The effects of climate change cannot be denied – floods, cyclones, drought, increasing sea levels. Much has been said about how each of us can help minimize the unwanted effects of this environmental phenomenon and the time to act has come. Everyone plays a vital role in helping our planet.
Trucks, buses, heavy equipment loaders, and other large vehicles contribute a huge amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. As such, drivers operating these vehicles can do so much to help.
Here are practical tips that truck drivers can do to help cut fuel consumption and minimize its effects on the planet.
- Progressive shifting
When changing gears, try to use the lowest engine revolutions possible for each. A lot of truck drivers mistakenly think that the best way to accelerate is to rev-up to around 2,000 before changing gears. This translates to more fuel consumption and more gas emissions. Up-shifts can actually be achieved sooner with just around 800 to 1,000 rpms. Not only is it more fuel efficient, it’s also quieter.
- Idle reduction
A lot of drivers leave their trucks on idle for extended periods in an attempt to get some form of auxiliary climate control. For instance, an international-bound full truck load transport would take rests midway through their trip. While it is understandable, such as in extreme temperatures, an idle engine can consume a lot of fuel in the long run. To minimize the lost fuel and gas emissions, it is best to tag along plug-in electric blankets or warm blankets or mattress pads instead of using idle engine as heating source, if cold is the problem.
- Maintain average road speed
Contrary to what some drivers think, the faster a truck runs, the higher the fuel consumption is. Fuel economy is decreased by at least 0.1 mpg when trucks run above 55 mph. Without discounting your rear ends, try to reduce road speed to increase fuel efficiency.
When traveling at a moderate speed, you won’t have to deal with other traffic. This means, you can run at an optimum cruise speed and less time needed on brake pedal as you adjust to traffic flow.
- Maintain momentum
Downhill ride need not consume fuel. Make use of the momentum as you go downhill. You may need to expend extra fuel as you climb up the hill but the amount you save on a cruise ride is still more. Use brake in moderation as it can steal some of that momentum.
- Cruise control on hills.
The main purpose of cruise control is to maintain the desired speed. Use it to maintain your speed over hill and dale, but make sure that the power of the engine is suited. In some cases you would need a downshift. Newer models have better cruise control mechanisms.
Finally, make sure that your truck, particularly the engine, is well maintained to avoid unnecessary fuel expenditures. Truck operators might also want to consider more modern trucks with better fuel efficiency ratings.