Eco-driving tips Part. 1
We always want to make sure that our clients gets more than just a vehicle from us. For that reason we want to share our experience and help you save time, money and other resources. Our team gathered up and created this unique topic of „Eco-driving“. Each week we are going to post a new article about eco-driving tips and this artice is the first one. So let us begin and dive right into this topic!
Eco-driving is quickly becoming popular as a process on how to save fuel. Many has the association that it is slow and sluggish driving, but not necessarily! It is smart and modern way to save fuel and quickly, but most importantly – safely, reach your goal destination. Most drivers consciously use eco-driving while driving cars, but when the topic is about heavy vehicles, economical driving can play a big role on saving a lot of money.
Main rules for professional drivers:
Cleverness. It is really important to think ahead. If there is a possibility, you should always try to avoid unecessary stopping – slow down before intersection and drive through without stopping, the same is with roudabound. Always keep distance between cars in front, so when it starts slowing down or making any other maneuver, it would not affect your driving or you can take relevant actions to save fuel. When planning a manouver think ahead and change your driving line, because latter there can be an obstacle and you will need to stop.
Rolling. While driving, everyone rolls with free drive – some of us more often, others less. While rolling we use minimal amount of fuel, just to keep the engine running. The more we roll, the more fuel we save. Trucks‘ intelligents systems that provide road relief are based on rolling. A simple situation. One car will go to the red traffic light without releasing the accelerator, then will push brake and stop. Another cars‘ driver will see a red light traffic on and he will release accelerator. He will roll, avoid breaking and may not even stop at the intersection. The second vehicle saved fuel, saved his breaks and haven‘t lost any time. One more important tip: with sufficient inertia, it is advisable to switch to the highest gear with accelerator fully released, then we do not use fuel at all over the remaining distance.
Speed. If you want to reach your destination faster it will cost you more. Each vehicle has its‘ own cruising speed. The most important criterion is to maintain quite high average vehicle speed, avoiding unecessary stoppages at the same time driving at economical cruising speed. 90km/h. or 85km/h. ? Of course 85km/h. You ask why? Truck goes with the highest gear at lower engine speeds, air resistance is lower if the speed is lower. 85km/h. or 80km/h. ? Definitely 80km/h. If you have enough time to deliver your cargo. If you drive against wind, we recommend you to select lower speed. Do not over do it – driving at the highest gear, but with engine speeds too low it becomes not economical. We often hear drivers‘ opinions that 90km/h. Is more economical than going at 85km/h. Or similar, but that is only a myth.
Usage of the engine brake. In addition to the „green“ engine evolving area, trucks also have a „yellow“ turning zone. When a higher braking force is required, turning the engine brake switch is often not enough. You must lower one or more gears so that the engine turning index is in the „yellow“ zone. Many drivers are afraid of this action. Here we have a „good“ engine speed overrun, which is also provided in the engine construction, nothing happens to the engine, when stopping you do not use fuel! Set is suspended. With the engine brake, you not only protect the braking system (brake discs, brake pads), but also save fuel. When this system is activated, the fuel supply is closed and the engine with drive axle stops the set. The more often you will replace the service brake with the engine brake, the more fuel you will save, while at the same time saving brakes.
Using autopilot. Autopilot – system for maintaining steady speed. Using autopilot on a level road is not recommended. If a vehicle has intelligent systems that provide road relief (PPC, I-See, etc.), they can also be used on a mountain road. It is not advisable to maintain steady speed with foot for a long period of time. This way you feel road bumps, the seat is damping and maintaining steady speed becomes uneven – accelerator is pressed and released over again. As a result, the fuel consumption driving with the autopilot is much lower, not even mentioning the benefits of intelligent systems.
Empty engine running. Nowadays engine manufacturers do not recommend heating engine before driving – the engine does not warm up to operating temperature, because that is done only when driving. Therefore, it is recommended to start engine, make sure that the visibility is good, start driving slowly to reach cruising speed and then the engine will warm up efficently. If you stop and wait for more than 2 minutes, we would recommend to turn of the ignition. When the driver is having break time and turns on the engine to recharge the battery, at the same time turning on additional systems, it is also possible to check/ inflate tires, so that there is no need to start the engine for the second time.
Tire pressure. According to statistics, fuel consumption can increase by 4% if all tire pressures are lower by half bar than recommended. For example, if the average fuel consumption is 27l/100km. due to lower tire pressure by half bar, the fuel consumption can increase to 28l/100km. These are very large numbers when you think about how many kilometers you drive. Therefore, it is recommended to check tire pressure once a week. The ideal conditions for cheking and inflating tires are when they are completely cool and the set is not loaded. You can achieve maximum aconomy by regulary cheking tire pressure.
Economical engine speed. Each vehicle has its own „green“ speed zone. You have to make sure that engine is ALWAYS in the „green“ zone. Remember, these „green“ zones are not marked for nothing – beyond them, torque decreases with power, kad you only hear engine noise, meaning that „the fuel is going through the muffler“. In the „green“ zone, another area is hidden – engine torque. Always try to use the lowest engine load.
Hope you enjoyed our first article about economical driving and found out something new.
Next we are going to present you an article about VOLVO Euro 6 economical driving. Make sure you do not miss it and subscribe to our newsletter!