speeds lead to more air resistance and higher fuel consumption. Consider adding wind deflectors to your vehicles to reduce drag and let the driver keep the tachometer in the green.
- Keep tires inflated – When a vehicle has underinflated tires, the engine has to work harder and burn more fuel to overcome this drag. To mitigate this risk and improve fuel efficiency, drivers should be encouraged to ensure that tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct pressure during their daily tour of the vehicle.
- Use air conditioning – The air conditioning in a vehicle draws its power from the engine, which increases fuel consumption. Once the indoor temperature is lowered, the air conditioner no longer has to work as hard to maintain the temperature. With this in mind, drivers should use vehicle air conditioning systems sparingly. Consider a minimum temperature to which the driver can set the climate control in your vehicles. After all, a single grade can make a huge difference in fuel economy. Also, never leave the driver on the air conditioning while the vehicle windows are open.
- Stop engine – Recent studies by industry experts have shown that drivers can reduce the fuel consumption of vehicles when they are not in traffic by turning their engines off and on again instead of letting the engine idle. However, it is important that drivers ensure that it is both safe and practical to turn off engines when they are stopped in traffic. In general, this is safe if the vehicle stops for between 10 and 20 seconds. Even so, drivers should never sacrifice their safety for fuel efficiency reasons.
Contact insureFLEET today on +49 (0) 1270 506984 for additional industry-specific advice and insurance solutions.
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