If you work in the trucking or transport industries, you operate a little differently to most.
Your office is the highway, your desk a moving vehicle, and your currency kilometres and deadlines. What matters is getting to where you need to be, quickly and safely.
But with your business on the road, there’s another major priority to remaining competitive: low fuel usage.
It’s the ultimate challenge: how to get faster and further, on the least amount of fuel. We’ve put together four big questions to ask yourself – and your staff – so you can start to save money on your fuel, starting today.
Are your tyres fully pumped?
Did you know that having your tyres inflated to the correct pressure can improve your fuel mileage by up the 3%? Under-inflated tyres cause rolling resistance, meaning your engine has to work harder in gaining or moderating speed – and are also incredibly unsafe.
You can check your vehicle’s optimum tire pressure on the sticker inside your driver’s door – and if it’s not there, check the glove box, fuel filler cap, or under the bonnet. This should be the same for both cars and trucks.
The biggest thing to remember is that you want to fill the tyres to the vehicle’s optimum pressure – NOT the pressure levels indicated on the tyre.
Have you tuned your vehicle?
Tuning your vehicle is the most effective way to snag any fuel-guzzling problems under the bonnet. You can either tune your vehicle yourself, or take it into a garage for a full service.
Here’s your checklist for fuel-saving problems:
Air filter: as it works to keep dust and dirt out of your engine, the air filter will develop a built up that eventually reduces the amount of air your vehicle can uptake. If you can’t see through the air filter, it’s time to replace it.
Oil: make sure you change it regularly. Castrol recommends that this should be ever 5,000-7,000 km for those who only take short trips, but more regularly for long distance drivers.
Spark plugs: one misfiring spark plug can decrease your fuel economy by 7%, and two misfiring spark plugs will decrease it by 20%. Make sure you’re replacing the spark plugs every 48,000km or so.
Fuel cleaner: run a high-quality fuel cleaner through your engine every six months to clear out build up in your tanks.
Are you researching cheapest prices?
Different fuel stations continue to showcase wildly different prices on the fuel. Stay ahead of the bell curve and download an app like MotorMouth which will show you the cheapest fuel prices in your area.
When you’re on the road and racing the clock, it can feel like a waste of time to shop around for cheapest fuel prices. But with the amount of travelling you do, it really will start to add up quickly.
What don’t you need in the vehicle?
It’s not rocket science – a heavy vehicle takes more fuel to move along the road. When was the last time you cleaned out your truck or car?
Many of us are carrying around large amounts of equipment, vehicle parts, or personal belongings that all weigh down the vehicle. Consider your roadside/breakdown equipment, heavy maps or books, or leftover stock that can be stored elsewhere.
If you can answer these four questions, then you’re already well on your way to maximising your fuel economy! Many small steps add up to a savings that will even surprise yourself. Safe travels!