Smart driving practices
Fuel efficiency starts when you turn on your engine. Proper warm-up helps lubricate components and seals, reducing wear and leakage. Starting your bus properly can save money on fuel. As a driver, you can help to protect the environment from the harmful effects of driving by following these suggestions:
- When starting your vehicle, make sure you use zero throttle and are in a gear that doesn’t need any.
- Don’t pump the throttle unnecessarily; the amount of fuel required for starting is pre-measured, so it is wasteful and can damage cylinder walls.
- Use ether sparingly when having difficulty starting your engine; excessive use can harm the engine.
- Let your vehicle warm up for three to five minutes-if the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius, allow it to warm up for seven to 10 minutes. Do not rev the engine; let it warm up gradually.
- Warm up your vehicle after the initial idle time by driving easily; don’t try to get too much speed out of the engine by pushing the throttle down hard.
- Ensure oil and air pressure are in their normal operating ranges during start-up.
- Back off the accelerator when going down a hill, and let gravity and momentum do the work.
- Use cruise control where appropriate.
- Change gears smoothly-shifting professionally will result in about 30 per cent improvement in operating costs.
- Always use the clutch; failure to do so can wear down the gear teeth in the transmission.
- Practise progressive gear shifting at approximately 1600 RPM Shifting before you reach the maximum governed RPM reduces equipment wear, decreases noise levels and saves fuel.
- Run the engine in the highest gear range to keep it in low revs.
- Use your retarder properly, and turn it off when you don’t need it. Allow the terrain to work for you.
- Turn off your engine when you stop for any length of time. You will save fuel, reduce maintenance requirements, prolong engine life and prevent unnecessary emissions.
Fuel-consumption techniques summary
If you learn and practise the following techniques, you’ll be well on the way to good fuel consumption:
- Use good starting procedures.
- Get going as soon as you can.
- Control your idling.
- Be an RPM miser.
- Use progressive shifting.
- Maintain efficient engine speed.
- Manage your road speed.
- Operate efficiently in traffic.
Visible licence plates
By law, your entire licence plate must be completely visible. Remove anything that makes it difficult to see your licence plate, such as dirt, snow, a licence-plate frame or a bike.
If your licence plate is not visible, you may be fined.