Tanker driver strikes and the resultant fuel shortages have been put on hold – for now. How prepared are those who drive on company business for the next round of forecourt fiascos?
John Davidge, head of fleet technical at Cardinus Risk Management, has some sound advice for all fleet drivers who want to make sure they get maximum value from every tankful.
“Experience tells us that most drivers waste up to a fifth of their fuel, and could be getting an extra 50-100 miles from each tank of fuel,” says John. “So to help everybody, I would like to offer some miserly tips! Share these around the office; people will thank you for making their money – and their cars – go quite a lot further. And the bigger the vehicle, the greater the possible savings.”
Here’s John’s list of ten top tips for getting further between fill-ups:
- Overcoming static friction to get rolling uses more fuel. Could you time your arrival at lights and queues so as to keep rolling and avoid stopping?
- It uses far more fuel to go from stationary to 30mph than it does to go from 15mph to 30mph. How could you create the time for the hold-up ahead to clear?
- Cruising under power uses fuel – decelerating doesn’t (the fuel supply is cut off). How far could you travel ‘off the gas’ by looking ahead further?
- Moving off uphill takes more fuel than moving off on level ground. Do you have to stop on a hill?
- Accelerating uphill is thirsty work. Could you simply cruise up the hill and gain speed later when the road levels out?
- Change gear upwards at 2,000rpm (diesel) and 2,500rpm (petrol) – unless there is a reason not to. More engine speed means more fuel into the engine per mile!
- Small changes in speed means large changes in stopping distances – and the energy needed to achieve the higher speeds. How fast do you really need to travel?
- Complying with speed limits saves fuel (and points). Travelling faster gets you to the next delay quicker so you can spend more time waiting for the lights – what do you really gain?
- Under-inflated tyres wear out faster (due to heat generated) – and the drag uses more fuel too. When did you last check yours? Don’t trust others with your safety. Keep to recommended pressures for your vehicle.
- Finally – what is your average fuel consumption? If you don’t know how bad you are, how will you know when you’ve improved? Seeing the improvement will inspire you to keep working on it.
Do you have any fuel-saving tips you can share? If so, share them on Twitter. Don’t forget to follow Cardinus too (@Cardinus).