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The price of fuel continues to go up and down in the UK, with businesses across the nation now well used to paying over 120.0p for diesel. Businesses are unable to exert much influence over the cost of filling up their fleet vehicles but can save on consumption by having their drivers change their driving habits. In this article, Vindis, a UK-based Audi and VW dealership, offer some tips to construction firm fleet operators on driving down fuel bills.
Ensuring your vehicles are at the top of their game before any journey will undoubtedly assist with fuel consumption. A regular service is highly recommended to achieve the best efficiency, while you need to be always using the correct specification of engine oil too — consult your manufacturer handbook to find the details you need here.
Under inflated tyres, alongside being particularly hazardous in regards to grip, actually plays havoc with your fuel consumption. Correctly inflated tyres, meanwhile, could improve efficiency by up to two percent in context, according to the RAC.
Keep it tidy
When considering that for every 50kg on board, your vehicle uses two percent more fuel, it should be somewhat of a given to declutter your vehicle of everything other than the essentials. Of course, there will be a variety of tools that need to be kept in, catering to every eventuality, but, we can almost guarantee that empty water bottles have managed to find their way into a number of nooks and cranny’s. Regularly look around your vehicle and get rid of the stuff you aren’t using.
Starting the engine of a vehicle is one of the most fuel consumption heavy periods within your journey. The engine will be cold and so a lot more fuel will be used for around the first five miles of you heading out onto the road. With this in mind, you should look to drive for as long as possible when the engine is warm instead of conducting several short trips with long gaps in between each one.
If, for example, you need to pick up materials from the wholesaler, preplan everything you need to get at the start of the week, and this will inevitably cut down on the number of trips you need to make. This will reduce the number of times that a van is having to be started.
Wind resistance is one of the main causes of increased fuel consumption in regard to your vehicle. Therefore, it’s best to keep windows and sunroofs closed especially when you’re traveling at high speeds. Make sure to remove roof racks and boxes for storage when they aren’t being used as well — up to 20 per cent fuel can be saved on an annual basis by removing a cargo box from a vehicle’s roof alone!
Manufactures place a significant emphasis on driving down wind resistance and enhancing the aerodynamics of the vehicle, so following these simple steps shouldn’t be a major difficulty.
Smooth FM shouldn’t be the only ‘smooth’ in your vehicle. Obviously, there will be times when you’ll need to slow your vehicle down — or to a sudden standstill in the event of an emergency — but you should be road savvy enough to be able to approach traffic lights at a gentler pace, for example, or smoothly get up a hill.
Fuel efficiency is massively affected by sitting in traffic, which involves a lot of starting and stopping. Perhaps you can take your lunch break half an hour either side of the afternoon rush, or set off earlier in the morning.