Fuel-efficient driving can help slash your fleet fuel bill along with its emissions. Additionally, it can minimise the wear and tear of parts such as brake pads and tyres, helping you save money in the long run.
We’ve rounded up a few simple tips that can help cut the cost of running and maintaining your fleet.
Regularly check tyres
Optimal tyre pressure will lower the amount of fuel your fleet consumes while also increasing driver safety. Under-inflated tyres increase resistance, which means using more fuel. Lack of tyre pressure can cause engines to use up to 3 per cent more fuel for every 1psi your tyres are under-inflated.
Ensure your fleet’s tyres are checked regularly (tyre manufacturer Michelin recommends monthly checks) and that they’re all inflated to the correct vehicle pressure (recommended guidelines can usually be found in the manufacturer’s booklet or in a door shut on the car). Weather conditions also impact tyre pressure; tyres lose pressure quicker in warmer weather, so carry out checks more frequently during the summer months.
Get rid of excess weight
The bigger the load, the more fuel you’ll consume. Make sure your vehicles have removed all non-necessary items such as roof racks and bars to shave excess weight. This will, in turn, reduce the amount of fuel your fleet consumes.
Air resistance is also a contributing factor; much of the fuel used at higher speeds goes towards overcoming this force. Therefore, any items that impact a vehicle’s aerodynamics should be removed when not needed.
Be fuel-efficient, drive smarter and safer
Avoiding sudden acceleration and braking can significantly lower fuel consumption and improve driver safety.
Advise your drivers to leave a reasonable gap between them and the vehicles in front and to anticipate any sudden changes on the road. This will allow them to ease off the accelerator and cruise for longer instead of braking harshly and consuming more fuel if the traffic suddenly grinds to a halt.
Leaving the engine on when a vehicle is idling is another source of wasting fuel. When it is safe to do so, you should encourage your drivers to switch off the ignition when stationary.
Spare the air-con
Air-con isn’t always fuel-efficient. In extreme cases, air conditioning systems can use up to four litres of fuel per tank during the summer months. So encourage your drivers to open the windows at low speeds around town; using air conditioning at motorway speeds makes little to no difference in fuel consumption.