According to the American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council, an experienced driver, using the proper techniques, can save as much as 35 percent on fuel consumption compared to an untrained driver. Here’s what experienced, fuel conscious drivers do:
Drive slower. Bridgestone recently conducted simulations with one truck and two different drivers and found a direct correlation between speed and fuel consumption: one driver maintained an average speed of 55 MPH over 46 miles, got about 7.1 MPH; a second driver drove that same truck at average speeds of 65 MPH,and got about 5.7 MPH. Slow down.
Kill the engine. According to the U.S. EPA a truck consumes up to 1.2 gallons of diesel fuel for each hour it idles. In the morning, or start of a shift, drivers only need to warm up truck engines for a few minutes. Reduce fuel consumption at docks by working with suppliers and customers to reduce loading times. Consider the use of APU’s.
Stop the wandering. Stress trip planning to your drivers. This eliminates out-of-route miles and unscheduled stops. By combining telematics systems with driver messaging, fleets can direct drivers to the most efficient routes or alert them to particular situations, especially when road or weather conditions change rapidly. Plan ahead, plan routes.
Find the engine’s sweet spot. PacLease says, that typically an engine’s sweet spot is between 1,300 and 1,450 RPMs. Cruising in this range allows the engine to work as efficiently as it can, which means it consumes less fuel. By encouraging drivers to find and use the sweet spot, fuel is used most efficiently.