We often get asked, “Can I really save an additional .05 per mile in fuel? I’ve already put truck skirts on the truck and other aerodynamic equipment on the truck…is there still more?” The answer is yes.
Thirty percent of fuel economy is under direct control of the driver, no matter what type of equipment, limiters, etc. you have on-board. The key is driver coaching in three areas outside of idling and progressive shifting which can bring fuel economy back into your control.
Shifting is obviously a major factor in fuel economy but it is what the driver is doing to approach that shift point is even more critical. By approaching the shift point in a “gentle” fashion, even more fuel savings are to be gained.
We call this “forward awareness.” By looking ahead at what the driver is approaching whether it be an intersection, traffic, etc. and begin decelerating in advance, you will also see a great fuel savings but also, improved safety. Forward awareness keeps the driver’s focus on what is in front of him and planning his shifting.
Handling the Hills
Using gravity to the driver’s advantage in the efficient creation and preservation of momentum is the last area in which you can find savings. The effect of driving a little bit slower up grades and carrying momentum through the downhill segments is where you can find those extra pennies.
The reality is, there is not enough time and resources to have an in-person coach with your drivers each day to teach them these key driving skills. Not to mention, some of your driver managers may have not been drivers themselves and would have difficulty showing a driver how to take advantage of them. That’s why we developed PedalCoach….your in-cab, real-time driver coach, putting fuel savings and driver safety back into your control.