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How do you improve your fuel efficiency?
Fuel efficiency is an important component of modern fleet management. To help fleet operators achieve the savings they need, Shell has developed some simple rules which can be applied to any fleet at no cost, whatever the size.
Rule 1 – Mandate Fuel and Lubricant Selection
Not all fuels are the same. Fuel economy can be improved through using the right fuel combined with good driving habits. Drivers should use economy fuels, which are specifically formulated for fuel efficiency. Shell FuelSave Diesel can help fuel ignite and burn more quickly for effective combustion. It can also prevent the build-up of deposits on fuel injectors.
Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant can help improve fuel efficiency, while higher quality motor oils can also help engines operate more efficiently.
Rule 2 – Conduct Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Arrange regular vehicle maintenance, as a well-tuned engine can help improve fuel economy. Make sure tyre pressure is regularly checked, as a tyre that is under inflated by just 10% can reduce fuel economy, and an under or over inflated tyre is more susceptible to failing.
Rule 3 – Improving Driver Behaviour: Drive Smoothly, Use Higher Gears, Avoid Excess Idling, and Conserve Momentum
Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel than smooth driving. Fleet drivers should avoid harsh accelerating or braking where possible. Keep steering smooth and avoid over revving.
The higher the gear you drive in, the lower your engine speed is. Drivers should change up a gear wherever possible. Changing gear in good time when pulling away or accelerating is also encouraged.
Idling gets you nowhere, but still burns fuel. As a rule, drivers should be directed to turn the engine off if stopping for more than 10 seconds.
Also, momentum avoids unnecessary fuel consumption. For example, when traffic lights change drivers should slow down early rather than stopping completely. Leaving a sensible distance between vehicles also helps ensure there is always ample time to brake evenly.
Driver behaviour can be hard to change and monitor – this is where a fuel management solution, such as Shell FuelSave Partner, comes in. They are designed to allow fleet managers to accurately track vehicles’ fuel consumption, emissions and driver performance in real-time and identify areas for operational improvement.
Rule 4 – Manage Your Weight
You may be surprised, but every extra kilo matters and affects fuel efficiency. Fleet drivers should keep their vehicle clear of unnecessary items to maximise fuel efficiency.
Rule 5 – Facilitate Function Management
Keep the windows closed, and use air conditioning sparingly. Drivers should be encouraged to use the fan instead.
Rule 6 – Plan Routes Carefully
It may sound obvious but cutting down on the time spent in the vehicle is the easiest way to conserve fuel. To reduce driving time, drivers should combine short trips and travel outside of peak times to avoid traffic.