Combating the high fuel prices
The increase in the fuel price on August 7 is seeing everyone thinking about their expenses, but Shell South Africa is offering truck drivers some advice to keep costs in check.
The company states that fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 30 percent if the following driving rules are followed:
• Keep a constant speed of around 85 km/h on highways and use speed control. A 5 km/h increase in vehicle speed to 90 km/h leads to a two percent increase in fuel consumption.
• Avoid driving in a low gear unless it is really necessary, as higher revs means more fuel is being used. However, if you have to change down for gradients, climb smoothly and make use of the vehicle’s momentum on the way down.
• Keep idling to a minimum when waiting to unload goods. One hour of idling can result in a one percent increase in fuel consumption.
• Don’t brake unnecessarily, as it will take some “juice” to get the momentum going again, and always use the engine brake as your first option.
• Always try to avoid heavy traffic as it may increase fuel consumption by between two and 10 percent.
• Plan your journey and choose routes where the road surfaces are good.
• Use air-conditioning and heating only when necessary, as these increase fuel consumption.
• Avoid carrying unnecessary weight and ensure the truck curtains are fully closed when carrying open loads.
• Regularly check tyre pressure and fill tyres with nitrogen. Every 68,9 kPa (10 pounds per square inch) of under-inflation increases fuel consumption by one percent.