NAPA – North Adriatic Ports Association

Conserving Fuel in Your HGV

Fuel efficiency is as important now more than ever with the costs of fuel rising as rapidly and placing strain on modern road transport. Even though science and technology has made hyper-efficient motors and electric motors a reality, the need for fuel economy is high on every mind and especially so for professional drivers. Many companies have been fitting their HGVs with the latest in aerodynamic kits, but even still the most important fuel economy practices come down to the driver.

To provide you with some important direction on this subject, here are some of the best ways to shave down your fuel consumption and cut back on this considerable expense.

Master Block Changing

Something we don’t give a lot of thought to is block changing gears. Often, we even do this automatically, but it is something that should be consciously practiced. simply put, this is skipping over the gears that are not needed at the speed you are travelling. So instead of following from first to second and from second to third and so forth, you will skip exactly to the gear the speed calls for and miss out the gears in between. This means you will change from second to fourth or shift down from fifth to third.

Studies have shown that block changing gears can be a good way to reduce the overall fuel efficiency. This is especially important when changing upwards from low gears to high gears. This is because you save the engine the strain of going through the gears and take it right where it can function best. This reduces revs and saves fuel. This practice also ensures that you will have more time with your hands on the wheel rather than shifting gears and this is safer in the long run.

Hit Cruise Control

Most HGV training and all other types of vehicles come with a cruise control feature. This means that there is no reason to not employ this fuel saving function while in transit. Cruise control works to keep your vehicle going at a constant speed, this keeps revs to the amount needed and reduces variance in acceleration and braking. Every time the accelerator is pressed, even just lightly, more fuel is used. Even small fluctuations of your foot can be adding more fuel than necessary to your engine and increasing its fuel consumption. Over long distances these smaller increases in fuel consumption can add up to a significant cost.

Harnessing Resistance

Resistance is another factor that can play a role in the fuel consumption of each trip. Every driver will experience resistance, the bigger the load, the more resistance is encountered. Resistance can come from the air, the inclination of the road and more. It will not be possible to avoid this resistance, but it can be considered carefully from the perspective of improved fuel consumption.

Some things that can be done to reduce the extra fuel consumption caused by resistance include choosing routes that are not especially hilly. Investing in low-rolling resistance tyres is another good method of fuel consumption. Be sure to keep these tyres inflated fully all the time.

Don’t Stand Idle

It is tempting in the cold weather to allow your engine to idle as you enjoy the comfortable warmth of your cab. But this is an expensive way to stay warm. Every minute that you are idling is money being thrown away. The average 420 HP engine will spend a full two-liters per hour when idling