Top 5 tips for fuel efficiency

Rising Fuel Costs: 5 Top Tips for Keeping your Fleet Efficient on the Road

As diesel prices make their biggest jump in 17 years, the cost of filling up at the pumps is fast becoming a major concern for all fleet owners.

The rigorous calculating of fuel consumption is nothing new for commercial fleets. Fuel equates to a substantial proportion of a fleet’s operating costs, so to overlook them would make no business sense. Yet as costs continue to rise, the time is nigh to seek out even more inventive ways of keeping costs down and helping your fleet run as efficiently as possible.  

You can remain vigilant by seeking out the best fuel prices, and carrying a fuel card can save you around 2-3 pence per litre. We are all aware that excessive speeds and hitting the gas burns a lot more fuel than necessary, however, regardless of your vehicle, it is ultimately the driver that dictates fuel mileage. There are numerous strategies that you can incorporate for optimal fuel consumption.

 

We’ve outlined our top 5 tips for optimising fuel efficiency and saving yourself a few unwanted pay-outs.

Lighten the load

The heavier the vehicle, the more fuel it will use. Heavy loads require greater acceleration and more energy, both of which inevitably drain fuel.

With that in mind, it makes sense to remove any unnecessary items in your vehicle as they’ll simply add extra weight. When possible, you can also eliminate drag by removing roof boxes, racks and bike carriers; some of the worst culprits for increasing air resistance and fuel consumption when driving at high speeds.

While it won’t save you a ground-breaking amount of money, it’s still a practical method in lessening costs and protecting profits.

Check tyre pressure

Correct tyre pressure is an integral aspect of wheel and tyre maintenance. It can also help maintain optimum fuel efficiency. Underinflated tyres can increase fuel consumption from anywhere between 3 - 10%.

Tyres lose air naturally so regular checks are vital to maintain pressure and reduce the risks associated with under, or over-inflated tyres. Topped up tyres will not only prolong the life of the tread, preventing rolling resistance with the road will ensure that fuel efficiency is optimal.

Drive efficiently

Undeniably, a prerequisite for fleet drivers. Efficient driving (or eco driving) is more about adopting driving techniques that aid engine efficiency and economise fuel consumption.

Avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration by anticipating other road users. Maintain safe distances so you don’t need to suddenly hit the brake.

Driving in the highest possible gear whilst adhering to speed limits is ideal for optimal fuel consumption. Shift through the gears early, and skip a gear when appropriate. Overall, aim for a smooth drive without any quick acceleration which will rapidly drain fuel. 

Invest in wheel trims

As wheel-makers continue to seek ground-breaking strategies for improving aerodynamics, it is a little known fact that that wheel trims can also offer significant reductions in fuel consumption.

Adding a trim reduces drag and wind resistance around the wheels which can save you 1-2% in fuel costs. At the current rate, that’s a significant saving! You’ll also find a quick return on investment with costs saved on fuel.

Wheel trims are determined by wheel size, and we offer a wide range for different commercial vehicle wheels. Select the drop down link for wheel trims on our website and select the appropriate range.

Regular maintenance check-ups

The overall condition of your vehicle impacts greatly upon fuel consumption. Aside from the yearly MOT, regular services ensure that your vehicle is running optimally which will save you money in the long term.

Checking the mechanics encompasses everything from tyres tread depth to air filtration. A few common drains on fuel efficiency include poorly tuned engines, dirty air filters, poorly aligned tyres and leaking engine oil.

Wheel safety is essential, and regular wheel alignment checks are a must. Misaligned wheels can impair handling by pulling to the left and right. Wheel balancing will ensure that weight of the wheel and tyre is even around the axle by using small weights to counterweight inconsistencies. Continued wheel balance can be maintained with the use of an easy balance wheel balancing compound. This will also prolong the life of the tyre by up to 25%.

Wheel detachment is another concern amongst fleets, and the associated dangers don’t need highlighting. Such issues can be avoided by regularly checking that wheel nuts are tightened to the correct torque. Discover more about why torque is important for your wheels here.

You can also invest in a wheel nut safety device for improved piece of mind on the road. See our top selling Zafety, Prolock, RicClip and Propoint ranges to discover more and avoid the huge unnecessary cost and risk associated with wheel detachment!

Keeping on top of your wheels will reduce tyre wear, provide greater longevity and offer a more comfortable ride overall. It will also greatly improve fuel efficiency. 

The better your mechanics are, the more reliable and efficient your vehicle be. And you’ll be saving money on rising fuel costs in the process.

And finally…

Fleets need to take a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance to ensure that they remain active in monitoring fuel management. Efficient driving combined with regular checks not only maintains the overall health of your vehicle, it will provide greater fuel efficiency for you and your organisation. Prioritise wheel safety and avoid unnecessary risks, dangers and costs associated with wheel detachment and damage.

If you’d like to discuss fuel efficiency or products associated with your fleet and how they could help to help save on fuel costs, please get in touch with a member of the Parma team.