It goes without saying, the faster you drive, the more fuel you use.
What isn't so obvious, is what that means in practice. Exactly what should you train your drivers to do, and how can they deliver a significant saving.
It’s important to educate and remind your drivers that smooth and steady driving (within the speed limits) leads to faster overall journey times, lower stress levels and delivers significantly lower fuel consumption.
Rushing generally makes everyone feel more stressed and when your drivers are stressed, they'll push your vehicle harder leading to increased fuel consumption, increased wear and tear on your tyres and vehicle, and a higher probability of being involved in a collision.
If you can get your drivers on side, the savings are immediate, real and significant.
Here are three simple yet highly effective ways your drivers can drive smoothly and save you a small fortune in fuel…
Remind them to feather the pedal rather than flooring it when accelerating.
If your drivers learn to feather the pedal, accelerate gently, and drive just 3 miles per hour slower when on motorways your business will see savings.
Drivers should think ahead to reduce the fuel used
If your drivers get off the accelerator sooner and allow the weight of the vehicle to slow them down instead of hitting the brakes, you’ll not only save fuel it will reduce the wear and tear on your vehicles.
Engines should never be left idling even for a few moments.
Stop start is a well-known fuel saving technology on cars, and the same principles apply to HGV’s and vans. Training your drivers on how and when to use this technique will take your fleet a long way towards achieving fuel saving!
This is all very achievable, but to succeed you need to educate and train your drivers, overcome their objections and possibly even give them some good incentives.
Overcoming driver objections - faster isn't quicker...
When it comes to talking to your drivers about their driving, and how they need to become smoother and slow down to save fuel, there's most likely going to be objections. The main one will almost certainly be the need to go as fast as possible to get to the destination quickly.
The reality is that driving quickly makes no difference as it's the average speed that most affects the whole journey time. This is especially true when on short journeys, or in urban areas, where there are lots of stops and frequent hold-ups.
Most people don't realise that the average speed in a city environment is usually around 13 miles per hour. Rushing to the next queue only uses more fuel.
Getting your drivers onboard
All these outcomes should be reason enough for your drivers to want to adapt and improve their driving, but as an extra incentive it's worth considering the introduction of a bonus scheme.
Based on certain targets, such as overall MPG, monthly fuel spend, average journey speed etc, your drivers get rewarded for better, fuel saving driving. Then paying out on these bonuses will still be cheaper than paying for the extra fuel you would have used.
Educating and training your drivers
By changing drivers’ behaviour, their driving techniques change, helping to reduce stress levels, minimise the risk of a collision, and help your business significantly reduce fuel costs.
Experience shows that giving drivers this information, backed up with regular reminders and feedback on performance (possibly linked to a bonus scheme) is essential to achieving these outcomes and savings.
Request our free safety awareness poster
To get a copy of our downloadable poster to display on your noticeboard, send us an email and we'll get a copy over to you.
Training you trust
Our DVSA Recognised and CPD Standards Office accredited e-learning delivers consistent, relevant and useful reminders to your drivers in the form of a 15-20 minute pre-made Toolbox Talk each month. They can log in on any device at any time!
When it comes to reminding your drivers of the importance of adopting better driving techniques to save you money, we have this covered across the whole Road Skills Online Professional Development Plan.
To see the full list of Toolbox Talks and see how these regular reminders will help you to improve driver behaviour as well save money - click here to arrange your free demonstration.