It doesn’t matter if you run a fleet of super-minis or long wheelbase vans; if you drive with your eco-head on you’ll save a considerable amount on fuel.
Fuel and vehicle costs are a core part of a company's fleet expenditure. But with high fuel prices and the effect of transport use on the environment under constant scrutiny, it’s understandable that organisations are looking for ways in which to reduce their fuel bills, as well as their carbon footprint.
Often, poor fuel efficiency is a result of erratic driving behaviour and is characterised by harsh braking and rapid acceleration. However, there are effective techniques which can be easily adopted into everyday driving behaviour resulting in a significant, positive impact on fleet running costs. Driving in a more 'eco-friendly' manner has many ongoing benefits, both economically and environmentally, with the most significant of all reductions being that of fuel consumption.
Here are some essential tips to allow drivers in your fleet to enable your organisation to make those all important savings.
• Driving at a constant speed is far more fuel-efficient than frequent accelerating and braking. Look ahead so you don’t have to stop or change speed so often. Keep moving as long as you can, even in traffic queues. This is also safer – if you are moving the chances are you won’t be hit from behind.
• Checking your vehicle regularly makes driving more efficient. In particular check your tyre pressure every week, when they’re cold. Wrongly inflated tyres have a big impact on fuel economy and they are also more vulnerable to damage. Your car may have an eco-setting for its tyres.
• It takes most cars a couple of miles to warm up and run efficiently. If not, think about linking shorter trips together to avoid starting several journeys with a cold engine. Reverse into parking bays: If you do all the manoeuvring with a hot engine you can drive straight off when you come back. This warms the engine up quickly.
• Put your car on a diet. Remove unnecessary weight, including roof racks, car clutter and heavy items in the boot. The heavier you are, the more fuel you’ll burn.
• Use air conditioning and climate control sparingly as they significantly increase fuel consumption. In towns, open your windows to cool the car down, but at high speeds, keep your windows closed to maintain the aerodynamics of the car. Use air-con to get the car to a comfortable temperature, and then turn it off.
• Keeping the inside of the front and rear windscreens squeaky clean will reduce the time you need to spend using the heating or air con to clear the screen. Traffic fumes form a film on the glass which attracts moisture and makes them mist up easily.
• And finally, stick to the speed limit. It’s the law and offers a good compromise between economy and getting somewhere!