A Few Tips on Safe And Fuel Efficient Driving
Whether you are a professional HGV driver or you are a student enrolled in an HGV training course, here are a few points you may wish to take a look at for better driving techniques.
It is best to keep your vehicle at its lowest possible engine speed. This does not mean that you drive at 20-40 km/h all the time. Engine speed means using a maximum possible gear and observing the tachometer to make sure that the needle is within the green band at all times. Always keep in mind, the higher the gear, the lower the engine revs. Also, if your vehicle has an engine exhaust brake fitted in it, make full use of it at all possible times. This will save the main brakes for times when they are much needed and will also reduce driver fatigue and fuel consumption.
Furthermore, if you continuously double-declutch on a synchromesh gearbox, you will consume more fuel, increase the wear and tear of the gearbox and increase driver fatigue. Therefore HGV training lectures always advice to avoid double-declutching as much as possible. Another important tip is to avoid using every single gear in the gear box. When shifting gears, always try to make use of forward shifting techniques. In vehicles that have a splitter gearbox, use that to your maximum benefit. Adapting to these techniques will reduce fuel consumption, driver fatigue and will give you an optimum speed and journey time.
Class 2 training also encourages drivers to avoid filling fuel tanks up to the brim and to be there at all times when a tank is being filled. This will reduce accidents as well as spillage of fuel. Also, at the end of every shift, drivers are told to perform a safety check and report any defects to the relevant authorities. This will make us all feel comfortable of having safer vehicles on the roads. Drivers are also taught to check tyre pressures. If pressure in a tyre is incorrect, wear and tear of the tyre will increase and as a result jeopardize safety. Another advice with regard to speed, brakes and gear shifting is to use cruise control wherever practical and safe. Engine and driveline wear will be reduced, drivers will get less tired, and fuel consumption is much less.