The number one concern for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers is fuel, particularly with the increasing fuel prices. Fuel efficiency is largely down to the driver, unless your company has equipped the HGV with the latest aerodynamic kit. This is why you should consider some of the ways that you can make the most of your fuel and save some money at the same time particularly over a long distance journey.
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Block Changing While Driving
Block changing gears is something that a lot of people do without thinking about it, but many people do not do this enough. Block changing is essentially the missing out of gears that are not necessary to the speed that you are travelling. Instead of slowly working up to the gear that you need, you could skip from second to fourth or from fifth to third. Studies have shown that block changing gears will save more fuel than linear changing. This is due to the engine not needing to work through the unnecessary gears, reducing the revs and saving fuel as well as having your hands on the wheel more than the gear stick which is a bonus for safety.
Hit Cruise Control On Long Journeys
Cruise control is a function which is built-in to more modern vehicles so there is no excuse for not using it. Cruise control will keep the vehicle moving at a constant speed, reduce braking, acceleration and unnecessary revs. Every time you accelerate, even a small amount, you are going to be using fuel and the tiny fluctuations in the movement of your feet could increase the revs. Over a long journey, a lack of this acceleration will save you a huge amount of fuel. Cruise control is an easy way to increase your fuel efficiency by not changing your driving at all and simply using the function that your vehicle has already.
Every driver will come across resistance and larger vehicles will generally face this more than smaller ones. If you are carrying heavy loads over a long distance the resistance could come from rolling resistance, air and the gradient which means you need more fuel to propel your HGV. While resistance can be hard to combat, there are a few things that you can do. Choosing a route that does not have many hills will help as it decreases the gradient resistance. Low-rolling resistance tires will also help your HGV combat this, but you need to ensure that they are fully inflated at all times.
Do Not Leave the HGV Standing Idle
During the winter months, it is very tempting to leave the engine idling so the heater remains on when you take a break. Each minute that you spend idling, your engine will be eating through your money.
There are many things that HGV drivers can do to improve their fuel efficiency but most of these methods will be time-consuming and expensive to use. However, there are some simple tips that you can look into which will help you save money on fuel over long distances. These tips generally look at changing small bits of your driving style instead of spending large amounts of money on adjusting the body of the HGV to be more aerodynamic. Of course, there are a lot of other methods that you can use to reduce your fuel consumption.