Eco-driving: 8 Useful Tips
Eco-driving is another way of saying ‘energy-efficient driving’. It’s a way to drive in order to reduce fuel usage and CO2 emissions. By eco-driving, you’re also cutting the chance of accidents. From a business perspective, companies that adopt eco-driving will save fuel and maintenance dollars.
To start an eco-driving initiative requires thought, planning, and awareness. The best way is to persuade your employees that they want to drive smarter and to develop good, safe driving practices.
We’ve got 8 tips for you to ensure that you and your employees drive safely and efficiently. We divide them into pre-trip checks and mid-journey tips.
Eco-driving pre-trip checks
Before you get behind the wheel, to give eco-driving a head start:
Optimize your route
Vehicle tracking systems from TT Matics will help you to plan the most efficient daily routes for your team. They do this by giving you real-time tracking information that integrates with Google Traffic. So, you can see your drivers as they avoid roadblocks and areas of heavy congestion.
Check your tires
You should encourage drivers to check tire pressures at least monthly and always before long trips. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance; this can cause up to 5% more fuel consumption.
Check the overall condition of your vehicles
Badly maintained vehicles increase fuel consumption; fact. For example, a clogged air filter fills the engine with dirty air, which reduces power output. So, more fuel’s needed for the same journey. Regular fleet maintenance saves you money now and extends the life of your vehicles, too.
Avoid unnecessary loads
The heavier a vehicle is, the more fuel it consumes. Eco-drivers don’t carry or store unnecessary equipment in their vehicles; this can also lead to energy wastage.
When on the road, be sure to:
Use air conditioning wisely
Limit its use to just periods of extreme heat and consider venting the vehicle before starting your trip. At low speeds, open the vehicle’s windows instead of using air conditioning. However, at higher speeds, it’s more fuel efficient to use the air-con.
Adopt an economical driving style
A good, eco-driving style displays these tendencies:
- minimal speeding – keep within the speed limit; or
- minimal instances of harsh braking; or
- rapid acceleration.
Sudden acceleration and braking require extra energy and increase your fuel costs. Maintain steady speeds, where it’s safe to do so. Also, try to keep a good distance between your vehicle and others, to avoid having to brake suddenly. Monitor real-time driver performance through driving style reports from your tracker software, such as these shown from Quartix.
To avoid overloading your engine, change gears around 2,500 rpm (2,000 rpm for a diesel truck). Use your engine optimally, then you’ll be able to reduce significantly your $ fuel spend.
Turn off the engine once you’re parked
If you stop for more than 20 seconds, it’s more economical to switch the engine off and restart. Avoid letting the vehicle idle for too long.
Eco-driving is a simple but effective way to cut fuel costs and keep fleet maintenance expenses down. It has the added benefit of helping you to contribute to reducing harmful CO2 emissions.
Better still, to talk about eco-driving, contact us now!
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